Also known as “The Gathering Place”, Oahu is the third-largest island of Hawaii and is home to majority of residents.
A combination of native, oriental and western cultures are rooted in the values and traditions of Hawaiians. It is this fundamental contrast between antiquity and modernity that makes the discovery of Oahu – from noisy city life to quiet surfing cities – so enjoyable.
You will find many ways to explore the different regions of Oahu as a solo traveller. It is the perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast, full of popular activities and attractions. Oahu’s diverse tropical landscapes, unique ocean views and a wide range of activities will highlight your adventurous side. Here are my 5 best activities to do on Oahu as a solo traveller.
Snorkel at Electric Beach
Electric Beach is ideal for snorkeling due to the clarity of the blue water and high population of fish. You will find Kahe Point Beach Park just above the Ko Olina Beach Resort on the west side of the island. What attracts so many fish is the clean warm water flowing from the pipes of the electric plant nearby, hence the beach’s nickname. There aren’t any life guards in the area so it is advised you’re a confident swimmer. There are snorkel tours which operate in the area perfect for weaker swimmers or solo travelers. If you do want to tackle it alone, enter the ocean from the small sandy beach near the pavilion then swim through the waves until you reach clear water. Before hopping in the water have a look at the water to locate where the large pipes are located underwater. They should be fairly easy to find as the water will look different, much like a hot spring. Once in the water swim towards this area. Keep in mind not to swim in front of the pipes, the water flowing out is incredibly strong and can be dangerous. On your snorkeling adventure you’ll be able to spot a range of beautiful tropical fish, green sea turtles, and most likely dolphins.
Challenge yourself at the Koko Crater Trail
Hiking the Koko Crater trail is high on every fitness junkies Oahu to do list. It’s also a local favourite, many making it apart of their weekly – or daily! – workout routine. With over 1000 steps to climb it’s the ultimate stair master challenge. The view at the top is well worth all the effort as you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of the surrounding area including Waikiki, Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head. The stairs were originally constructed as a rail road to transport goods to the Pillboxes at the top during World War 2. One of the more accessible hikes from Waikiki, you’ll easily be able to locate the start of the trail from the generous carpark. As it’s reasonably straightforward to get back down I recommend timing this hike for sunset, just be sure to bring a torch and watch your step of course!
Visit the mystical Manoa Falls
The 150 foot tall Manoa Falls is one of the more impressive waterfalls on Oahu. What’s more impressive is the hike to get there. Walk through Jurassic Park-like scenery, through doorways created from vine wrapped trees and past a sky high bamboo forest until you reach the falls. This hike is ideal for a solo traveler as it is frequently trafficked and easy to maneuver. Beat the crowds and go first thing in the morning. This temperature is generally cooler in this part of the island so is a fantastic option for beating those hot summer days. Unfortunately swimming isn’t permitted at the waterfall but it’s still a lovely place to unwind and relax.
Swim with turtles at Cockroach Cove
Turtles are frequently found off the shores of Oahu and can easily be found – if you know where to look. Before jumping in to the water with these quiet creatures it’s really important to note the Hawaiian green sea turtle is a protected species and must respectfully treated. Stay at least 2 yards from them at all times, don’t touch and please don’t race after them. You’ll find Cockroach Cove next to the Halona Blowhole, and while it doesn’t sound like a very appealing area, it will exceed your expectations in person. As it is a narrow cove the waves and currents can be strong. The turtles often come close to shore so even if you’re not a confident swimmer you can easily see them from the sand or nearby rocks.
Take a ride around Waikiki
Driving through Waikiki can be a headache at the best of times, and while walking is a great way to get around it can only get you so far. The best way to move around Waikiki is definitely via bicycle. There are Biki stations set up all over Waikiki, it’s as easy as signing up for the app, choosing your plan, typing in a code and you’re on your way. Just remember to return the bike to a station before your time limit runs out!
About the Author
Born and raised in Melbourne, Sarah Alexander refused to spend any more sunny days in an office. In April 2018 she quit her job to travel the world solo hiking one mountain at a time. Now a part-time adventure seeker, part-time travel writer you can catch her journey at whereissarahblog.com