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Kaneohe Sandbar

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Embark on a journey to the Kaneohe Sandbar with these exciting tours. Situated in the heart of Kaneohe Bay, this unique sandbar emerges as a beach or a waist-high aquatic playground, depending on the tide. From thrilling snorkeling adventures among vibrant coral reefs to beach volleyball and tranquil picnics with Koolau Mountains views, it's a must-visit in Oahu. Experience the stunning natural beauty of the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, accessible only by boat or kayak.
Why Visit the Kaneohe Sandbar
The Kaneohe Sandbar, a stunning natural formation in the center of Kaneohe Bay, is a must-visit on any trip to Oahu. This enchanting destination presents a fascinating blend of exposed islets and vibrant coral reefs, forming a captivating underwater world perfect for a snorkeling. The Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, a unique feature in all of Hawaii, transforms with the tide - from a secluded white sand beach during low tide to a waist-high, playful water haven during high tide. Nestled between Chinaman's Hat and Coconut Island, the sandbar provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. So whether you're seeking an Oahu sandbar adventure or the best snorkeling experience in Hawaii, the Kaneohe Sandbar ticks all the boxes.

Essential Information for Your Visit
  • There are no restrooms located at the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, but there are restrooms located at the Heeia Kea Small Boat Harbor and the Heeia Kea State Park. It is recommended that you wear your swimsuit to your check-in so you do not have to worry about changing when you arrive.
  • Don't forget sunscreen since there is no shade at the sandbar. Wearing a rashguard or long sleeve swimwear is recommended for guests, especially children, with sensitive skin. Hats and umbrellas are also recommended.
  • Since you will need to take a boat or kayak to the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, and wade through water once you are there, you should wear reef shoes, flip-flops, or sandals.
  • To protect the coral reefs and to ensure a healthy marine eco-system, be sure to use reef-safe sunscreen.
  • If you are looking to enjoy a cocktail or other refreshing beverage, it is important to note that the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) strictly prohibits alcoholic beverages at the Kaneohe Sandbar during State and Federal Holidays, including the weekend before the 4th of July.
  • Please leave all the natural life undisturbed, and do not take any sand or coral with you. You are also required by state law to stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) from all Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu).
  • While you are welcome to bring any snacks or drinks to enjoy while out on the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, be sure to pack up any trash and leave nothing behind.

About the Location
The Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is located about a mile from shore. If you want to go to the sandbar on your own, you will need a boat or kayak. While kayak rentals are readily available, you will be required to hold a boating license issued by the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Marina if you would like to rent and operate a boat.

Kaneohe Sandbar tours can include pick-up service, snorkeling equipment, beach activities, and even lunch! To save time and effort, booking a sandbar tour is the best and easiest way to enjoy your time at the sandbar.

The depth of the sandbar is completely dependent on the weather and tides, and you can check to see when the low and high tides are by clicking here.

How to get there
The nearest boat harbor to Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is Heeia-Kea Small Boat Harbor. It is about 16 miles away, and will take about 40-45 minutes to drive from Waikiki to the Boat Harbor. While parking is free, it is limited and only available in designated areas. Be sure to park in the proper parking spaces, and there is also street parking available outside of the harbor.

Fun Facts
  • The Kaneohe sandbar is about 3 miles (4.8 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide.
  • In ancient Hawaii, the sandbar was 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sandbar?

A sandbar, like the Kaneohe Bay 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.

How long is the Kaneohe Sandbar tour?

Tour duration will vary depending on the tour book, but range from three to four hours.

How do you get to the Kaneohe Sandbar?

You can easily reach the sandbar by boat or kayak. A boat ride will take about 10 to 15 minutes, and depending on the ocean conditions, kayaking can take anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.

Can you swim out to the Kaneohe Sandbar?

Due to the distance from shore, it is not possible for the average person to swim to the sandbar.

Are there sharks at the Kaneohe Sandbar?

Yes, but not to worry! Even though Kaneohe Bay is said to have hammerhead sharks, there have only been a few sightings, and no attacks have ever been reported. Kaneohe Bay Sandbar is one of the safest areas in the water around Oahu.

Is the Kaneohe Sandbar worth visiting?

Yes, most definitely! It is one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii with incredible views of the Koolau Mountains seen in the movie Jurassic Park. The sandbar is also very family-friendly and the shallow waters at the sandbar make it a must-do for any visit to Oahu.

What can you do at the Kaneohe Sandbar?

Whether you come at low tide or high tide, there are plenty of fun things to do at the sandbar. Not only can you simply swim and relax in the water, but you can also set up a net for a game of volleyball, kayak or stand-up paddle along the calm surface, and even go snorkeling at the nearby reefs.

Can you fly drones at the Kaneohe Sandbar?

Due to its close proximity to the Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base, it is not advised to use drones as they are not allowed within a certain distance to the base.

What is the best time to go to the Kaneohe Sandbar?

The tide is lower in the early morning, and the weather and ocean conditions are normally calmer as well.

Top-Rated Activities for Oahu

Latest reviews of Kaneohe Sandbar

Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Ocean Sports Adventure with Snorkel, Kayak, SUP & Live Music

2024 trip

2024/02/19 Families with Young Children Travis M

It was a great trip the crew was amazing the music was great the floating dock was nice my wife liked that the volleyball was super fun the snorkeling my kids loved .

Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Ocean Sports Adventure with Snorkel, Kayak, SUP & Live Music

Great for our large group!

2024/02/13 Families with Young Children Mia

We had a very large group of all ages and swim levels and everyone had such a great time! The crew was so nice and helpful. We would definitely go again.

Captain Bob's Kaneohe Sandbar Snorkel & BBQ Lunch with Free Transportation

Capt. Bob's was AMAZING!!

2024/02/09 Couples D. McCammack

The crew was awesome and very kind. They treated us like family and still gave us privacy to enjoy our trip to the Sandbar. I cannot say enough good things about the time we had. Great food, relaxing, adventurous, and fu... more

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Captain Bob's Kaneohe Sandbar Snorkel & BBQ Lunch with Free Transportation

Captain’s Bobs sandbar

2024/02/09 Friends Maria

It was truly one of my favorite things this trip. The crew were so nice and pleasant. The weather was a bit windy and the sandbar wasn’t fully out even with all that the experience was one of my favorites.
The crew hel... more

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Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Ocean Sports Adventure with Snorkel, Kayak, SUP & Live Music

Great fun, great singing, great crew.

2024/01/27 Families with Young Children Trubg

Even though the water was a bit chilly we had a lot of fun. The singing was sensational on the way there. We saw a bunch of big fish after walking a hundred steps, there were a lot more colorful ones near the corals. Aft... more

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Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Ocean Sports Adventure with Snorkel, Kayak, SUP & Live Music

Good morning

2024/01/27 Couples Mark

The staff were fantastic. The location was fantastic. Glad we only had about 35 people along. 100… their max is 100. It got a little crowded in the area they confine you too. I also did not like wearing the life preserve... more

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Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Tours | Book Oahu Tours, Activities & Things to Do with HawaiiActivities.com
Embark on a journey to the Kaneohe Sandbar with these exciting tours. Situated in the heart of Kaneohe Bay, this unique sandbar emerges as a beach or a waist-high aquatic playground, depending on the tide. From thrilling snorkeling adventures among vibrant coral reefs to beach volleyball and tranquil picnics with Koolau Mountains views, it's a must-visit in Oahu. Experience the stunning natural beauty of the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, accessible only by boat or kayak.