Kaena Point. Cliff in Oahu, Hawaii

Kaena Point

Cliff in Oahu, Hawaii

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Kaena Point

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Kaena is named after a male relative of Pele, the goddess of Volcano. Kaena means “the heat” in Hawaiian.


Kaena, being, the westernmost tip of the island of Oahu had been believed as the jump-off point of the spirits of those that pass from this world.


Kaena is around 5 million years old and was an active volcano. It formed, more or less, 15% of the island of Oahu.
Oahu Railway and Land Company built a railway in Kaena around 1899. It was about 113 kilometers long from Honolulu to Kahuku (Wikipedia Article). Its purpose was to transport sugarcane. Only a few remains of the tracks can be seen today after a tsunami destroyed it in 1946.

The Beach and Point

In the winter months, the northern side of Oahu has big powerful waves that are great for surfing. Waves in Kaena reach up to 15 meter high. This is way higher than most waves in famous surfing spots in Hawaii like Waimea. Although Kaena has great waves for surfing, it is not as popularly visited as the other beaches in Oahu due to it being too secluded and challenging to go to. It has no direct road access and has dangerous rip currents.

Despite Kaena being difficult to directly go to, it has become a favorite hiking spot for many. It has white scenic beaches that offers great privacy.

Plant and Animal Life

Kaena is the home to many plants and animals. Consequently in 2011, a predator-proof fence was built around the Kaena Point. Among the natural life protected in Kaena are Wedge-tailed Shearwater fledglings, Laysan Albatross fledglings; Ohia, Sandalwood trees; Hawaiian Monk Seal, Moli, Yellow Faced Bees; Naupaka Kahakai or Scaevola sericea, Sida Falax; Myoporum sandwicense, Jacquemontia ovalifolia; and Hawaiian cotton.

How to get Here

The way to Kaena is quite tricky. However, it can be reached through Mokule’ia if coming from the North Shore, and accessible through Wai’anae when coming from the south. Vehicles can only enter Kaena State Park and then the rest of the travel would be on foot.

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Author: kimn. Last updated: Mar 05, 2015


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