Kaneohe Bay Sandbar (Top Oahu Attractions & Sights), Oahu tours & activities, fun things to do in Oahu | HawaiiActivities.com
Top Oahu Attractions & Sights

Kaneohe Bay Sandbar

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This sandbar & its surrounding coral reefs are perfect for snorkeling, playing beach volleyball, having a lunch picnic & enjoying panoramic views of the Koolau Mountains & nearby islets. On the windward side of Oahu, this natural formation can be found at the center of reef-protected Kaneohe Bay. Depending on the tide, it can be covered with waist-high water or completely exposed, making a small beach. The sandbar is almost a mile away from shore, so you'll need a boat or kayak to get there.
Kaneohe Sandbar, Oahu's Best-Kept Secret: Your guide to this must-see natural Oahu attraction
Kaneohe sandbar in Oahu is a collection of exposed islets surrounding coral reefs—the only such place in all of Hawaii. This natural formation “Kaneohe Bay sandbar” can be found at the center of Kaneohe Bay on the windward side of Oahu amongst Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i island) and Coconut Island (Moku o Lo’e). This sandbar is protected by coral reef and shows up a beautiful bright white small beach only during lower tides and it can be covered with waist-high water or completely exposed during higher tides. This place is perfect for snorkeling, playing beach volleyball, having a lunch picnic & enjoying panoramic views of the Koolau Mountains & nearby islets. The sandbar is almost a mile away from shore, so you'll need a boat or kayak to get there. You won’t be able to finish your vacation without visiting Kaneohe Bay Sandbar which is one of the best things to do in Oahu!

What to Expect / Know before You Go
• There is no bathroom or place to change your clothes at the sandbar, so it’s better to wear your swimsuits before you get there.
• Don't forget sunscreen! There is no shade at the sandbar. If you bring kids, might be better to put a long sleeve rash guard. Bring a hat or umbrella for shade.
• You will need to take a boat or kayak to get to the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar and wade through water to embark. Wear beach shoes, sandals or flip flops.
• To protect the coral reef, please use “Reef-safe sunscreen”.
• No drones, pets, alcoholic beverages, or smoking is allowed at the sandbar.
• Please leave all the natural life undisturbed and do NOT take sand or coral. Also leave the wildlife and their habitat. You are required by state law to stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) from all sea turtles.
• Do not dig the sand or bury anything under it, as it will affect the wildlife in the area.
• You can bring your own drinks and snacks, but place all waste in trash cans and pack out them when you leave.

About the Location
Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is located about a mile from shore. If you want to go to the sandbar on your own, you'll need a boat or kayak. (You are required to hold a boating license issued by Kaneohe MCB Marina to rent and operate boats.) Kaneohe Sandbar tours can include pick-up service, snorkeling equipment, beach activities, and even BBQ! To save time and effort, booking a sandbar tour is the best and easiest way to enjoy your time at the sandbar.
To check the tide, click here, enter your planned date into “Time Control” and press “Go”.

How to get there
The nearest boat harbor to Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is Heeia-Kea Small Boat Harbor. It will take about 40-45 minutes to drive from Waikiki to the Boat Harbor (About 16 miles).
1. Head WEST on the H1 Freeway and take exit 20A to merge onto the Likelike Hwy (HI-63N).
2. Then, take the HI-83 (Kahekili Highway) ramp and merge onto the HI-83W.
3. Turn right onto Haiku Road and left onto Kamehameha Highway (HI-830).
4. After you pass the entrance to Heeia State Park on the right, you will see a boat harbor on your right. Turn in and park. Parking is free.

Fun Facts
• The Kaneohe sandbar itself is about 3 miles (4.8 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide.
• The sandbar is known as “Ahu O Laka”, meaning Altar of Laka, the God of Hula.
• The movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" was filmed at the Heeia Kea Harbor in Kaneohe Bay.

Pro Tips
• For a picturesque view of the Kaneohe Sandbar, book a helicopter tour that flies over Kaneohe Bay.
• Try Kayaking to Kaneohe sandbar for a fun way to enjoy being in the water! It usually takes about 30 minutes to kayak to the sandbar. Check out our kayak adventures!
• To make the most of your day at the sandbar, bring the following:
Sunscreen / Hat / Dry bag / Snorkel gear / Cooler / Beverages (No alcohol) / Snacks

FAQ
Q: What is a sandbar?
A: A sandbar is a landform found in water that is made entirely of sand, pebbles or silt. They often create tiny islands or land bridges, and act as a natural barrier against the tide.

Top-Rated Activities for Oahu

Latest reviews of Kaneohe Bay Sandbar

Great Trainer

2022/06/30 Families with Young Children Nikki

The trainer for paddle boarding is great! We don’t know his name. He is a very skinny guy, tan, looks like a local or asian like. He is very helpful!

Amazing! Favorite part of our trip!!!

2022/06/30 Families with Young Children Peter

This was the best excursion for my family. My kids got to snorkel, kayak, and play vball. Everyone had soooo much fun! The staff is amazing and the musician played the best oldies. I knew almost all the songs!!! It ended... more

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Disappointed

2022/06/30 Families Disappointed

The maps are not helpful. Once out of the cove, it was hard to find the landmarks to orient ourselves. Did not see any fish or turtles while snorkeling. The wind was so strong and guides did not give advice on how to n... more

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Fun and casual.

2022/06/30 Couples Teresa W.

Very relaxed environment, welcoming crew, and fun to be had by all ages. We snorkeled, played volleyball and had a great lunch, I would definitely do again.

A total MUST!!!

2022/06/29 Couples Roger

Second time and it always amazes me I will totally be back next year with my fam!!

First snorkeling for my boys and girls

2022/06/29 Families with Young Children Hyojin

My kids age ranging from 5-9 years and they loved it! Best lunch-cheeseburger ever. Time went by so fast when you are on the boat having fun, I’m glad I picked this one over the three hour one fyi. We will definitely be ... more

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Kaneohe Bay Sandbar (Top Oahu Attractions & Sights), Oahu tours & activities, fun things to do in Oahu | HawaiiActivities.com
This sandbar & its surrounding coral reefs are perfect for snorkeling, playing beach volleyball, having a lunch picnic & enjoying panoramic views of the Koolau Mountains & nearby islets. On the windward side of Oahu, this natural formation can be found at the center of reef-protected Kaneohe Bay. Depending on the tide, it can be covered with waist-high water or completely exposed, making a small beach. The sandbar is almost a mile away from shore, so you'll need a boat or kayak to get there.