Laniakea Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is a renowned destination on Oahu’s North Shore, famed for its frequent sightings of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. These turtles are often found basking in the sun on the beach’s sandy shores and exposed rocks. The beach’s rocky cove, abundant with kelp and green moss seagrass, creates a vibrant underwater ecosystem, making it an attractive feeding ground for these turtles. The turtles are a protected species, so it’s important to keep a distance of at least 10 feet and avoid disturbing them.
This beach is part of the 7-mile miracle stretch known for its spectacular big waves, particularly during the winter months, attracting surfers. However, swimming can be risky during winter due to strong currents and large waves. In summer, the calmer sea conditions make it more suitable for swimming, especially towards Chun’s Reef, which is a beautiful and quieter stretch of beach located nearby. Chun’s Reef is also a popular spot for surfing.
Laniakea Beach is easily accessible by car and is about a 50-minute to an hour’s drive from Waikiki. Parking can be challenging, as the parking area is small and often crowded. The beach lacks amenities such as public restrooms, showers, and lifeguards, and there are no nearby restaurants or kiosks, so visitors should come prepared.
Besides enjoying the beach and turtle sightings, visitors can engage in activities like snorkeling, beachcombing, and hiking in the nearby Waimea Valley. The beach is also close to several historic Hawaiian sites, including the Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site.
For the best experience, it’s recommended to visit Laniakea Beach between May and September, when the sea is calmer. The turtles are most active and visible between 11 am and 1 pm or just before sunset. It’s advisable to arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds, especially during summer.
Remember, while the turtles are used to human presence, it’s crucial to respect their space and follow guidelines for wildlife viewing, including avoiding flash photography and loud noises