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?!

Laniakea Beach - Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii. Best Oahu beaches to see turtles on North Shore. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Turtle Beach Oahu: Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii, turtle beach honolulu. Laniakea Beach. Turtle Beach, Hawaii. north shore oahu turtles. Best time to see turtles sunset on North Shore Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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?

Laniakea Beach - Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii. Best North Shore beaches on Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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.


Laniakea Beach - Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii. Best North Shore beaches to see turtles on Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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.


Laniakea Beach - Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii. Volunteering when there are turtle sightings on North Shore Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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!




More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!

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

Laniakea Beach - Best time to see turtles on Oahu Hawaii. Turtle Beach at sunset, North Shore Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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…


Laniakea Beach - Best time to see turtles on Oahu Hawaii. Tracking turtle sightings. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


  • 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…


Laniakea Beach - Best North Shore Oahu beaches for sunset in Hawaii. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


At least you can still make the trip worth it because of being able to see a sunset on the beach!


Laniakea Beach - Best North Shore Oahu beaches for sunset in Hawaii. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog


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.

See more about getting around Oahu by bus, and best things to do by bus from Waikiki.


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:


See more turtles in Hawaii:




Laniakea Beach - Where to see turtles in Oahu Hawaii. Best time to see turtles on North Shore Oahu. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog



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