tumblr tracker
ALOHA! Subscribe today to receive free Oahu Updates!

Waimea Bay on the North Shore

Waimea Bay is a stunning and renowned beach on the North Shore of Oahu, known for its massive winter waves that attract surfers from around the world. πŸŒŠπŸ„β€β™‚οΈ

The towering North Shore waves start here in Waimea Bay.  The winter swells that roll into the famous Oahu North Shore beaches, generally top out at Waimea Beach Park , on the right hand side of the bay. 

Surfing the Bay, along with Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline, is considered almost a pilgrimage among many pro-surfers that fly in from all around the world to partake in the daring action.  The fun generally begins when the National Weather Service issues high surf warnings for the North Shore.  Waimea Beach Park is located just past Haleiwa Beach, and across from Waimea Falls Park.

Waimea Drone Footage

Flying above Waimea Bay gives it a whole perspective and meaning the beauty that this Oahu beach is entails.

Take a moment to cruise along the golden beach, fly above and around Waimea Rock with beach goers plunging back into the ocean, and sail along the point with beach front homes and the iconic Mission of Sts. Peter and Paul church.

The Magical Bay

While everyone wants to see the surfers riding the Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay has to be the most popular beach on the North Shore.  This Oahu beach offers a lot of action in both the winter and summer months!

The Bay itself has a glowing aura about it, and you feel its presence as soon as you pull into the parking lot and walk across the vast lawn area.

Waimea Bay is a stunning and renowned beach on the North Shore of Oahu, known for its massive winter waves that attract surfers from around the world. πŸŒŠπŸ„β€β™‚οΈ

There are distinctive landmarks that help define this special bay, including the Mission of Saints Peter & Paul Church at sits out on the point at one side, and a huge rock that sits at the other end, known as "The Rock".

Waimea Rock is a prominent cliff formation in Waimea Bay, Oahu, known for its thrilling cliff jumping opportunities and stunning ocean views.

Waimea in the Winter

In honor and memory of legendary surfer Eddie Aikau, Quicksilver holds an annual β€œEddie Would Go” surfing contest in the bay.  Big wave riders will charge the surf if the waves are big enough sometime between Dec 1st and Feb 28th.  Opening ceremonies are set to take place on the 1st weekend of the contest.

The bar is set here for Hawaiian surfing as waves generally start around 10 to 20 feet in height and sometimes jump up to 30 feet plus – that is a measurement from the backside of the wave.  The front side peak usually measures twice as high!  Imagine riding down a 60 foot-face wave!

The Waimea Bay Surf is renowned for its powerful and massive waves, attracting professional surfers from around the world to challenge themselves in its legendary swells. πŸŒŠπŸ„

Waimea Bay is an exhibition playground for big-wave riders, including Hawaiian surfing legends like Eddie Aikau, Greg Knoll, Ken Bradshaw, and Laird Hamilton.   Andy Irons, a three-time world surfing champion, often competed here along with other legendary North Shore spots like the Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach.

The Waimea Bay surf is renowned for its massive waves and challenging conditions, attracting professional surfers and thrill-seekers from around the world. πŸŒŠπŸ„

Waimea Beach Park, from the hillside, is a great spot for spectators to view daring surfers play with death defying rides.  Wiping out on these waves can be extremely hazardous to your health and life as we know it!

The Waimea Bay Lifeguard stands as a vigilant guardian, ensuring the safety of beachgoers and surfers in one of Oahu's most renowned and challenging surf spots. πŸŒŠπŸ‘¨β€πŸš’

The waves become so monstrous at times, that they roll past the bone yard of boulders and rocks and spill onto the roadside above, which usually leads to beach and road closures.

The Eddie Aikau Memorial pays tribute to the legendary Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard, Eddie Aikau, commemorating his bravery, skill, and commitment to saving lives in the ocean. πŸ„β€β™‚οΈπŸŒΊ

You will find a beautiful memorial on the park grounds dedicated to big wave rider, Eddie Aikau.  

Eddie risked his life in dangerous surf conditions to save others stranded on the capsized Hokulea Voyaging Canoe.  Eddie paddled off on his surfboard, never to be seen again.  There is a big respect for who Eddie was and what he did.

Waimea in the Summer

Visiting Waimea Bay Beach Park during the summer is like driving up to a completely different North Shore Beach scene.

