North O’ahu more commonly known as the North Shore. O’ahu’s North Shore is the mecca of big-wave surfing. Kamehameha Highway hugs the coast, taking travelers through the sleepy, old beach towns of Kaaawa, Punaluu, Hauula, La’ie, Kahuku, and Sunset. Located on the Makua side (mountain side), is Kualoa Ranch, home of scenes from Jurassic Park. You’ll also find the Waimea Bay, Valley, and Waterfall. Home of the 45-foot waterfall, 5,000 botanicals in 1,800 acres of pristine gardens, and practitioners and artisans sharing hala weaving, lomi-lomi massage, bone and wood carvings, and hula demonstrations. It also includes swimming, the Na Mea Ono snack shop, Proud Peacock restaurant, and shopping. There is a Farmer’s Market every Thursday from 2pm through 6pm. It was previously home to powerful kahunas (priests). Remnants of their temples can be seen at the entrance of the valley.
The North Shore is located on the windward side of the island. Driving it, you’ll pass Kane’ohe, Kualoa, and Mokoli’I also known as Chinaman’s Hat. Following Kahana Bay, you’ll find La’ie Beach, also known as Hukilau Beach. A hukilau is a fishing event where non-fishermen are able to catch fish with the help of the locals. The next community to La’ie is Kahuku, which is famous for all its shrimp farms and shrimp food trucks.
Up the road is Turtle Bay Resort. The Turtle Bay Resort is at the end of the Ko’olau Mountain range. It has 443 rooms, 2 adult pools, 1 keiki pool, 2 spas, 4 tennis courts, 2 golf courses, 6 restaurants, horse stables, a helipad, etc., etc. etc. Turtle Bay is an 880-acre resort with 5 miles of beaches, and it even has a private elevator for brides heading to the wedding chapel.
At the end of all the paved roads, there is a place called Leina-a-ka-uhane, which means the leaping place for souls. The ancients believed that while you were on your death bed, your soul left your body and wandered around. For the Hawaiians who lived in O’ahu, the soul would eventually end up with Leina-a-ka-uhane. It would climb the sandstone rock, face the ocean, and leap into the company of its ancestors at the exact moment that the person died. If the person had no ancestors, the soul would fall into po-pau-‘ole-o-milu (the endless night), where it would wander around the island for eternity as a ghost, known as a night marcher.
Cites: O’ahu This Week; Welcome to O’ahu