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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrWaimea means ‘red water’ in Hawaiian. It is one of the small towns in the North Shore region of Oahu, Hawaii. It has less than 10,000 residents but is popular among tourists and younger population. More than 30% of Waimea’s population are Euro American, 20% Asian, 15% Pacific Islander, and the rest are Black and Latino. Waimea Bay is mostly packed with tourists and locals alike due to its big waves that are great for surfing and The Rock where people take a few feet cliff jump into the ocean. Waimea is also known for its Valley and Falls which are great for hiking and swimming activities.
Waimea BayWaimea Bay is among the most popular spots for surfing. Especially in the winter, many surfing contests are held in the North Shore. These big waves are caused by the winter storms of the North Pacific. On most days, Waimea Bay is calm. Among the most popular surfing events held in Waimea Bay is The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau, which was started in 1984. Waves were at least 6 meter high and reached even higher at about 15 meter. The event was however only held 7 times due to the North Shore beaches being closed for surfing called ‘Condition Black’.
Tourists and locals alike all time favorite activity to do in Waimea Bay is the cliff jumping off The Rock. Although doing so is discouraged and warning signs are erected on the sand, it does not prevent people from taking the feet high jump off the cliff and into the ocean. In fact, this cliff jumping off the Waimea Bay has been featured in an advertisement for Bing in 2012. Waimea Bay itself had been popularized by many films like Ride the Wild Surf in 1964, and the TV series, LOST . Waimea Bay had also been mentioned in famous songs like the Beach Boy’s Surfing the USA, and Jimmy Buffet’s Beautiful Swimmers.
Waimea Valley and FallsWaimea Valley is not only a nature park. It in fact is also historical and religious site of the past Hawaiian monarchs. The valley is about 1875 acres. It has stone terraces and walls, and garden floors of sweet potato, bananas, and taros. It had been a holy place for 700 years with descendants of the high priests living in the area until 1880s. Today, Waimea Valley is a botanical garden, wildlife sanctuary, archaeological site, and a bit of an art and entertainment center.
On every side of the Waimea Valley are interesting plants and flowers. The scenic path, which is great for hiking, leads to the waterfalls. The waterfall is not too big and is not too deep. Tourists are welcome to go for a swim or just relax on the banks. Along the way, there are food stores available offering shaved ice, and other great snacks.
How to Get HereOahu Island has one highway called the Kamehameha Highway . It is possible to go around the island in a day. Whichever point one would start, one could reach all Oahu points. Waimea however is on the North Shore. And depending on one’s starting point, either direction - South Point or North Shore is more convenient. Given one is from Honolulu, it is quicker to head North. It can be accessed through public transportation.
Similar AttractionsThere are many other beaches in Hawaii known for surfing. Among the beaches with the biggest waves are Jaws (Pe’ahi) and Ho’okipa Beaches in Maui, Bonzai Beach and Castles in Oahu, Kealakekua Bay in the Big Island, and Hanalei Bay in Kauai. In Oahu, other cliff jumping spots beside Waimea are Leap of Faith, Maunawilli Falls, Ice Ponds, Laie Point, Muanaloa Falls, and Spitting Cave. On the other islands there are Black Rock, Puohokamoa Falls, and Swinging Bridges in Maui.
All over the world, surfing is popular in select places like Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Peru, California, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Cliff jumping are also popular in Acapulco, Mexico; Rick's Cafe in Jamaica, Kamari Beach in Santorini, Greece; Buža Cafes in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Brontallo, Switzerland; and Red Rocks Park in Vermont.
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Author: kimn. Last updated: Feb 10, 2015