Oahu Shark’s Cove: Everything You Must Know

  • Home
  • Blog
  • Oahu Shark’s Cove: Everything You Must Know

Oahu Shark Cove is a marine paradise on Oahu's North Shore and you simply can't skip it when visiting.

This spot, famed for its rich biodiversity and remarkable snorkeling opportunities, offers an unparalleled underwater experience.

In this guide, we'll discuss everything you should know before heading to Oahu Shark Cove and the attraction near by where you shouldn't miss. 


Oahu Shark Cove - Overview

Oahu's North Shore is home to a mesmerizing marine paradise called Shark's Cove.

It offers a diverse range of marine life and unforgettable snorkeling experiences. That's why It's a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling amongst locals and tourists alike.

However, before you dive right in, it’s important to know the facts about Oahu Shark's Cove, and this is exactly what we'll cover in this section.

Marine Life at Shark's Cove

The Oahu Shark's Cove is one such spot where you can find an array of underwater life. 

You can catch the sight of vibrant schools of fish through the crevices, and, of course, the stately sharks often resting on the sandy bottom.

The most common fish you'll see here are butterflyfish, damselfish, and surgeonfish, and you'll love spotting them around.

Whether you're snorkeling or scuba diving, more than 40 species of fish and other wildlife are waiting for you at Shark Cove. 

Oahu Shark's Cove Entrance Fee and Opening Times

You'll be happy to know that there is no entrance fee to Oahu Shark's Cove, which makes it a great thing to do in Oahu for free.

Also, the cove is open all day long, however, we recommend coming during the day before sunset and when visibility is high to stay safe. That being said, Shark's Cove is closed from October until April, so you'll want to keep that in mind.

Section Key-Takeaway

Oahu Shark Cove is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, offering a diverse range of marine life and unforgettable experiences, but we recommend coming during the day to make the most of your visit.


Navigating Your Way to Oahu Shark's Cove

Finding your way to Oahu Shark's Cove can be a bit of a challenge if you are not familiar with the area.

First, make sure to set your GPS to Pupukea Beach Park. From there, follow the signs to the Shark's Cove parking lot. The parking lot gets full very quickly. You should be there around 8 to 9 AM.

It may be a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the cove, but the sight of the crystal-clear water and vibrant marine life will make it all worth it. 

Section Key-Takeaway

Head to Pupukea Beach Park early and follow the signs to Shark's Cove for a rewarding snorkeling experience filled with crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life.


Snorkeling at Oahu Shark Cove

This stunning cove is a hidden gem with crystal-clear waters and colorful marine life.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, the cove offers something for everyone.

Swim alongside schools of tropical fish, spot shy sea turtles, and even catch a glimpse of a majestic reef shark (don't worry, they're harmless!). 

Depths and Currents

The water depth in Oahu's Shark's Cove varies from a few feet near the shore to about 20 feet at the mouth of the cove.

This variation makes it ideal for beginners who prefer shallow waters and experienced snorkelers eager to explore deeper regions.

However, it's important to note that solid currents can sometimes pose challenges, even for seasoned swimmers. If you're beginner, stay near the shore and just enjoy the moment!

Of course, always stay aware of your surroundings and current conditions to ensure your safety during your underwater exploration.

Preparing Your Snorkeling Adventure

If you're just starting out with snorkeling or visiting Shark Cove for the initial time, don't be concerned. With some basic knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy the experience safely.

Prioritizing purchasing top-notch snorkeling gear, including goggles, flippers and tubes, is essential for a pleasant and secure experience.

Additionally, remember to check weather forecasts before heading out and be cautious of potential hazards such as rip currents or sudden changes in water depth.

Take time to rest and recuperate if you're new to snorkeling. Take breaks whenever needed to ensure a pleasant and safe snorkeling experience.

Section Key-Takeaway

Oahu Shark Cove is a perfect spot for snorkeling, with its crystal-clear waters, colorful marine life, and varying depths that make it fun for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike.

Just remember to bring your snorkeling gear and check the forecasts before heading out.


Other Nearby Attractions Worth Visiting

Your exploration doesn't have to end once you're snorkeling at Oahu Shark's Cove. Extend your day trip by exploring other fascinating spots around the North Shore.

