Halona Beach Cove is one of Oahu’s most beautiful and somewhat secluded beaches, but it’s often overlooked by many people who visit Oahu.
Most people only stop by the lookout to view the Halona Blowhole, but if you’re looking for something fun to do you should check out Halona Beach Cove.
Although it requires a little work to get to, Halona Beach Cove is definitely worth the effort. The beach is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains.
How to get To Halona Beach Cove
You can get here by driving, Uber/Lyft, or taking the bus.
Our preferred method is driving there ourselves since we love to explore at our own pace.
Halona Beach Cove is located on Oahu’s southeastern side and is about a 20-minute drive from Waikiki.
- From Waikiki, take the I-H-1 E to HI-72
- Drive for about 17 minutes, then make a right at Halona Blowhole Lookout.
This route is by far one of our favorite scenic drives on the island of Oahu! You will have to see for yourself to understand what we mean. We don’t think photos do it enough justice.
You will need to get on Bus #1 or #23. Depending on where you are starting, you might need to make multiple transfers.
If you have to take the bus, #23 is better as it’s only a 23-minute walk as compared to the 46-minute walk if you take bus #1.
Make sure to use the Moovit app to confirm bus schedules.
Halona Blowhole Map
Parking at Halona Beach Cove
Parking for the Halona Beach Cove is very limited, and it can often be packed depending on when you show up.
This is the same parking lot you will use to view the Halona Blowhole.
The good news about this place is that most people only stop to view the blowhole and only a few hike down to the beach.
This means a parking spot should open up rather quickly if you wait on people to leave.
Path to Halona Beach Cove
The path down to the beach is a bit steep but very doable. It’s about a 2 to 5-minute walk from the parking lot to the beach.
Once you are parked at the Halona Blowhole Lookout, you will need to take a left (while facing the road) on the unmarked trail down to the beach.
We recommend wearing proper shoes as you are hiking through lava rock, but we saw some people wearing their trusty sandals. I wore my Keen hiking sandals and they did great.
Getting in the Water at Halona Beach Cove
The waves at Halona Beach Cove can get a bit rough, especially if the tide is high. I would only recommend entering the water if you are a strong swimmer and if the waves are calm.
The beach is great for sunbathing and swimming, although the safe area to swim is rather narrow. One person we chatted with here said the undertow was quite strong too, so we don’t recommend going out very far from the shore.
You can also snorkel here, but again we recommend not venturing out very far.
The best swimming conditions are when the wind is not blowing in from the East.
You can enter the water at the beach pictured below.
Facilities at Halona Beach Cove
There are no facilities at this beach, so please come prepared.
What to Bring to Halona Beach Cove
Food, water, reef-safe sunscreen or a rashguard, and a hat are a must when visiting this beach. Make sure to add these items to your Hawaii packing list.
We also recommend bringing snorkeling fins if you plan on swimming, as this will help you deal with any rough waters.
Movies Filmed at Halona Beach Cove
The Halona Beach Cove was made popular by famous movies since the 1950s.
In fact, the Halona Beach Cove is also known to many people as “Eternity Beach” due to its appearance in the movie “From Here to Eternity.”
Here’s a list of the movies filmed here:
From Here to Eternity– The famous love scene between Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster earned this beach the name Eternity Beach.
Pirates of the Caribbean– Halona Beach Cove was known as Whitecap Bay.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom– Parts of the movie were filmed at Halona Beach Cove.
If you’re visiting Halona Beach Cove, chances are you will also check out the Halona Blowhole.
This natural ocean phenomenon occurs when waves enter a sea cave and force air and water to escape through a small hole in the roof of the cave.
The blowhole can the viewed from the parking lot. There is a viewing area for the blowhole, which offers excellent views of Halona Blowhole and Halona Beach Cove.
Be aware of falling rocks: There is the potential for rocks falling in this area. Be cautious at all times.
Rough ocean conditions: As mentioned earlier, the waves at Halona Beach Cove can get pretty rough, especially if the tide is high. Do not swim far from the shore, and be aware of your surroundings.
Hiking through lava rock: The path down to the beach is steep, and it can be slippery when wet. Make sure to wear proper shoes.
No Lifeguard: There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach. Please swim with caution.
Get there early to beat the crowds: If you don’t like waiting for a parking spot, make sure to get there before it gets packed.
As an alternative, you can also visit towards the end of the day as many people leave. We got here around 5:00 PM and there were only a few cars in the parking lot.
What Else is There to Do in the Area?
I love the Halona Beach Cove because it’s easily accessible.
I can’t tell you how many times we passed this place while driving around the island, especially heading towards the windward side of Oahu.
Below are some things you can do before or after hanging out at the Halona Beach Cove:
Hike the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail- This is an easy hike in Oahu that offers fantastic views.
Visit Koko Crater Botanical Garden: This is one of the best botanical gardens on Oahu.
Hike The Lanikai Pillbox Trail: This hike is a bit more challenging but offers some of the best views on the island.
Visit Manoa Falls: If you want to see a waterfall close to the Honolulu area, be sure to stop by Manoa.
Halona Beach Cove: Frequently Asked Questions
Can you swim in Halona Beach Cove?
Yes, but be aware of the possibility for rough ocean conditions.
Does Halona Beach Cove have a lifeguard?
No, there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.
Can you hike to Halona Beach Cove?
Yes, there is a short path that leads down to the beach.
Why is it called Cockroach Cove?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but the name Cockroach Cove is mainly used by locals.
The Wrap Up
If you’re looking for a beautiful and secluded beach to visit on Oahu, Halona Beach Cove is worth checking out.
With its rocky coastline, sandy shore, and clear waters, this spot is perfect for sunbathing and light swimming and snorkeling. And if you’re lucky, you may even get to see some whales frolicking out in the sea!
Just be aware of the rough ocean conditions and falling rocks. You can also check out the Halona Blowhole while you’re there.
Mahalo for reading our post! Until next time, aloha, and happy exploring in Oahu!