A couple of weeks ago we dove into everything you need to know about getting from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Banzai Pipeline, given that we’re in the thick of the big wave season on the North Shore of Oahu. Today, we’re going to paddle out (not literally) at Waimea Bay with a look at Pipe’s far more fickle cousin. After all, the renowned Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is on deck once again for 2018-19, with a waiting period that runs from December 1, 2018 through to February 28, 2019.
For the uninitiated, the running period is in place as the Bay lays in wait for waves big enough (upwards of 40-foot faces) to run the event. That means there may be only a moment’s notice for when the event is called on. When it is, the affair calls competitors and fans alike from all over the neighboring islands and world to hop a plane for HNL at the drop of a hat. This reason alone is why we see so many people searching for specific information on how to get from the airport to this special place in a timely manner.
Whatever your reason may be, we’re here with some insight to make sure you can accomplish the same, along with a few tips to make the experience even more efficient and enjoyable.
2 Things You Need to Know About Getting from Honolulu International Airport to Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu
1. Getting There on Time
Whether you’re racing to Waimea Bay to catch the Eddie (if called on), to make it to the weekly farmer’s market in Valley (more on this below), or in time to catch the incredible sunset before heading over to your North Shore accommodations for the night, timing is everything.
It’s a bit of a trek from HNL baggage claim to Waimea Bay, especially during prime time. Take note of the following travel times:
- Rental car – approximately 1.5 hours (including getting to your rental and taking care of the paperwork before heading on to the I-H-2-N)
- TheBus – approximately 2.25 hours (if you catch it right away)
- Ride Hailing Service – approximately 1.25 hour (after find a driver willing to go to the North Shore and walking with luggage to the designated pickup spot)
- Traditional Taxi – approximately 1 hour (after finding one willing to take you there)
- Shared Shuttle – 0 hours (there are none)
- Pre-Booked Direct No-Share Shuttle – 45 minutes (waiting for you outside of baggage claim)
As you can see, if time is important to you, then pre-booking a direct no-share flat-rate shuttle is the way to go. Of course, there are many other considerations such as cost, convenience, and comfort, all of which point directly to booking a direct shuttle over all of the alternatives. View those alternatives along with pass/fail grades for each right here, and view more about why this is your only option for getting from HNL to anywhere on the North Shore.
2. Amenities and Things to Do Near Waimea Bay
Since your heading straight from HNL to Waimea you likely have a plan, but that doesn’t always pan out, especially if the weather gets a little funky as you’re escorted from the airport through Mililani and Wahiawa and down the slope of Kamehameha towards Haleiwa and Pupukea.
Until you’re able to enjoy the waters of Waimea Bay and take a leap off of aptly named Jump Rock (pictured above) you can toil away up the hill at Shark’s Cove to grab a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks found in the collective. There’s also a Foodland should you need to stock up on supplies.
However, a “must do” within a reasonable walk (even with a carry-on or rolling luggage) from Waimea Bay is Waimea Valley. Waimea Valley is a nature sanctuary steeped in cultural/historical significance and is home to lush botanical gardens and a fantastic hike that leads to a breathtaking waterfall. But don’t worry, it also offers you (a recently arrived visitor) with a place to relax under shelter until you’re are able to make your way to your vacation rental or Turtle Bay suite. There is a gift, shop, cafeteria, and restrooms should you need to freshen up. If you arrive on a Thursday between 2 and 6 PM you can shop and support local farmers and artisans in Waimea Valley’s Pikake Pavilion at the weekly Haleiwa Farmers Market.
If you have any further questions about transportation from Honolulu Airport to Waimea Bay, do not hesitate to contact Honolulu Airport Transfer toll-free 1-800-929-1219 or locally at 808-227-1111 at your convenience.
~ ALOHA ~