Waianae Dolphin Coast (Top Oahu Attractions & Sights), Oahu tours & activities, fun things to do in Oahu | HawaiiActivities.com

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Waianae, located on Oahu's west side, is a beautiful coast along the Waianae Mountains lined with rural towns, a recreational boat harbor, and the Ko Olina resort area where you can find the Marriott, Four Seasons, and Disney Aulani hotels. Waianae stretches for 20 miles from Nanakuli to Makua Beach and offers great panoramic views of the sunset and pods of friendly wild dolphins jumping off shore.
History of Waianae

It is said that the great demi-god named Maui, a mythological Hawaiian superman, who fished the islands of Hawaii from the depths of the ocean, first settled here on the Waianae coast. With its abundant waters and nutrient rich soil, the ancient people of Waianae prospered as a bustling fishing community.

In 1778, Captain Cook first caught sight of Oahu’s Waianae Coast on his pacific journey, but continued on to Kauai instead. Soon after in 1811, European and American traders became interested in the untapped sandalwood trees of Waianae that would sell for a hefty sum to merchants in China and other Asian countries. The Hawaiian chiefs of the time quickly put everyone to work harvesting sandalwood at the unfortunate expense of neglecting the crops and fishing. The combination of a crumbling tribal infrastructure and exposure to outside disease plummeted the population of Waianae until only 800 native Hawaiians were left in the entire area.

The entire west coast of Oahu, including Waianae and its northern neighbor Makaha, went through a number of land ownership changes over the course of the century as numerous businessmen and companies sought to purchase the vast tracts of rich land. At one point in the 1880s, Benjamin Franklin Dillingham began building a railroad that would connect Waianae to Honolulu. The once arduous 35-mile trek via horseback had been reduced to a speedy two hour journey by rail. Although now defunct, you can still see the remains of the rails while driving along the Farrington Highway.

The commercialization of the area came to an end with the closing and liquidation of the Waianae Sugar Plantation. In 1946, their doors closed after a long and arduous battle between the owners and workers for water rights. Since sugar plantations require a large amount of water, the owners held a monopoly on the area’s water usage to the dismay of the many residents of Waianae.

Now the Waianae coast is one of the last remaining untouched areas of Oahu, offering pristine beaches and waters filled with marine life, including the often seen Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins that frolic in the early morning sun. As you head north past Makaha to Kaena Point, you will even see ancient caves concealing petroglyphs carved by Hawaiians hundreds of years ago.


Waianae Harbor is a popular departure point for many early morning dolphin swimming and watching tours, as well as a number of fishing boat charters. The Waianae Mall Shopping Center has all of the stores you will need to grab a book or stock up on food and refreshments before heading out to the popular Pokai Bay. Be sure to visit some of the local road-side vendors selling unique Hawaiian treats and food.
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    Availability varies by date for all activities.

  1. No.1
    Enjoy a relaxing eco-friendly dolphin watch cruise. Discover the beauty of West Oahu as you sail along the scenic coastline. Anchor up and jump in to snorkel the clear tropical waters. Includes continental breakfast, lunch and full bar service.
    Meal Provided


    3.5 hour(s) (morning)
  2. No.2
    Swim with wild dolphins in their natural habitat on a half day West Oahu snorkeling and ocean adventure. Enjoy ocean activities, including a 20-foot waterslide, stand-up paddle boards and more! Tour includes hula entertainment and snacks.


    Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri
    4.5 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  3. No.3
    Get ready to experience the best of Oahu on private snorkel cruise along the island's west coast. Climb aboard a 55-foot power boat and then swim with wild spinner dolphins, zoom down a 20-foot waterslide, watch hula dances, and enjoy tasty snacks!
    Pick-up Provided

    From USD2,900.00

    2.5 - 3.5 hour(s) (afternoon)
  4. Dolphin snorkel cruise is one of the top things to do in Hawaii! Oahu Dolphin Excursions lets you snorkel at two of the most spectacular dive spots along Oahu’s unspoiled West Coast. Make your dream come true and swim with graceful spinner dolphins!


    3.5 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  5. Experience a relaxing, family-friendly sunset cruise along the scenic west coast of Oahu. Sip on tropical cocktails and enjoy delicious appetizers, as you relax on board Hawaii Nautical's luxury catamaran. Free pick-up from Ko Olina Resorts!


    2.5 hour(s) (evening)
  6. See Humpback Whales along the scenic west coast of Oahu. Set sail with Hawaii Nautical on a top rated Oahu Whale Watching Sail. the unspoiled west coast provides the best whale watching opportunities on Oahu! Whale sightings guaranteed.


    Sun, Thu, Fri
    2.5 hour(s) (afternoon)
  7. Speed along in an ocean raft, watch for whales and then go for a snorkel on a tropical reef on this 3-hour whale watch and snorkel cruise. West Oahu provides some of the best ocean conditions for observing marine life above and below the surface.


    Sun, Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat
    3.5 hour(s) (afternoon)
  8. Cruise aboard the Dolphin Star! Watch dolphins play on Oahu's scenic west coast on a morning tour or add snorkeling to your adventure with an afternoon cruise! Great tour for families with kids.
    Pick-up Provided

    From USD72.00

    Family Discount
    2.5 - 7 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  9. Fly over the scenic west coast of Oahu on a 30-min helicopter tour taking off from Ko Olina. See views of Kaena Point, the Waianae Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean. Upgrade your experience to include an exclusive hike & a romantic sunset picnic.

    From USD235.00

    1.5 - 6 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  10. Enjoy the beauty of the ocean waters of west Oahu on this private charter! Mix and match your adventure with snorkeling, dolphin and whale watching, cruising the coast, fishing and floating on the "Magic Carpet" with a convenient Ko Olina departure.

    From USD2,617.80

    3.5 hour(s) (morning, afternoon)
  11. Embark on an epic private adventure to Oahu's rugged west-side as you explore the little known areas on the island's Leeward side on a small group tour. Leave the crowds behind as you visit this hidden corners of Hawaii.
    Pick-up Provided


    5 hour(s) (morning)

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