Pupukea Beach Park / Shark's Cove Beach

4.5 stars from 8 reviews
Address 59-694 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Great for snorkeling when conditions are good.

• Facilities: Bathrooms • Facilities: Equipment Rentals
• Facilities: Grassy Area • Facilities: Showers
• Type: No Dogs Allowed • Type: Protected From Open Ocean
• Type: Shady • Sand Type: Regular
• Parking: Good / Plenty • Good For: Scuba Diving
• Good For: Snorkeling

Full Description
Pupukea Beach Park is better known by locals as Shark's Cove Beach. So should you come here looking for or in fear of Shark Attacks In Hawaii?
No, not at all. You're not any more likely to spot them here than anywhere else so don't get excited or worried either way when it comes to sharks. It's nothing but a name.

Getting here is easy, just head to Haleiwa on the north shore of O'ahu (see our map / directions page for exact details). There is a decent amount of street parking but come during the week and come early as those spots go really fast. Equipment rentals are available across the street or bring your own (see Should I Bring My Own Snorkel Gear To Hawaii?). You'll also want to make sure you know How To Snorkel.

Shark's Cove is a preserve and offers some excellent snorkeling and scuba opportunities. Some say this is one of the best places to snorkel on the island. The main cove is the best area for this but only during summer months and only when the ocean is calm. This is the real reason to come here and for that it's probably a 5 star experience.

There are also huge tide pools here that you can check out as well snorkel in during high tide but the real show is out in the cove. Still, if the open ocean makes you nervous then the more protected tide pools are a neat option but keep in mind that they too are only a good option when the ocean is calm.

Either way, be prepared to walk on some slippery and sharp rocks if you want to get into some parts of the water here. It's not difficult but the option to slip and get hurt is there so maybe not the best for smaller kids or older folks. Water shoes are probably a good option if you're not using flippers.

If you want to snorkel or scuba then this is a great place to do it, but as a beach to hang out on, play in the water, and so on, well, it's sort of sub par at best. It's not really a beach you'll likely want to hang out at if you're not snorkeling here.

Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
This is a tough one to rate because it depends on how you plan to use the beach. If you're coming here to snorkel and conditions are good then it's a solid 5 star experience. If you're not coming here to snorkeling this beach is barely average and it's more of a 3 star experience.
Stefanie A
Joined: Nov 2016
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 1
Came here for snorkeling and it was amazing, out of this world amazing. One of the best experiences we had on the entire trip!
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 146
Likes Received: 2
Great beach for scuba and snorkeling... Especially for beginners. You can rent snorkel gear right across the street at the shops at sharks cove. And the water is usually pretty shallow so it's safe for the kids. When you're done swimming there's a new area with plenty of great food trucks to choose from.
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 426
Likes Received: 12
Sharks cove beach is awesome best snorkelling. We spent the day here it was just beautiful swimming and the views are awesome.
Chris T
Joined: Dec 2013
Reviews: 7
Likes Received: 1
I love Sharks Cove. If you want a great place to kick back on the beach and see some awesome fish, this is your spot... Heads up though, while I was there, a fellow tourist had his backpack stolen and that seems to be a common occurrence at that beach.
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 168
Likes Received: 4
Shark's Cove is dear to my heart because this is where I learned to scuba dive. It's one of the best snorkeling sites on Oahu during the summertime when it's calm. You're sure to see plenty of tropical fish. You may also see a monk seal on the beach if you're lucky. You're sure to encounter a sea turtle if you snorkel on the right side. The left side of Sharks Cove is shallow and protected, so it's fun to explore for kids or those who might be afraid of the deeper water on the right side.

The parking is pretty good, not great - sometimes you'll wait for someone to pull out. Shark's Cove has a small beach on the left side to lounge on, but this is a place to be in the water and enjoy the reef. The snorkeling here is better than Hanauma Bay.

There's a Foodland grocery store, and some lunch trucks across the street to grab a bite. A Coffee Bean is next to Foodland, when you need to caffeinated up. This is one of the places you'll remember for the rest of your life. and every time you come back to Hawaii, you'll want to relive it.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
Sharks Cove is one of the greatest places to shore dive in the world. Period. There is a magnificent protected cove surrounded by reef, which makes for great scuba and snorkeling. It's like being in an aquarium. By far, my favorite place to scuba dive on Oahu. BUT only when the surf is small or the waves are not crashing against the outer reef.

During the winter months when the waves are pumping, Sharks Cove is a spectator's treat. The waves explode on the reef with all the fury and power of mother nature. On days like this, the beach and reef are roped off because you will get seriously injured or killed messing around out there. I always tell people - You MUST give Hawaii her respect - or she will get you. No joke.

The jagged exposed reef here is treacherous - 3 years ago I slipped on the reef ledge and had to get stitched up at the emergency room. My fault - should have watched where I was going. Again, respect Hawaii.

Go with your kids to Shark's Cove. Check the surf report. Be careful walking down the path to the water. Bring fins and snorkels and have a memorable Hawaiian experience that you flew here to enjoy.
Gemma R
Joined: Feb 2015
Reviews: 1
Likes Received: 1
Shark's Cove has THE BEST snorkeling on the island, hands down!
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