Turtle Beach – Laniakea Beach (explore, look for turtles & watch the big waves)

Laniakea Beach known locally as Turtle Beach is a popular beach area to spot the green honu turtles that rest in the area. Located on the mid section of the North Shore just a few miles north of Haleiwa town, Laniakea Beach is family friendly and easy to visit to see the turtles or just have a fun time hanging out and exploring the beach park. The name of Laniakea beach translates into wide sky and when you visit and look out towards the horizon, you’ll see the majestic skies clear or lit up with clouds that make a dramatic impact on the landscape.

The beach is also nicknamed turtle beach for the local residents of the beach area, the honu or green sea turtles which tends to enjoy soaking around the warm beach sands and almost looks like the many small boulders that dot the landscape around the beach area.

The beach park is part of the 7-mile miracle the area around the North Shore that gets impressive waves that come to this area during the winter time. This draws in huge crowds to the area around Laniakea and surrounding beaches to watch surfers and surfing competitions that happens and brings in surfing fans from around the world.

Turtle Beach - Laniakea Beach (explore, look for turtles & watch the big waves)

Explore Turtle Beach

The beach area at Laniakea is nice and wide and extends all the way out to Chun’s Reef which is a popular snorkeling spot and beach area that has nicer sands compared to the majority of Laniakea that has a limestone shelf and not really a beach area.

The swimming isn’t great at Turtle beach due to rip currents and the beach rock that lines most of the near shore waters including a limestone shelf the is a large part of the beach area.  Beyond the reef, the area is popular for surfing.  Diving and fishing are also commonplace here.  Neighboring Bayview Beach is more popular for swimming as it is more protected and boasts a sandy bottom.

Explore Turtle Beach

A hang out for honu or green sea turtles

The green turtles are drawn to visiting Laniakea for the food found in the area that they eat like the  local kelp and sea moss on the rocky shores that draw in turtles to feed in the area.

The green turtles have been placed on the endangered list from being hunted down so you should give them plenty of space to find their spots or when swimming in the waters. You can see the turtles but don’t touch or get too close to them since they are cannot adapt to human viruses that can easily harm them.

There are typically turtle volunteers at the beach area helping to rope the beach park where the  turtles are lounging. These volunteers are happy to help and educate you with answering any questions about these endangered animals.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop 

Beach comb down to Chun’s Reef

Further down from the shelf area and about a hundred yards away from the rocky area shorelines where the turtles congregate, you’ll find Chun’s Reef. This is a nicer sandy beach area that is a better part of the beach that you can do some swimming and snorkeling .

Always check in with the lifeguards stationed on duty to find out about latest conditions and what areas are safe to swim and snorkel in.

This area is also a popular surfing spot with local surfers that love the isolation and waves that occur here when there are north shore swells that happen in the area.

Beach comb down to Chun’s Reef

Facilities at Turtle Beach – Laniakea

Facilities are more limited at Turle beach but there is a lifeguard station to watch out for swimmers and surf safety in the area.

Bathrooms and showers – none

Life guard station – located at Chun’s beach area

Parking – available across road

Shady areas – in some areas

Concessions – none

How to get to Laniakea Beach

How to get to Laniakea Beach

By Car – From Haleiwa drive down the Kamehameha Hwy 83 about 2.1 miles or less than five minutes from town. You’ll find the parking area off to the right of the beach park, be careful in crossing this busy roadway.

Tips to visiting Laniakea Beach

Parking is across the road with limited parking area so plan on getting here early, the new parking area is more in tune with safety precautions on visiting the beach park.

Swimming is not always easy but doable mostly in the summer months when the water is calmer to enter.

A better area to actually swim or snorkel would be at Chun’s Reef where there is a lifeguard station. You can ask them where to enter the water safely and what the conditions are for the day

Hang out late in the day and you’ll get to enjoy some gorgeous sunset views at Turtle Beach

Hang out late in the day and you'll get to enjoy some gorgeous sunset views at Turtle Beach

Other places to visit in the area

Check out these other popular attractions in the area you can also explore and do a drive if you have more time to visit.

Haleiwa Town on the North shore of Oahu

Haleiwa Town

This popular old plantation was once a sleepy western town on the edge of the North Shore and now a bustling tourist heavy place that hosts trendy shops, swim/dive shops, art galleries and quite a few food truck courts is the place to hang out in the North Shore.

It’s a fun area to walk around and grab a bite to eat or do some fun shopping before heading out to explore the North Shore area.

Check out our post on visiting Haleiwa here for more information and images.

Banzai Pipeline

Banzai Pipeline

A little further north towards Ehukai Beach is the famous Banzai Pipeline, known for the notorious water tunnels that develop from big swells that happen during the winter time. This is a popular time to visit and watch advanced surfers and pros converge for the big surfing events of the Vans Triple Crown surfing competition early December to January timeframe.

Check out our post on visiting the Banzai Pipeline here for more information and images.

Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu

Waimea Bay

A short drive from Laniakea beach brings you towards Waimea Bay and beach park, one of the most popular beach areas to enjoy in the North Shore. You’ll enjoy the expansive crescent shaped beach for water adventures like swimming, snorkeling, fishing or even jumping from the iconic rock.

Winter time brings the big waves for visitors to check out the surfers all along the coastline and surfing competitions that are very popular to watch in this area.

Check out this post on visiting Waimea Bay and what to do here.

Sharks Cove on the North Shore of Oahu

Sharks Cove

A family friendly beach area in the North Shore that is a popular spot for snorkeling with protected lagoon areas filled with gorgeous coral, tropical fish and occasional marine life in the area. There’s a nice grassy and beach area along with the tidepools and lagoons to explore here.

If you are looking for more beaches to explore, check out my post on visiting the best beach and snorkeling spots in the North Shore here for more inspiration and images.

Conclusion on exploring Turtle Beach – Laniakea Beach

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