Waimea Bay Beach is a stunning and renowned destination on the North Shore of Oahu, offering golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and world-class waves that attract surfers and beachgoers from around the globe. πŸ–οΈπŸŒŠ

The waves go flat and the waters remain calm, surfers are scarce, and all the keikis (kids) and families takeover the Oahu beaches and ocean waters.

The Waimea Bay Jumping Rock is an iconic cliff diving spot on Oahu's North Shore, where thrill-seekers can take a leap into the crystal-clear waters below and experience an adrenaline rush like no other. πŸŒŠπŸ€Έβ€β™‚οΈ

Watch the local kids swimming out to β€œDa Big Rock”, located just off shore on the left hand side.

The idea is to climb up 30 feet, build up your confidence, and take a leap of faith!  Most people take time to build up the courage before jumping off the steep edge and into the deep blue ocean below.

The Waimea Bay Warning advises visitors about the powerful and unpredictable surf conditions at Waimea Bay, urging caution and emphasizing the importance of respecting the ocean's strength. 🌊🚫

While jumping off the rock can be a lot of fun...and you'll see a lot of people doing it, it can be very dangerous.  I would not recommend it as there have been reported injuries from time to time.

The rock is not easy to climb up onto, can be slippery, and dangerous to jump off of. Look for the many posted signs and heed their warning!

You will also find a lot of kids playing around in the Waimea River that runs down from the Waimea Falls Park area.  The river sometimes gets carved out by the locals, helping release river water back into the ocean.

Waimea Bay is a stunning and renowned beach on the North Shore of Oahu, famous for its massive waves, golden sand, and crystal-clear turquoise waters, attracting surfers, sunbathers, and nature enthusiasts alike. πŸŒŠπŸ–οΈ

The Waimea River then becomes perfect tube ride back to the ocean, creating another summer fun thing to do on the North Shore.

The North Shore Snorkeling Tour offers an exhilarating and immersive experience, allowing participants to explore the vibrant underwater world of Oahu's North Shore and encounter diverse marine life in their natural habitat.

There is a 90 minute guided snorkeling tour in Turtle Cove, that includes a professional instructor, equipment, and safety lesson.  Explore the open water in search of green sea turtles and other sea life.  See other awesome snorkeling spots around Oahu here...

Caution when entering the ocean

Take caution entering the ocean at Waimea.  The shallow shoreline drops off quickly - a good 20+ feet deep!  There are no fish in the area, but it can be a humbling experience to bring a mask & snorkel to just check out the deep blue ocean, giving you a feeling of the abyss.

The Waimea Bay Lifeguard Station is a distinctive red-roofed structure situated on the golden sands of Waimea Bay, serving as a vital safety hub and symbol of protection for beachgoers. πŸ–οΈπŸš‘

Also be careful of the shoreline breaks, which could be very powerful and dangerous when present.  Always ask the lifeguard about beach conditions and which part of the beach would be best for the activity you would like to do.

Getting to Waimea Bay 

The Waimea Bay Parking Lot provides convenient access to the beautiful Waimea Bay Beach, allowing visitors to easily park their vehicles and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and surf on Oahu's North Shore. πŸŒŠπŸš—Waimea Bay Parking Lot

 Directions from Waikiki:

The Waimea Bay Sign is a prominent landmark located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, welcoming visitors to the picturesque beach park known for its stunning views, world-class surfing, and beautiful natural surroundings.

From Waikiki , take the H-1 Freeway headed West…

Take the H-1 Hwy West to the H-2 Hwy North

Follow the H-2 Hwy to the Kamehameha Hwy (hwy 99)


Take Hwy 99 and continue into Haleiwa Town Or bypass Haleiwa Town, and continue on Hwy 99 and merge onto Hwy 83, which will lead you to the coastline.

As you continue on  Hwy 83, keep going until you see a park sign on your left hand side.

Turn into the parking lot and you are there!

Oahu Map of Waimea Bay

By Oahu Bus from Waikiki:

Take the 52 bus from Kuhio Ave to Haleiwa Town, and transfer to Oahu Bus number 88A or 60.  These Oahu Bus will take you  to the North Shore Beaches.

Note:  Bus # 88A travels from the Ala Moana Center around the North Shore and backdown the Windward (East) side of the island.

Ask the bus driver once again to notify you once you have arrived at Waimea Bay Beach Park.