This section will go through other attractions nearby so you enjoy your time in Oahu's North Shore when coming from Honolulu.

Hike the Waimea Valley Trail

The Waimea Valley Trail is a popular hiking trail located near Haleiwa, Oahu. This 1.9-mile out-and-back trail is generally considered easy and takes an average of 49 minutes to complete.

The trail is well-marked and mostly shaded, making it suitable for hikers of all ages. Along the way, hikers can enjoy beautiful scenery, botanical gardens, and historical sites.

The highlight of the trail is the Waimea Falls, a picturesque waterfall where visitors can swim. The trail is paved the entire way with gentle hills, allowing for a comfortable hike. It's important to note that there is a $25 admission fee required to access the trail.

Spot Sea Turtles at Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach is located on the North Shore, it is a famous for its abundance of sea turtles

The beach is approximately an hour's drive from Honolulu, which may take longer during peak traffic hours. Parking facilities are available, but it's best to arrive early to secure a spot.

The safest way to reach the beach is by following the designated paths and signs. Remember to be respectful of the turtles and their environment by keeping a safe distance and not disturbing them.

Go Surfing at Banzai Pipeline

The Banzai Pipeline, also known as Pipeline or Pipe, is a world-renowned surf reef break located at Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on Oahu's North Shore.

This legendary spot is famous for its perfect barreling waves, drawing surfers from across the globe. During the winter months, from October through March, the Pipeline enjoys consistent swells and hosts prestigious surfing competitions like the Triple Crown of Surfing.

The beach park offers stunning views and an opportunity to witness incredible surf performances. It's important to note that the Pipeline's waves can be powerful and challenging, suitable for experienced surfers.

Here, you can enjoy watching the action from the shore and marvel at the surfers or simply for surfing if you're into it!

Eat at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in Oahu is a popular food truck known for serving delicious shrimp dishes. With multiple locations, including Kahuku and Haleiwa, Giovanni's has been a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike since 1993.

The shrimp truck offers a menu of mouthwatering options, with their garlic shrimp being a fan favorite. Visitors can enjoy the flavors of Hawaii while savoring the fresh shrimp cooked to perfection.

The truck's success has garnered attention and recognition, being voted "Hawaii's Best" from 2011 to 2020. Giovanni's Shrimp Truck is simply the best stop on the way or back from the Shark's Cove!

Kuilima Coves

Kuilima Cove, located on the northern coast of Oahu, is a picturesque and well-protected cove known for its snorkeling opportunities.

This serene spot is particularly great for beginners due to its calm waters and abundance of juvenile reef species.

The cove is easily accessible to the public and is not restricted to hotel guests, making it one of the best snorkeling spots on Oahu's North Shore. You can enjoy the beautiful beach, listen to the crashing waves, and work on your tan.

Section Key-Takeaway

Oahu Shark Cove is one of many remarkable attractions around the North Shore, each offering unique experiences and easy access for visitors.



Going snorkeling in Oahu's Shark Cove is an unforgettable experience. It opens up one's eyes to the life that inhabits beneath the ocean surface and lets them explore a world that cannot be found elsewhere.

Not only is it safe, but you also get to encounter some of Hawaii’s most exciting wildlife! Whether you’re a novice or a more experienced diver, Oahu’s Shark Cove has something for everyone–from its colorful marine life to its many shipwrecks.

With everything there is to do and see at Shark Cove, how can you resist? Make sure to visit while in Oahu!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sharks Cove worth it?

Absolutely. With its diverse marine life and excellent snorkeling opportunities, Sharks Cove offers a unique experience that is well worth the visit.

Where is Shark's Cove Oahu?

Sharks Cove is located on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, as part of Pupukea Beach Park.

How to get to Shark's Cove Oahu?

Start by driving north from Haleiwa on Kamehameha Highway for about 20 miles until you reach Pupukea Beach Park.

Park your car and take a short walk across the grassy area until you spot a rocky beach. This rocky beach is your access to Shark's Cove.

How much does it cost to go to Shark Cove?

The entrance to Shark's Cove is free, as well as the parking lot. However, make sure to come early to secure your spot.

What is there to do at Sharks Cove?

Besides snorkeling and diving among vibrant fish species and sea turtles, you can explore tide pools or enjoy nearby attractions like Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.