Kaneana Cave / Makua Cave

3.5 stars from 4 reviews
Address 82-180 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI 96792
It's a cave. A really short cave.

• General: Cost: Free • General: Educational
• General: Photo Opportunity • Hiking: Hiking
• Hiking: Kid Friendly • Hiking: Length: 0-1 Miles
• Hiking: Level: Easy • Hiking: Nature Walk
• Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Cultural & Historical: Heiau / Sacred Site

Full Description
If you are looking to do some seriously awesome and spontaneous spelunking on your trip to O'ahu then look no further than Kaneana Cave!

You see, that's what I would be writing if this were exciting but it really isn't for most people. It's just a cave and the main opening doesn't go very far back at all. Depending on who you listen to, the tunnel will go back about a hundred feet while others will tell you it goes back several hundred feet and splits into other tunnels as well.

None of that matters because the tiny tunnel in the back isn't safe to go into and probably wouldn't be fun to crawl around in when you have no idea what may be living in there. So the main (large) cave area doesn't go back very far and thus doesn't offer much in the way of exploration.

However, if you've never seen a cave and are out this way already then it's an easy stop with plenty of parking right across the street from the cave entrance. Just be careful as you will then have to cross a street with a 45 MPH speed limit and traffic heading north is coming up a small hill and thus may not see you until they are close. So, don't just look for traffic before crossing but listen for it as well. Keep an eye on the keiki (kids) around this potentially dangerous street as well!

Speaking of the keiki, they're more likely to get excited about doing some minor cave exploring so if you are nearby with kids then stop and get a sweet spelunking photo or two. Wait until after they're in the cave to cover the legend Nanaue - The Shapeshifting Shark-Man Of Makua Cave, yell boo, and grab a video of the hilarity that is sure to ensue!

With that in mind, and if you want to make your trip to the cave more interesting, be sure to read Nanaue - The Shapeshifting Shark-Man Of Makua Cave before you go. Exploring this cave will be far more interesting now.

This is the save cave that is home to the unsanctioned Upper Makua Cave Hike, which you legally are not allowed to hike.

Leah P
Joined: Oct 2019
Reviews: 1
Likes Received: 0
It is short cave unless you belly crawl thru a very narrow tunnel that opens into a larger chamber. As kids we never tired of exploring and re-exploring that cave. At one point the entrance had been blocked with blink-blink lights. We moved two of them to the back of the cave and thought it looked like a dragon blinking awake.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
For the most part, this isn't a very exciting cave. Fun for small kids who want to explore something different and unique. It is interesting when you head all the way to the back and there is nobody else in the cave.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
The Kaneana Cave (or Makua Cave) is considered sacred to the Hawaiian people. The caves mouth is quite high but narrows as you enter in deeper. At a certain point, you can no longer walk in but will need to crawl to go further. Spooky.

Hawaiian legend has it that this is the cave where humanity was first created, but it also is known for being the lair to Nanue, or Sharkman. In ancient times, Nanue was a shape-shifting Sharkman that would change to human form and befriend people to visit Makua Cave. Of course, it was thought to have ended badly for those visitors. So natives were forbidden to enter Makua cave for fear they would be attacked by Nanua. Worth a peak now that you know the legend.
Joined: Aug 2013
Reviews: 16
Likes Received: 5
It's interesting if you've never seen a cave in person I suppose (which we hadn't) and the kids thought it was a neat hike but it's small and doesn't go back far at all so after a minute or two of that it's time to move on.
More Top Rated Oahu Places