If sharks are your thing, you’ve gotta get to Shark’s Cove on the North Shore of Oahu. This also happens to be the part of Oahu that’s famous for its world-class surfing. Another thing it’s known for? Scuba diving. In fact, Shark’s Cove is rated one of the “Top Twelve Shore Dives in the World” according to Scuba Diving Magazine. The signature rocky bay is part of Pupukea Beach Park, highlighted by the clearest blue water you ever want to see. The sea life alone is worth the trip here.
Comprised of smooth boulders and coral heads that make up a variety of cool caves and ledges, you’ll be amazed at all the diverse marine life that hides in the nooks and crannies here. The calm water near the surface brings schools of fish to marvel at. Head to the south side of Shark’s Cove and you’ll come across the Pupukea tide pools – perfect for kids to explore at their leisure.
Shark’s Cove is awesome, to be sure – but it can also get pretty crowded for this very reason. Once immersed in the water, the crowds don’t seem as invasive though. Situated between Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline, this means Shark’s Cove can get a little rough. Because these are the same waters that make for intense surfing, be sure to check the surf and the currents before you head out. Large swells? Stay away. You’ll most likely see these between October through April, which is considered peak surfing season on Oahu. Therefore, Shark’s Cove is best visited in summer.
Nearby, Kuilima Cove is a wise choice if the swells at Shark’s Cove are high. It’s more calm and protected here thanks to the shielded shoreline. Good news, too – it’s only about 15 minutes away. Back to Shark’s Cove: be sure to bring water shoes or at least flip flops, as the shoreline is not made up of smooth sand. It’s fairly rocky, so protect those feet. Venturing out further into the bay, you’ll find it drops off up to 15 feet deep. Strong swimmers should have no problem with the depth.
Because the small parking lot here tends to fill up rapidly, get to Shark’s Cove early, at least by 9 a.m., so you’re guaranteed a spot. You don’t have to walk far – the lot overlooks the beach below. Just be sure not to leave valuables in you rental car – here or anywhere else you park in Hawaii.
Shark’s Cove is a wonderful destination if you’re looking to get up close and personal with fish such as butterfly, parrot, damsel, surgeon, trigger and goat. You’ll also find jacks, mullet, cornet and needle fish, eels, turtles, crustaceans, and invertebrates on your scuba diving excursion. Bring a change of clothes and some food for a picnic. There are public restrooms here for your convenience, as well as showers. Just be careful, as there are no lifeguards. If you forgot essentials such as snacks and sunscreen, there are shops across the street from the parking lot.
For more fun, head to Oahu and call us at Hoku Hawaii Tours. We have an amazing Eco-Adventure Tour you and your family and friends are sure to love.
Check out our tour video!