Pupukea Beach Park
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59-727 Kamehameha Hwy · interesting places nearby
Pupukea Beach Park information
With deep-blue waters, a varied coastline and a mix of lava and white sand, Pupukea, meaning ‘white shell,’ is a very scenic stretch. The long beach encompasses three areas: Shark’s Cove to the north, Old Quarry in the center and Three Tables to the south. The waters off Pupukea Beach are all protected as a marine-life-conservation district.
The reef formation at Shark’s Cove provides an excellent habitat for marine life, including sea turtles, and is good for snorkeling. When seas are calm, this is a great area for water exploring, just make sure you always wear shoes to protect from sharp coral. Despite the cove’s name, the white-tipped reef sharks aren’t usually a problem; just keep your distance and don’t provoke them. One of Oʻahu’s most popular cavern dives is also accessed here. Some of the caves are very deep and labyrinthine, and there have been a number of drownings, so divers should only venture into them with a local expert.
The rock features at Old Quarry appear as if they were cut by human hands, but rest assured that they are natural. Coastal tide pools are interesting microhabitats, best explored at low tide during calm summer seas. Be careful, especially if you have kids in tow, because the rocks are razor sharp. There are showers and restrooms in front of Old Quarry; bus 52 stops out front.
The flat ledges rising above the water give Three Tables its name. In summer only, the area is good for snorkeling and diving. The best coral and fish, as well as some small caves, lava tubes and arches, are in deeper water further out. Access to Three Tables is just beyond Old Quarry, where there are a few unmarked parking spots.