There really isn’t a beach in Waikiki that is known as a location where tons of turtles frequently come up onto shore and lay on the beach. (Unlike the North Shore of Oahu where there is a turtle beach!)
There is what’s called the “turtle canyons” off of Waikiki. This is more so about having a greater chance to swim with turtles as you are snorkeling in Waikiki, and it requires a boat to get to. (There are Waikiki snorkeling tours to go swimming with turtles.)
But, there is another area of Waikiki where turtles are known to frequently be swimming and you can see them without stepping foot in the water!
So if you’re looking for a “turtle beach” in Waikiki, you can try Fort DeRussy Beach!
🐢👆 Spot Diamond Head! Spot the turtles in Waikiki!
The turtles may or may not be at Fort DeRussy Beach!
There is a spot on the southern side of Fort DeRussy Beach where turtles are commonly spotted.
The Fort DeRussy Beach pier is one of the most reliable spots in Waikiki that you can go for the chance to see turtles swimming from shore.
That said, they are wildlife (wild marine life) so they do what they want!
There is no guarantee that they will be there when you go.
That said, I saw them in 2017 when I went, and I also saw turtles at the pier again when I went looking for them in 2022!
Where to see turtles in Waikiki at Fort DeRussy Beach
In short, the sea turtles are frequent visitors along Waikiki’s shores to the very LEFT side of Fort DeRussy Beach, as you are facing the ocean.
This is directly in front of Steak Shack.
It’s the side of the Outrigger Reef hotel, and it’s on the opposite end of the beach from Hilton Hawaiian Village.
You want to go to the Fort DeRussy pier that is in front of the Outrigger Reef hotel!
There are also some popular Waikiki Beach food spots, including Steak Shack, Banan, and Tropical Tribe.
It’s the pier directly in front of these food spots that you want to walk out on the pier to see if you can spot some turtles swimming in the water!
This area is also known as a spot that can be perfect to watch the Waikiki fireworks.
Respect the HONU!
Honu = turtle. Or more specifically, it refers to the green sea turtle. (See more Hawaiian words you’re likely to come across during your Hawaii vacation.)
People who live in Hawaii take the safety of turtles very seriously! In short, show the turtles respect! This means allow them to rest in peace, and try not to bother them or get too close to them.
What the State of Hawaii wants you to know when you see a turtle in Hawaii:
NOAA and DLNR recommend, for your safety and the animals’ protection, that everyone stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) from all sea turtles.
If maintaining this distance isn’t possible, keep safety in mind and move away from the animal as carefully as possible, avoiding sudden movements and other actions that might disturb the animal.
Law enforcement can be serious about people disturbing marine life in Hawaii. There has even been a case where a tourist was fined $1,500 for not respecting marine life that included a turtle.
What the Hawaii Wildlife Fund wants you to know about the resting zone for Hawaiian green sea turtles:
Show respect to the turtles.
Give the turtles more space when they are exiting and entering the ocean.
Please do not disturb the turtles. (Speak softly, keep dogs away, turn your camera flash off.)
How to view Hawaiian green sea turtles respectfully in Waikiki:
- Give turtles space
- Look only, and don’t touch the turtles
- Never feed the turtles
Hawaiian green sea turtles are said to be native to the Hawaiian islands.
The State of Hawaii considers green sea turtles to be a threatened species. There are also hawksbill sea turtles that are said to be less commonly sighted in Hawaii, and these types of turtles are considered to be an endangered species.
Read more about sea turtles in Hawaii:
More below about what your trip to Fort DeRussy Beach to see turtles in Waikiki can be like!
Here's some info on Oahu trip prep!
- Things to do in Waikiki without a car (for views!)
- Hawaii packing list: THE top things to pack for Hawaii
- Swim with turtles at Turtle Canyons from Waikiki
There are affiliate links on this page.
IMPORTANT!!! If you have plans to do the Diamond Head hike, be sure to check the Hawaii State Parks website before you go. As of May 2022, you must make reservations for Diamond Head.
And if turtles and other wildlife in Hawaii:
- Where to see turtles on the North Shore Oahu
- Where to see turtles on Maui
- Where to see Hawaiian monk seals on Maui
- Where to see turtles on the Big Island
A bit more about getting to see the Waikiki turtles at Fort DeRussy Beach!
I went to Fort DeRussy Beach in 2017 and 2022.
You can get to this part of Waikiki Beach by taking the Oahu bus. The nearest bus stop will be a couple of minutes away.
Or, depending on where you’re staying and how much you’re willing to walk, you can of course just walk!
Whether you’re arriving by bus or arriving by foot from street side, you will look for the path to Fort DeRussy Beach Park.
If you take the path near the Outrigger Reef, then once you arrive at the beach, the pier will be directly out in front of you!
Or, if you are coming from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, then you can walk the sidewalk directly along Waikiki Beach to get from the Hilton Hawaiian Village to this Waikiki pier!
👆 You can walk along Waikiki Beach to get from Hilton Hawaiian Village for a chance to see turtles. This is looking in the direction of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
So you will walk out onto the walkway that juts out into the ocean.
Then, you can look for turtles!
And even if you don’t see turtles, you can definitely get a great view of Diamond Head!
But hopefully you will see turtles in Waikiki!
👇 Spot the sea turtle swimming in Waikiki!
I also saw a turtle swimming away the pier towards Hilton Hawaiian Village.
So if you are snorkeling in Waikiki at Fort DeRussy Beach, you might see turtles too!
👆 Spot the turtle swimming away towards Hilton Hawaiian Village! (the blob in the middle 😜)
And also if you don’t see turtles, it can be a nice walk along the Fort DeRussy boardwalk to the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Or, you can buy some food and then eat at the beach, one of the Fort DeRussy Beach Park tables, or the grassy area of the park!
And so Fort DeRussy Beach is one of the best places to go for a chance to see turtles swimming in Waikiki!
There is also the turtle canyons in Waikiki, and that’s where you’ll want to go if you want a chance to SWIM with turtles! This is the best chance to be able to go swimming with turtles in Waikiki.
See more about the turtles canyons in Waikiki.
Otherwise, you have chances to swim with fishies in Waikiki at some Waikiki snorkeling spots.
HAPPY TURTLE SIGHTING IN WAIKIKI!
See the list:
- Things to do on Oahu (for VIEWS!)
- Things to do in Waikiki (for VIEWS!)
There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.
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!
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.
More for your Oahu packing list
- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- Essentials to pack for Hawaii
- Best shoes for Hawaii