Top 10 Fascinating Things

On a clear day, Halona Lookout provides a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean including the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The Blowhole is a natural geyser fueled by the power of the sea and is adjacent to one of the most romantic beach coves on the island.

Feel the mist from the blowhole, survey the mighty Pacific Ocean, and if you look hard enough you can almost see King Kamehameha’s army – with a thousand canoes rolling across the ocean like a thundercloud on their was to battle the army of Oahu. Do not miss this natural wonder!

1. Halona Blowhole was only accessible via a narrow dirt road.

Before 1931, the paved highway stopped at Hanauma Bay. The way to Halona was along a very narrow dirt road mostly used by fishermen headed to “Bamboo Ridge,” named for the long wall of bamboo fishing poles standing erect at the edge of the cliff in holes carved in the rock.

Halona Cove from the Rocks

2. There is a guardian of the sea near Halona Blowhole.

Just before reaching the scenic overlook for the Halona Blowhole, a small statue of a female goddess – Quan Am Nam Hai, The Guardian of the Sea, faces the water surrounded by flowers and other offerings from her worshipers. A group of Vietnamese Buddhists care for the shrine to protect all the fishermen who fish from these rocks that front the treacherous Ka`iwi channel.

Fisherman's shrine

3. Looking up into the hills behind Halona Lookout you will see cactus.

Yes cactus in Hawaii! Hawaii actually has every climate except arctic tundra and arid desert. Over the years people have brought many types of plants to Hawaii. In 1809, Don Francisco de Marin started importing plants such as panini cactus, pineapple, bougainvillea, and night booming cereus. At first, his imports were only in gardens, but time, wind and birds spread them all over the islands, and the cactus particularly like the dry climate of the East Oahu hillsides.

4. Molten lava tubes left from volcanic action formed the Halona Blowhole with tubes extending into the ocean.

The blowhole can erupt sending a geyser of water up to thirty feet high! It is most spectacular when high tides and strong winds are present. A humming sound deep in the rocks sounds just before the blowhole erupts.

Halona Blow Hole

5. The only known person to survive a trip through the blowhole was a 19-year-old Schofield soldier.

Please pay attention to the accident warning signs! The soldier foolishly sat on the edge of the blowhole when the water sucked him down into the blowhole. Going down about eight feet, he reached a cavern described as black and green and about the size of a car – but felt like the inside of a washing machine! Then a wave sucked him out another lava tube into the ocean, ripping the back of his shorts as well as a ring from his hand. Luckily he was rescued.

Blow Hole

6. Halona Cove is known as “The Peering Place”.

Halona Cove is a small cove tucked into a lava rock shoreline and has a small sandy beach that is great for swimming when the sea is calm. The Academy Award winning film, “From Here To Eternity”, shot its famous beach scene here with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster. Who could ever forget Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster’s famous kiss as they rolled in the surf at Halona Cove?

Halona Beach overlooking the sea

7. There is a reef in the cove covered with Sinularia Leather Coral.

This coral lives with minimal sunlight. Other inhabitants include hermit crabs, clams, eels a variety of fish, and if you’re lucky, you might see Sea Turtles looking for food or resting on the beach.

Cove Reef

8. There is a long, dark and scary cave that winds its way under the road and moves up the hillside.

The cave was formed millions of years ago by rapidly moving lava flows leaving what is called “precast concrete lava tubes.”

Halona Cave

9. A very famous movie was filmed here.

The Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides hid the Fountain of Youth at Halona Cove, or as they called it, Whitecap Bay. Beware the Mermaid Guardians!

Pirates Shooting at HalonaImage courtesy of

10. One of the most dangerous channels in the world is located nearby.

Outside the cove, the Ka`iwi Channel between Oahu and Molokai is unpredictable and filled with strong currents, making the waters outside the cove very dangerous. Annual outrigger canoe races cross the channel as well as an annual swim for serious marathon swimmers. Only twenty-eight people have successfully swam across the channel.

Ka Iwi Channel