Turtle Bay, Oahu

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Lava rock strewn beach at sunset on Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is located between Protection Point and Kuilima Point on the North Shore of the island of O'ahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

The bay is named after the large number of green sea turtles that inhabit the area and who used to lay their eggs in the sand on the beach years ago.

Geography and environment[edit]

Hawaiian monk seal

The area which is one of the last undeveloped areas on Oʻahu is recognized for its rock formations, wild coastal beaches, threatened green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seal[1] habitats, whale spottings, traditional fishing areas, small local agricultural lots and Hawaiian ancestral burial grounds.

The beach is sandy but the swimming condition are poor at Turtle Bay because the ocean bottom near shore is rocky. There is a large limestone shelf that spans almost the entire length of the bay.[2] The coastal underwater formations are home to one of the most beautiful limu (algae) found in the Islands. Martensia fragilis grows on rocks in tide pools and on reef flats. This iridescent species ranges from light blue to pink and orange in color.[3]

About 5 miles (8.0 km) of beaches and 12 miles (19 km) of trails surround the bay.


A World War II concrete bunker stands at the tip of the bay's western point. It is located at 21°42′6″N 158°0′6″W / 21.70167°N 158.00167°W / 21.70167; -158.00167Coordinates: 21°42′6″N 158°0′6″W / 21.70167°N 158.00167°W / 21.70167; -158.00167, just north of Route 83, known as Kamehameha Highway. To the west of the point is Kawela Bay, and to the east, the former site of Kahuku Army Airfield.

The Turtle Bay Resort[4] has the North Shore's sole large hotel. The resort rests on 840 acres (3.4 km2)[5] including the former airfield runways. Other accommodations on the resort include the beach front Villas (built in 2005) and the Kuilima Estates Condos (built in the early 1970). The resort took the "turtle bay" name officially in 1983. Previously the area was called Kuilima, and the point was Kalaeokaunu.[6] A $45 million deal to preserve nearly 630 acres of open space with the Turtle Bay Resort was finalized in October 2015.[7][8]


Located just north of the famed Bonzai Pipeline, Turtle Bay is the site of the Rainbows Break surf spot.[9]

The bay is also one of a number of popular spots for kayaking on the North Shore.

Turtle Bay Resort has two championship golf courses, The Arnold Palmer Course and The George Fazio Course.

In October 2015, Turtle Bay hosted "The Stand Up World Series"; a professional platform for the world’s best stand-up paddle racers to determine the legitimate men’s, women’s and under-16 world champions.[10]

Television and film[edit]

Due to its still largely unspoiled landscape, natural beauty and large waves along with its proximity to Honolulu, it is a popular area for filming.[11]

The area was the setting for the 2008 Universal Pictures film Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Produced by Judd Apatow, filming began in April 2007 at the Turtle Bay Resort.[12]

Turtle Bay with its rock formations and constant rolling surf served as a backdrop for the ABC TV series Lost. In addition to outside locations, a World War II-era bunker in the area was used as both an Iraqi Republican Guard installation and a Dharma Initiative research station.[13]

On 25 Mar. 2012, the popular TV show Discovery Channel's Mythbusters filmed their "marooned on a desert island" with only duct tape and a few other items episode.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Campaign to Protect Turtle Bay (HI)". The Trust for Public Land. August 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Turtle Bay". To-Hawaii Travel Guide. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Limu of the Day - Turtle Bay, Oahu". Hawaiian Time Machine. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Turtle Bay Resort". Official Turtle Bay Resort Website. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Turtle Bay Resort". Conde Nast Traveler. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ John R. K. Clark (2004). "lookup of Turtle Bay". in Hawai'i Place Names: Shores, Beaches, and Surf Sites. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Turtle Bay conservation deal on Oahu’s North Shore finalized". H awaii Tribune-Herald. Oahu Publications, Inc. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "ACT 121, SB284 SD2 HD2 CD1". Governor of the State of Hawaii. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  9. ^ John R. K. Clark (2004). "lookup of Rainbows ". in Hawai'i Place Names: Shores, Beaches, and Surf Sites. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Last Event: 2015 World Series Finals at Turtle Bay, Oahu". Waterman League. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  11. ^ K.C. Connors (July 22, 2010). "Keeping country country is good for isle film industry". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ Abel, Ann. "A Hawaiian Classic, Better Than Ever: Turtle Bay Resort On The North Shore Of Oahu". Forbes. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "By Geography". Lost Virtual Tour. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  14. ^ MythBusters: Duct Tape Island Aftershow : Video : Discovery Channel
  15. ^ "See More on IMDb Pro » MythBusters: Season 10, Episode 1 Duct Tape Island". IMDB. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 

External links[edit]