Your Destination Guide to Oahu

Destination Guide Oahu - Your Destination Guide to Oahu, HI

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Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove
Shark's Cove

© Luke H. Gordon

Don't let the name fool you, this exciting cove houses anything but sharks. At Shark's Cove, you will find a beautiful serene turquoise ocean packed with sea life and framed by jagged lava rock. Part of an 80-acre Marine Life Conservation District and protected wildlife area, Shark's Cove stands out as a unique spot because of its rock formations and the diverse marine life.

Shark's Cove offers fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving during the summer months (typically April through September) because of the calm water. Most people enter the water from the left side, so if you want a less-crowded entry, try heading to the right. Entry can be awkward over the lava rocks, but you're in for a treat once in the water. All types of fish make this cove their home, including the occasional turtle, octopus, and other marine life not typically found at other popular beaches. Float around in the warm water and enjoy the tropical wildlife below.

Scuba divers find this shallow cove still offers a wonderful and interesting dive. A good dive for beginners, you don't have to go far or very deep to see much because of the array of chasms and caves.

As for the ominous name, local legend tells that divers years ago named it Shark's Cove because it sounded more exciting than "the cove right of Pupukea Beach." Another popular story suggests that the name came from the outline of the jagged rocks and their resemblance to sharks when seen from above. However, some white tipped reef sharks do call this cove home. These sharks are generally not aggressive, so if you do see one, watch from a safe distance instead of approaching.

Attraction Information

  • Location:
  • Shark's Cove is located on Oahu's North Shore. Head east past Haleiwa, and less than a mile past Waimea Bay you can see a parking lot overlooking a bunch of jagged rocks – Shark's Cove. Park the car and follow the paths down to the beach area. Be sure to get there early to guarantee a parking spot.
  • Hours:
  • Open all day, though it's encouraged to go during daylight hours. Shark's Cove is closed during winter months (typically October through April) because of the high surf and dangerous currents.
  • Admission:
  • Free for all. Parking is free. No dogs allowed.
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