Kauai North Shore Beach Park
Hanalei Bay is a gorgeous crescent bay ringed by a sandy beach. Four beaches make up this ring (outlined below), all with very diverse ocean conditions. The waves at Hanalei Bay draw surfers from neighboring islands to enjoy the surf. In the winter, rolling swells make Hanalei one of the most amazing surfing spots on the planet. When surf heights reach 20' Queens Reef in the outer bay begins to break. AT 30' King's reef further out begins to break aas well. Many people line up along the bay and overlooks in Princeville to watch the big surf. During more moderate surfing conditions; advanced surfers head out to the Bowl (located near the Princeville hotel) or to "middles" (in the middle of Hanalei Bay). Beginner surfers and boogie borders line up near the pier in knee-chest high surf to try their luck. Another popular location is at the mouth of Waipa Stream where the outruishing water creates some small swells, and surf lessons are often being given. Riding early morning glass (smooth surf) in Hanalei is a way of life for many north shore residents; however in the summer time the entirety of Hanalei Bay is too placid for surfing and it becomes a paradise for those who enjoy swimming and playing in the sand.
Even if you don't go in the water, Hanalei offers a striking mixture of green-draped mountains behind you and clear blue ocean in front. There is an annual sand castle building competition held in Hanalei where local keiki and adults craft some very impressive structures, seasonal moorings exist in the bay where yachts tie up for the summer, and it is fairly common to see dolphins in the bay in the calm months of summer. Because of the breath taking scenery and abundant activities, Hanalei Beach was voted one of the top 25 beaches in the United States by TripAdvisor.
Our Recommended Tours & Activities
Hanalei beaches from East to West are as follows:
"Black Pots" at the Hanalei Pier: This is where the Hanalei River empties into the ocean and is accessed at the eastern end of Weke Rd. The pier is a scenic place to take photographs of Hanalei Bay. It's a beginner surf spot, and a popular spot for local gatherings on the weekend. Black Pots is a good location to put a kayak in the water to either go upriver, or paddle out into the bay on a flat day. Heavy rain can cause the water to become cloudy becasue of the run-off from the river.
Many options are availiable for those interested in kayaking. You can rent a kayak to go out on your own, or take a guided river tour with a local company. The beach, accessed via Weke Road, has a lifeguard, toilet facilities, an outdoor shower, a large pavillion, and plenty of action for body surfers and boogie boarders. This is a classic sunset spot, and it is one of the most popular access points to Hanalei Bay.
Wai'oli Beach: There are three access points to Wai'oli Beach; all of them are turns off Weke Rd. From East to West they are called "Pine Trees", "Bathrooms" and "Grandpa's". The surf is often quite rough in the winter, but in summer time these areas can be very flat and calm. There is a large lawn at Pine Trees with picnic tables in the shade. "Bathrooms" is a parking area next to the bathroom and "Grandpa's" is the last turn on the west end of Weke Rd. Also with a nice lawn and shade. If you take a short walk to the west you will find Waipa Stream.
"Waikokos": This reef-protected beach is located between the 4 and 5 mile markers on Highway 560. Located on the far west side of Hanalei bay, this beach can be quite popular during moderate surf with locals. There is also a shallow protected area inside the reef here but it is used primarily as an access point for surfing rather than a place to swim because the water is very shallow here. The path to the beach is near the 15 mile per hour sign.