Have you ever wanted to swim near turtles in Hawaii? Get my ultimate guide to Laniakea Beach aka Turtle Beach on Oahu. Scroll for all the info!
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As you’re planning your trip to Oahu, you probably have seen photos of Hawaii’s green sea turtles.
They are pretty famous all over Hawaii, but there’s one special place on Oahu you should head if you want to see them in person.
Laniakea Beach, typically known as Turtle Beach, is along the North Shore of Oahu. It is famous for seeing the green sea turtles sunbathing along the sand and swimming in the ocean.
It is also one of the top beaches to visit while staying on Oahu.
Keep scrolling to find out about the best place to see turtles in Oahu!
And be sure to check out 101 things to do on Oahu with kids!
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Oahu Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Turtle Beach Oahu FAQs
While Turtle Beach is one of the best places to see turtles on Oahu, it’s not the only one. You can also find them at Waikiki Beach, Haleiwa Beach, Halona Beach Cove, Ko Olina Lagoon, and more.
Summer is definitely the best time of year to see turtles on Oahu. That’s because the water is typically much calmer in the summer.
Ultimate Guide to Turtle Beach on Oahu
Here is a guide sharing all the details relating to Turtle Beach and answering the most common questions.
This will prepare you to have the best experience in spotting the turtles, amongst other great adventures!
Where is Turtle Beach Oahu?
Turtle Beach is along the North Shore of Oahu. It is between Waimea and Haleiwa.
While no signs state where exactly this beach is, you will be able to see if from the many tourists and crowded parking along the side of the road.
Is There Parking at Turtle Beach?
There is no designated parking lot for Turtle Beach.
However, there is permitted parking alongside the road. It gets very crowded and busy, though, so finding a spot might be difficult, especially on the weekends.
Because it is a trendy place, many tour buses will stop here as one of their destinations.
With all the heavy traffic, be extremely careful crossing the road, especially with young children. Since it is a crowded area, make sure not to leave anything valuable inside your car. You never know what could happen.
What Turtles Will be There?
The Hawaiian Honu or the green sea turtles live on Laniakea beach. There are around 30 Honu turtles that come quite often to this beach.
Some volunteers come to help protect the turtles that put up signs stating the turtle’s name if it is sunbathing on the sand.
Can I Feed or Touch the Turtles?
No, you cannot do anything with the turtles.
The volunteers present will put up tape to protect the turtles. It is recommended you stay around 6 feet away from the turtles at all times. That goes for both the sand and the water.
That way, you do not harm them, nor scare them.
When is the Best Time to Go to Turtle Beach?
There is technically no ‘best time’ to go because it is not like whale season. There is no particular season that they are always out and visible. It could be perfect weather, and you still won’t see any turtles.
However, the turtles do not like big waves, so you are not as likely to see them during the winter months (October-April).
Therefore, during the summer (May-September), you are more likely to see them out and about.
The time of day does not matter as well. Some turtles prefer morning, while others like the afternoon. You can even see some while watching the sunset.
This makes it helpful when trying to plan out your days effectively because any time works!
Things to do at Oahu’s Turtle Beach
Besides the obvious of seeing the turtles, there are many other things to do there. You can learn about them through the volunteers that stay with the turtles. You can ask them questions about anything!
You can also go snorkeling at the beach and watch the turtles in the water, along with other fish. Turtles like the area because it has a lot of coral and rocks. That being said, it is not the best for swimming.
You can suntan along the beach right by a turtle! You can take pictures with the turtles, but only if you do not get too close.
Some locals love this as their favorite surf spot as well, especially during the winter seasons.
North Shore Hotels by Turtle Beach Oahu
The downside is that there are not too many hotels by Turtle Beach.
If you want a hotel, the closest one will be Turtle Bay. It is a beautiful resort with many incredible amenities. It is roughly 20 minutes away from turtle beach. Check out the latest prices and more details.RESERVE NOW
VRBO or Airbnb will be your best bet. You will find some great houses within minutes from Turtle Beach. You can enjoy a cozy villa, or even rent a room from some locals.
Most often, your vacation rental hosts will leave beach equipment you can use for free! See my favorite accommodations option here.
Things to do Near Turtle Beach: North Shore Oahu
While seeing the turtles is amazing, if you happen to go and they are not out yet, there are still plenty of things you can do around Turtle Beach!
Because it is so close to many other tourist towns, you will find many great places to go while waiting for the turtles to appear.
You can explore Haleiwa. Haleiwa is one of the best tourist places to experience because it is an old historic town. There you will find a beautiful village filled with shops with great souvenirs.
Also, in Haleiwa are some of the best food trucks and restaurants on the island. You can find something delicious to eat while you wait to see the turtles.
You can also go on a hike and see a waterfall in Waimea. Hike the Waimea valley and then enjoy a quick swim in the waterfall! It is not a long hike and will surround you with more of Hawaii’s beautiful nature.
What to Pack for a Day at Turtle Beach Oahu
Before you head to Turtle Beach Oahu, there are some things you need to bring with you.
Because turtles come out when it is warmer, make sure to bring reef safe sunscreen. You do not want to get burned and be in pain. Also, bring lots of drinking water, so you do not get dehydrated.
If you plan to go snorkeling, don’t forget your equipment and gear.
Again, because it is rocky and has lots of coral, bring water shoes if you plan to go for a swim. There are also sea urchins that can pierce your foot, so water shoes provide extra protection.
Turtle Beach North Shore is a fantastic place to experience some of Hawaii’s famous sea turtles.
It is also a great place to relax and have some family fun along the seashore. It is right in the center of the North Shore, making it a perfect stop along your North Shore experience.
If you want to add an educational component, learn how to make a sea turtle life cycle lap book for kids!