If you’re head to Oahu, then one of the top things you want to do might be to see turtles when you’re in Hawaii!
Where to see turtles on Oahu?!
Well, it IS possible to see turtles on Oahu, but the number one thing to remember is that this is wildlife!
And what does that mean?!
It means that even in spots that are said to be commonly visited by sea turtles, there’s no 100% guarantee that you will see a turtle when you go.
So it’s good to manage your expectations so that you won’t leave disappointed in case you leave Oahu without spotting a turtle!
Now, all that said…
There are a few spots on Oahu in which can be more reliable areas to see turtles.
And one of those places…
Are there turtles at Turtle Beach on the North Shore?
Well, Laniakea Beach on the North Shore of Oahu is also called Turtle Beach.
And indeed it is called Turtle Beach because there are relatively frequent turtle sightings at this beach.
So if you’re looking for a beach on Oahu to visit that might give you a relatively decent chance of spotting a turtle.
There are also times during the day which may give you a better chance at spotting turtles on this North Shore beach too.
But before that…
Respect the honu!
In Hawaii, it’s important that you respect the honu aka the turtles.
There are 3 main things that will be important to know when making a visit to Laniakea Beach.
1. Stay at least 10 feet away from the turtles
2. Don’t touch the turtles
3. Don’t feed the turtles
When you’re at Laniakea Beach, you might see volunteers.
They are there to answer any questions you may have about turtles in Hawaii, and to also help make sure everyone respects the honu!
You may also see ropes too which are there to help you know what an appropriate distance too keep from the turtles is.
Also be sure to show respect any time you see turtles on Oahu, whether it’s when you’re snorkeling or swimming and spot a turtle, or it’s when you see them laying on the beach!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
PLUS... Oahu tour, or on your own: Can you visit Pearl Harbor without a tour?
When is the best time to see turtles on Laniakea Beach?
So according to the local turtle conservation group, there are a number of turtles that make regular visits to Laniakea Beach.
And often times, these turtles make regular visits around the same time.
And based on the past habits of these turtles that are commonly spotted at Laniakea Beach…
Turtle Beach at sunset
If you had to pick one time during the day to test your luck to see turtles in Oahu on the North Shore, you might make it sunset!
Among some of the turtles that are tracked that make visits to this beach…
- One is said to be at sunset 85% of the time (Turtle Olivia Dawn)
- Another is said to usually arrive in the afternoon but also like to be on the beach after sunset (Turtle Punahele)
- Another is said to stay past sunset 60% of the time (Turtle Hiwahiwa)
And, the bonus with choosing to go to Laniakea Beach at sunset is that even if you don’t manage to see a turtle…
At least you can still make the trip worth it because of being able to see a sunset on the beach!
Of course, this isn’t to say that sunset is the ONLY time to see turtles.
There are more turtles, and they can make an appearance at any time throughout the day!
So if you happen to be in this area of the North Shore, it may be worth a visit to stop by.
Parking and traffic are said to be a problem around here though, so just be prepared for that. (It’s about managing your expectations!)
Waikiki to the North Shore
If it’s your first trip to Oahu, there’s a good chance that you will be staying in Waikiki, or somewhere nearby.
Waikiki is the main tourist hot spot on Oahu where most of the hotels the island are located, along with a few hostels.
If you are staying in Waikiki, the North Shore is a bit of a trip from Waikiki, so it’s best to plan it as a day trip or part of a circle island road trip.
You can rent a car to go to the North Shore, and this will be about a 1 hour drive.
You might encounter traffic on the North Shore as it’s just one lane in each direction.
You can also take the bus from Waikiki to the North Shore.
The bus may take you a good 2 hours one way though – but if you go for it with a good attitude and you don’t mind walking a lot it’s not so bad! (I took the bus to the North Shore!)
You can also rent bicycles on the North Shore too – near the food trucks right near the Shark’s Cove snorkeling spot can be a good place to find bikes.
And that’s a bit about Turtle Beach on Oahu’s North Shore!
See more things to do on the North Shore to make the trip worth it, including:
- The North Shore pillbox hike with ocean views
- The North Shore marine life conservation district (aka good snorkeling spot)
- Another North Shore snorkeling spot for beginners
- The North Shore waterfalls + botanical gardens spot
- And MORE!
See more turtles in Hawaii:
HAPPY TURTLE SIGHTING ON OAHU!
Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Oahu maps for tourists!The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip to Honolulu!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on the Oahu:
- Sailing the ocean on a Hawaiian canoe to a small island
- Hidden gems of Oahu circle island tour + North Shore snorkeling
- Kayaking the ocean to a small island
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight: Oahu waterfalls, mountains, and valleys including the North Shore and Sacred Falls
- Sunset cruise on the ocean