Oahu’s give island residents many lifestyle options. From beach towns to hidden valleys and family-friendly communities, the island of Oahu has it all. This is where you’ll learn more about Oahu’s wonderful neighborhoods
Bordered by the sparkling Pacific Ocean on one side, and the Waianae Mountains on the other, the Waianae coast is the welcoming spirit and the sense of ohana that nourishes those who venture along Farrington Highway beyond Ko Olina Resort.
What Waianae may lack in bling, it more than makes up for in natural beauty. Known for some of the state’s most beautiful beaches, great surfing, fishing, and possibly the most spectacular sunsets in the world, the Waianae coast is one of Oahu’s true treasures. Surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing are year round activities. Local families find any excuse to hit the beaches —including great family picnics and weekend gatherings. The setting is aesthetically unspoiled, but indeed it is the people who make Waianae special.
“I fell in love many years ago when my family bought a weekend home in Makaha and we never went back to Kahala,” says Sherry Holt-Reese, Realtor Associate and Previews Team Member at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. Sherry and her husband, Robert, built their home in a community called Mauna‘Olu, in the mountains of Makaha.
“There is a Heiau (ancient Hawaiian burial place) here and legend of nightwalkers in the community,” Sherry says. “When I got really sick two years ago, I believe the ancestors were watching over me.”
In addition to the abundance of water sports, leisure activities include golf at one of two public courses — either the Makaha Resort Golf Club or the Makaha Valley Country Club; hiking the Kuaokala Trail or Mokuleia Firebreak Road; camping; and hunting for pigs and goats in public hunting areas in season.
“Makaha is very much the gathering place for local families and every weekend is full of laughter, music and barbecuing,” she says. “And best of all, we don’t have tourist busses, and we can park at the beach for free.”
Photos courtesy of Kelly Carrington
Housing in Waianae is relatively low density with farms and agriculture a big part of the community, keeping the landscape the focal point. Today, there are 143 fee simple homes for sale in Waianae, ranging from a 4-bedroom, 4-bath pool home on a 68,000-square-foot lot with views of the ocean and golf course in Makaha for $2,250,000; to a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home needing some TLC for $135,000. Several homes are available right on the ocean, and represent some of Oahu’s most affordable waterfront properties.
Home sales in Waianae have been steady, especially among those homes and condos in the more affordable price ranges. The median price of a single-family home on the Waianae Coast in February of 2011 was $235,000, down 7 percent from $253,900 the previous year. However there has been an 18-percent increase in the number of sales closed, showing that demand is gaining strength.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Carrington
In the condo market, the median sales price was $90,500, up from $90,000 a year ago. Sales volume is also up in this segment of the market. Owning a home in Waianae is more affordable, especially for families looking for a little more elbow room.
Gorgeous deep-blue water full of marine life, the ocean and beaches may be Waianae’s main attraction. “Waianae is kind of the last frontier of Oahu,” says Brooke Holt, a descendant from the original Holt family of Makaha dating back to the early 1800s. “Although its population is growing, Waianae has really retained its rustic, small-town charm.
“Makaha Beach, Makua Beach and Yokohama Beach parks are in my opinion the most beautiful beaches on Oahu,” says Brooke. “Makaha Beach is the most popular surfing beach on the westside with the surf coming in most of the year. It catches winter swells and summer swells too. It’s for intermediate-to-advanced as the surf is powerful and the currents are quite strong.
“A good spot for the beginning surfer is Waianae Army Rest Camp,” says Brooke. There are several surf competitions held each year. The Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championship is held every Thanksgiving. Created by the late Rell Sunn to showcase the talents of young surfers, the event is well attended.
Buffalo Keaulana’s Big Board event is another long-standing contest held each February. “It features trick surfing, tandem surfing, canoe surfing as well as other unconventional events like the 250 pound and over bully boarding,” says Brooke.
Aquatic adventures Wild Side Specialty Tours Waianae Boat Harbor (808) 306-7273 sailhawaii.com
“There is about as much educational benefit to be gained by studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement.” Jacques Cousteau.
Photo Courtesy of WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOURS, Haa Keaulana.
Photo Courtesy of WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOURS, Alicia Franco.Connecting with nature is especially rewarding when you join one of Wild Side Specialty Tours’ Morning Wildlife Cruises that leave from the Waianae Boat Harbor daily. Looking to sail with the whales, swim with the dolphins or snorkel with turtles? The adventures with Wild Side have combined their studies, research and conservation efforts with taking people out on four-hour morning sails. With a focus on education and conservation, Wild Side maintains an interactive relationship in the best interest of both humans and dolphins. The company’s aim is to foster admiration and deep respect for these wonderfull marine mammals. There is nothing quite like being in the water with these amazing creatures.
Hawaiian waters are the only place in the United States where humpback whales reproduce. According to Wild Side’s website, scientists estimate that two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population migrate to Hawaiian waters for breeding, calving and nursing activities. The continued protection of humpback whales and their habitats is crucial to the long-term recovery of this endangered species.
Photo Courtesy of WILD SIDE SPECIALTY TOURS.
Much Aloha to Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and Island Homes Collection, Who bring wonderful neighborhoods and some of our favorite dining options.