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
4.33
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

could have been better

2021/08/03 Couples Jess

when we went to check-in, they told us to wait for 2 hours because it's too windy. Our check-in time was at 8am and we had to wait until 10:30am. I would absolutely not recommend going in the morning because this side of... more

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Worth the time & money!

2021/08/02 Couples Kait & Sean

We took the morning tour and we got a lot of time to snorkel and hung out with 3 sea turtles (with a safe distance away of course!). I appreciate how our local staff emphasized the importance of keeping safe the reef & t... more

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Great staff

2021/08/02 Friends Lynne

Everyone was super helpful, friendly, and informative.

Great time!

2021/08/01 Couples Allison

From start to end this was a great day on the water! We had a great crew that operated the sandbar excursion flawlessly. On our day we had a bit of rain, however this did not prevent anyone from having fun. The food was ... more

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Awesome experience!

2021/08/01 Friends Michelle

Took 5 friends out with me to experience the sandbar for the first time! We had such a blast! Yuko was our captain and she was the absolute best! Some snacks and drinks were provided, you can BYOB. Floaties, snorkel gear... more

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AMAZING TRIP!! Definitely worth it!!

2021/07/31 Friends Justine

We took the free transportation that was offered, which was great.

Got to the boat and quickly got out in the bay. We had TONS of time at the sand bar. I recommend bringing a floatie or ball of ton want. We joined in... 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.