Hawaii · Travel

Hawaii (Day 7) – Makapuʻu Point + Waimanalo Beach

Our last full day in paradise was once again full of way too much fun and amazing views.  We wanted to get one more hike in so off to the Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail we went.

Makapuʻu Point is the most eastern point of Oahu, and is about 15-20 minutes from Hanauma Bay.  Shortly beyond Sandy Beach and past a golf course on the left, there is a large parking lot that leads to a paved trail overlooking the lighthouse.  The trail is about 1.4 mile one-way and is on a steady climb.  There are no facilities available so should plan accordingly.  There is also not much shade along the trail so wearing a hat and bring plenty of water is highly recommended.

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(View from the trail with Koko Head in the distance)
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(View from the trail)

While researching Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail online prior to our trip, I came across a few articles/posts talking about the Makapuʻu Tide Pools which immediately piqued my interest.  How cool of an experience would it be to be swimming in the tide pools formed by lava rocks, right?

We finally saw the tide pools and the rocky path leading down the mountain towards them right around the signs/information on humpback whales, about 2/3 of the way into the trail.  Even though we did originally plan to hike down to the pools like these guys in the picture below, unfortunately due to the very limited time we have remaining, we eventually decided to spend our last afternoon on the beach instead.  Guess we will just have to go back for another visit sometime!

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One thing I had mistakenly assumed prior to this hike was that the trail would take us all the way to the lighthouse.  Imagine my disappointment when I realized that it was not the case.  There was indeed another path leading to it, but unfortunately that’s closed off to the public.  Therefore we could only admire the lighthouse from afar.  In fact, I think we would’ve almost missed it altogether had we not been paying attention.

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(View from the top of the Makapuʻu Point Lookout)

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According to the information provided, the Molokai Channel runs right past the Makapuu Lighthouse, so this is also a great place to spot whales during whale watching season between December and May.  All along the way during our hike on this trail, we saw so many whales spouting all around on this beautiful day.  What a nice and special treat for us, especially for the kids!  They were just beyond excited about seeing the whales, even from such a distance.  Too bad I don’t have a fancy camera like the professionals do to capture any of it…another piece of beautiful memory to keep in our minds I guess.

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We asked everyone the night before if there was any one place that we want to visit again, and it was unanimously agreed that we should return to Waimanalo Beach, so we could spend our last day on doing more bodyboarding and wave jumping!

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We were very happy that our kids are strong swimmers so that they can have so much fun in the pretty strong surfs.  After jumping waves after waves for more than 3 hours, everyone was completely exhausted but oh what a blast we all had!

On the way back to Waikiki from Waimanalo, we made one last quick unplanned stop on a roadside lookout to snap a few pictures of Koko Head.  You could hike up to the top of this crater as well, but seeing those stairs leading all the way up to the summit just made me weak in the knees.  Therefore, I was plenty satisfied with simply seeing it from a distance.  🙂

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