image: property of Honolulu Airport Transfer, may use with linked attribution
Honolulu Airport Transfer recently launched our custom island tour experiences and among the most popular is the Circle Island Tour which takes guests along the entire (where possible) coast of the island. On a few occasions, we’ve been asked about the best beaches to check out for beachcombing and sea glass hunting. Accommodating as ever, we have answered the queries by stopping at a few beaches that tend to receive all sorts of treasures that have been expelled by the sea after years of tumbling within. Today, we’re laying out an itinerary for a custom island tour that focuses on the top spots for this exact topic.
Top 3 Beaches for Sea Glass Hunting and Beachcombing on Oahu
Ke Iki Beach : Time Needed – 1 Hour
Located to the east of famed Shark’s Cove in Pupukea on the North Shore, Ke Iki beach may be known for its sketchy shore breaking waves (which keeps some people away from beachcombing it) but it is without a doubt a top spot for spotting saltwater-smoothed shards of glass. If you arrive early enough you can score a coconut shell (more eco-friendly than a ZipLock) full of these little treasures, but as competition shows up later in the day the goodies become more sparce. Still, with the heavy shore break, the waves deliver smaller bits of glass (along with shells and bits of coral) all through the day, which is why you want to dedicate one full hour to this endeavor.
We’ll take you to a “secret” path to the beach along Ke Iki Road and let you enjoy the hunt while we park at Shark’s Cove and scoop you up an hour later.
Kaunala Gulch Beach (sort of) : Time Needed – 30 Min
To the east of the North Shore’s Sunset Beach, which is best known for the VANS World Cup of Surfing and the Insta-famous hanging palm tree, is a little spot between Kaunala Gulch and Velzyland Beach. Interestingly, the shore break is fairly mellow compared to much of the North Shore, with an expanse of reef protecting the near shore waters, and yet plenty of glass, coral, and shells find their way to the sands. It’s best to arrive early as the lack of crashing shore break limits the amount of new deliveries through the afternoon, but even if scheduling a late arrival a keen eye will find enough treasures to make it worthwhile.
We’ll take you to another secret path off Hoalua Road and let you explore while we park nearby. 30 minutes should suffice for this spot, and if time allows we can stop to pick you up a Haupia Pie at Ted’s Bakery!
Diamond Head Beach : Time Needed – 1 Hour
To be honest, the best sea glass hunting on Oahu is found along the seven mile miracle known as the North Shore (as per above). However, we’d be remiss to exclude mention of the South Shore gem known as Diamond Head Beach, especially since it’s close to the resort area of Waikiki. While protected by a ton of reef, sea glass does find its way to the sand. The glass here is smaller, but very well tumbled since it has a lot of reef to cross to get to shore. Upon taking the trail that leads from Diamond Head Road down to the park, you’ll want to fan out in both directions because there are small treasures to be found near Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park (just west of the trail end) and below Diamond Head Lighthouse. A word of caution on the latter, because as you approach the rugged beachfront near Diamond Head Lighthouse you may also run into half a dozen nude sunbathers
, which may be why the sea glass here has yet to be plucked up. While perfectly safe, if such a sight is not your cup of tea (or you have kids in tow) stick to beachcombing towards Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park. Even if you come up a little short on sea glass, you will love the view from this beach, which includes a fair share of local surfers who seek to escape the crowded waves of Waikiki.
We’ll drop you off at the top of the trail head on Diamond Head road while you take the downhill path towards the beach, and await your return in the lot above.
You may have noticed that we have not provided a package price on the above sea glass hunting tour of Oahu, but that’s because it all depends on where you are staying. Rates start at a very affordable (especially if coming as a group) $60/hr and when you consider that this is a treasure hunting expedition it’s certainly worth the small investment. Contact us at 1-800-929-1219 to work out your itinerary and we’ll help you plan it out in the most efficient way possible.
~ ALOHA ~