Free Activities on Oahu, Hawaii

Free Activities on Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii has a reputation for being an expensive place which is generally true. Luckily, however, Oahu has plenty of free activities for visitors, such as snorkeling at one of the island's many beaches or hiking along some of the numerous trails that dot the island.

Watch the Humpback Whales

If you happen to be visiting between December and April, consider watching for humpback whales. Every year whales migrate to Hawaii's warm waters to give birth to their young and also to breed. These massive creatures can easily be viewed from shore, where you can see their blows as they come up for air, and watch them breach and perform other behaviors. One of the best places on Oahu to watch whales from shore is at Lanai Lookout, which is an overlook with a perfect vantage point for looking out over the ocean.

Lanai Lookout
Kalanainaole Highway
Honolulu, HI 96825

Snorkel at Shark's Cove

Hanauma Bay is the most well known area for snorkeling on Oahu, but it can be crowded and you would have to pay for parking as well as an entrance fee to the park. If you are visiting Oahu in the summer, consider traveling up to the North Shore to Shark's Cove. It is one of the best snorkeling and shore diving sites on Oahu and has only a fraction of the crowds found in Hanauma Bay. The entrance to Shark's Cove is very rocky, however once you are in the water keep an eye out for tang, wrasse, trigger fish, surgeon fish, eels, turtles and numerous invertebrates.

Shark's Cove
59-611A Ke Iki Road
Haleiwa, HI 96712

Hike to a Waterfall That You Can Swim Under

If your idyllic dreams of Hawaii involves swimming under a waterfall, then consider hiking to Maunawili Falls. The trail to the falls is located in Kailua on Oahu's windward side. Simply park along residential Lola Road and look for the gate for the trail. The trail will take you through lush tropical greenery, past coffee plants, heleconia, wild ginger and banana palms. The trail is roughly one and a half miles each way with an ascent of 500 feet, however it does require several stream crossings. Eventually you'll get to a waterfall which falls 25 feet down into a small, freshwater pool. Make sure to wear some good hiking shoes as the trail can be difficult to traverse at times. In addition, pack plenty of mosquitos repellant. If you do decide to swim in the water, be sure that you don't have any open cuts as leptospirosis is prevalent.

Maunawili Falls
Kelewina Road
Kailua, HI 96734

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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Nice easy flat trail that leads to beautiful red rocks.
Stunning hike but extremely steep and tiring! Bring plenty of water.