The Waimea Bay Picnic Area offers a scenic and spacious spot for visitors to relax, enjoy a picnic, and take in the breathtaking views of the bay and surrounding natural beauty. 🌊🧺
Waimea Bay Facilities provide convenient amenities for visitors, including restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and lifeguard services, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience at this popular beach destination on the North Shore of Oahu. πŸ–οΈπŸŒŠ
  • Restrooms
  • Beach showers
  • Picnic bench tables
  • Grass area with shady trees
  • Life guard on duty
  • Free Parking Lot
Waimea Bay Park is a stunning beach park on the North Shore of Oahu, known for its beautiful sandy beach, crystal-clear waters, and world-renowned waves that attract surfers from around the globe. πŸ–οΈπŸŒŠ

Enjoy the grassy park area above that overlooks the bay.  There are a few benches sitting in the shade of the trees. It's a prime spot ready to enjoy a beautiful picnic.

In the Area

Waimea Falls Park

Waimea Falls is a majestic waterfall nestled within a lush botanical garden, offering visitors a serene and picturesque oasis to enjoy nature's beauty and take a refreshing swim. 🌿🌊

Waimea Falls Park – Extend your day of North Shore fun with a family stroll that ends at this stunning Oahu waterfall.  The walking trail is set along some beautiful botanical gardens as you make your way towards the Waimea Falls

This Best of Oahu waterfall is located directly across from Waimea Bay.  Make sure to bring your bathing suit so you can swim up to the legendary Waimea waterfall. Changing rooms and life jackets are on site, as well as lifeguards on duty.  Also spend a little extra time to check out the Hawaiian cultural activities as you enter the Waimea Valley estates.

Toa Luau at Waimea Bay

Toa Luau at Waimea Valley offers an immersive experience of traditional Hawaiian culture, featuring vibrant performances, delicious Polynesian dinner, and free admission to the beautiful Waimea Valley.

Tie on a visit to Waimea Falls Park with an evening luau dinner with cultural demonstrations and Hawaiian entertainment.  The Toa Luau includes your entrance to Waimea Valley & Waterfall.

Just make sure you give yourself enough time to get back in time for the festivities.  Note that this luau only takes place on Mon - Wed.  Learn more and reserve a spot...

Banzai Pipeline

The Banzai Pipeline is a world-renowned surf break on the North Shore of Oahu, famous for its massive and powerful waves that attract professional surfers from around the globe. πŸŒŠπŸ„β€β™‚οΈ

Ehukai Beach – more popular known as the Banzai Pipeline!  If the surfing action isn’t close enough for you at Waimea Bay , then head up the road to Ehukai Beach and watch surfers dropping into perfect barrels, that will feel like watching a 3-D movie.

The Banzai Pipeline curling waves are world renown and play a big part in the North Shore experience.  The trick to finding Ehukai Beach , is looking for the Sunset Elementary School , which is located right across the street.

Old Town Haleiwa

Haleiwa Town is a charming and laid-back surf town on the North Shore of Oahu, known for its quaint shops, art galleries, and delicious food, offering a true taste of the local Hawaiian culture. πŸ„πŸŒΊ

Old Town Haleiwa – before heading off to Waimea Bay Beach you might want to stop in the old town Haleiwa to checkout the North Shore rustic surf shops, local art galleries, enjoy a Matsumoto’s Hawaiian shave ice, and grab some lunch to take with you to the beach.

 Also consider stopping at Haweiwa Joe’s, Cholo's or other North Shore Restaurants for dinner, before making the journey back to town.

Waimea Heiau Ruins

The Waimea Ruins are ancient Hawaiian archaeological remains located on the Big Island, showcasing the history and culture of the region.

Waimea Heiau Ruins – Just above Waimea Bay is one of the most well preserved Hawaiian heiaus on the island, known as Puu o Mahaka State Monument.  Most of the outlying walls are still intact, giving you prospective on just how large the site was. 

You can drive up to this site which is a quarter mile up the road, or take a small hike up a trail that starts just beyond the entrance to the beach parking lot.  There are some nice views along the way and up top!

Return to Oahu Beaches

Return to Best of Oahu Homepage

Aloha & Enjoy!

Subscribe to receive Best of Oahu updates on events, updates, and new articles.  It's the closest way to paradise while you are away...

We will never sell or spam your information, and we'll respect your email privacy.