Kayaking On Oahu: Tours & Rental Options For Your Water Exploration

12/12/2017 | by Conrad O'Connell | Oahu Things To Do

Paddling some of Hawaii’s most exciting and iconic waterways is an experience everyone should have at least once. Whether you like the slow and meandering sleepy backwaters through dense and luscious jungles or to visit waterfalls, you can take a morning paddle through some of the calmest and clearest waters in the entire Aloha State.

Kaneohe Bay

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/33939060635
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/33939060635

Every kayaker appreciates the calm and collected waters of this sheltered and shallow bay found on the eastern side of Oahu. Kaneohe Bay first formed after Ko’olau, a massive and ancient volcano, collapsed into the sea, which encompassed over 17 square miles. Dip your paddles through the crystalline waters and see one of Hawaii’s two barrier reefs. You also have two tiny islands off the coast. One is called Moku o Loe or Coconut Island, and the second one is called Mololii or Chinaman’s Hat.

Any hardcore fans from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies will visit the on-site location from where the scenes were shot. The bay was also used for the film, “On Stranger Tides,” a 2011 classic.

Kailua Bay & Lanikai

“Kailua Bay” by JamesZ_Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Kailua Bay” by JamesZ_Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Living as close neighbors on the Windward Coast of Oahu, Kailua Bay and Lanikai promise azure waters with reachable offshore islands worth the visit. Hawaii manages them both as seabird sanctuaries, and Kailua Bay hands out access from Kailua Beach. you will find this in the town known as Kailua. Here you have an increasing number of rental shops for kayaks. You can easily come out and wander the lush beauty of Popoia, which sits as a one-mile round trip, starting from shore.

If you want access to Lanikai’s ocean, you will find it between corridors and houses within a residential neighborhood. It hands you the most direct route to get there. You might do this from the ever-popular twin Mokulua Islands. Both of these islands look bigger than Popoia.

Kahana River

Looking for stunning rainforest views and unforgettable waterfall scenes in the background. If so, you need to check out Kahana River. It sits along Oahu’s Windward Coast, and empties out into the Pacific Ocean. For those all about tranquil experiences, none will rejuvenate you like the Kahana River. In Hawaiian, Kahana means, “Turning Point.” With this trip, you have a two-mile round trip excursion, and you will see everything from the beaches of Oahu to the Ko’olau Mountains.

Wailua River

“Kayaking on the Wailua River Kaua'i (HI) October 2014” by  Ron Cogswell  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0
“Kayaking on the Wailua River Kaua’i (HI) October 2014” by Ron Cogswell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Visiting during the rainy season, you might find the trail a bit muddy, but the kayaking in itself remains some of the most exhilarating and adrenaline pumping action in all of Oahu. During rainy reason, you should bring water shoes, or some shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Taking a guide on this tour can be useful because you learn about the local wildlife you might see while kayaking. You can even wade into the waterfall here and experience the perfection of mother nature. On Wailua River, you will also have the option to hike if you desire it. This stunning trek on the Wailua River hands you some of the most spectacular beauty. The river does have a slight current. Taking the river is the only accessible way of getting to the 100-foot waterfall called Uluwehi Falls.

Why Consider Kayaking Tours?

You should consider a kayaking tour because a tour guide can give you a little more knowledge about the region. Also, some of the guides can be as interesting as the tour itself. A kayaking tour guide will also have local knowledge about the area so that you understand what it is that you’re looking at. In addition, a guide goes a long way in helping to keep you safe because they understand the local dangers better than a tourist. Especially if you’re a first-time paddler, a guide can instruct you on the different paddling techniques and teach you about ocean environment safety. Lastly, a guide will be trained to help you in the event that something goes wrong.

How to Schedule An Oahu Kayaking Tour

Occasionally, tours get canceled for safety reasons because of high winds. We always suggest our guests schedule one of these tours for their first or second day of their stay. In that way, if the tour gets canceled, you can reschedule it for a different day while staying in your Oahu vacation rental home.

Kayaking on Oahu is unlike anywhere else in the world. You have dream-like landscapes with hills and volcanoes in the background. Meanwhile, you might see the local sea turtle population, whales and dolphins or the Hawaiian monk seal. This island has some of the richest biodiversity in the world, and it has become one of the go-places where researchers are trying to learn more about our world. You can explore a variety of things in Hawaii from hidden coves to ancient caves and pristine waters throughout. Hawaii has become the dream vacation package, and for kayakers, you have a new world to explore.

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