This secret Oahu beach is more commonly known as Eternity Beach for an infamous beach scene in a romantic 1950’s Hollywood movie, attracts thousands of visitors each year. You’ll most likely discover this Oahu beach when visiting the south side blowhole, which is not too far from Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach.
Halona Beach Cove sits below the famous blow hole, and is sometime referred to as Oahu Secret Beach, because you cannot see if from the road when driving past.
But what made it famous is the 1953 filming of “From Here to Eternity” with the cast of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. There is an unforgettable romantic kissing scene between these two, while lying on the beach with the waves washing up over them. So today many call this Oahu beach Eternity Beach…very fitting.
This Oahu beach is still a popular filming spot for newer blockbuster hits like Pirates of the Caribbean part 4 “On Stranger Tides”.
While most visitors view and take pictures of the Halona Beach Cove from above, some follow the hiking trail down to the beach to get a better view and explore the unique cove.
Please be warned that there are posted signs (mostly covered up with stickers) noting this Oahu beach is off limits, and the water and rocks can become dangerous area to wander into.
There are no lifeguards in this area, and waves can get rough at times, creating an undertow, and potentially can drag you out to sea under strong currents. Be aware that waves smash into the rocks on both sides, which are slippery and can knock you down and/or fall into the ocean.
It’s amazing to know that fisherman since the 1920’s climb down to this rocky point called Bamboo Ridge and fish into the nights.
Before wandering down to the beach make sure to take walk up to the viewing deck and see if the famous Halona Blowhole is active.
On good days with high surf in the area, you are bound to witness the powerful blowhole spout 20 feet plus water into the air.
I never gets old watching waves pound into the shoreline, filling the lava tubes with thousands of pounds of water pressure, and shooting straight up into the air with no other place to go than a small opening on the rocky deck floor.
Getting down to Eternity Beach, you simple walk back towards the Kalaiana’ole Highway from the Halona Lookout parking lot, and look to your left where there is a start to a trail between the guardrail and rocky hillside.
Note that is not a paved or maintained trail. You will need to scale down some rocks and sandy dirt pathway that has a few hops and twists to it.
Also make sure not to stub your toes…as I have, on the lightly covered lava rocks leading down to the beach.
The Halona Beach Cove maybe small but comes with lots of charm in its own setting. You have a rocky shelf on the left hand side that extends into out into the ocean.
And a cliff side on the right, where you sometimes see daredevils climb up and jump into passing waves. I cannot recommend doing this, but have been known to make a few splashes myself.
Look back up the Cliffside and you’ll most likely see Halona Blowhole visitors observing all the activity from lookout above.
This Oahu secret beach also features a secret cave! Yup, sorry for the spoiler alert, but there’s a really cool cave at the base of the beach.
Ok, actually this opening is an ancient lava tube that cuts through the rocky cliffside to the other side of the freeway. Be careful if you decide to explore it, it’s very dark and narrow in there.
Depending on the weather and water conditions, I have seen Eternity Beach both packed with people and other times empty.
It is not common to see both locals and visitors, kids and adults body surfing and playing in the waves that roll into Halona Beach Cove.
And while fun, it can be very dangerous in these waters, especially when there is a south side swell and the waves tend to be large, and create a ripe tide effect leading back out to sea.
Many folk each year have been rescued from trouble or face much worse consequences in these rough waters.
It gets a little worrisome when you see folks swimming out towards the mouth of the bay, where the currents get rough and can sweep you out to sea.
Watch some of the local pros in the water, catching waves at the edge of the waves crest, and ride the shore break waves back to shore.
The experienced bodysurfers usually wear swim fins that help propel them into the waves with an extra burst of power. Swim fins are a useful tool for swimming in the ocean and waves.
This is a natural beach with no facilities other than the parking lot above at the Halona Blowhole Lookout. There are bathrooms, outdoor showers, picnic tables, and lifeguard stands located a ¼ mile down the road at Sandy Beach.
Driving directions from Waikiki
Take the number 22 or 23 Oahu Bus from Kuhio Ave in Waikiki that is headed in the direction of Diamond Head. Depending on traffic, it should only take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there.
These buses run hourly on the weekdays and every half hour on the weekends.
You will actually pass Hanauma Bay on your way
to Eternity Beach. If you plan your day right, you could
start off the morning snorkeling in this state
protected marine life sanctuary, and then head over to discover this secret beach. The Hanauma Bay fish and marine life are a wonderful site to see and experience if you can!
Located in the same area and even sharing the parking lot is the popular Halona Blowhole. On really big days you can bet on the blowhole spouting high into the air. Check out the video below and you'll get a good sense of power this natural wonder can deliver.
Just down the road from Eternity Beach is a long strip beach called Sandy Beach Park. This Oahu Beach has a strong shore break that the locals love to play in, and either body surf or body board the waves before they fold over and pound the shore.
This is not a swimming beach, and I do not recommend going into the water if you're not a good swimmer or have the right equipment to help navigate you through the waves. But it is very entertaining to sit on the beach and watch the pros perform their tricks in the waves.