Situated between Protection Point and Kuilima Point on the North Shore, Turtle Bay is known for its untouched natural beauty. The aptly named bay is also home to a large population of sea turtles, who used to lay their eggs in the sand many years ago.
Exploring Nature in Turtle Bay
One of the last undeveloped areas in Oahu, Turtle Bay is characterized by its rock formations and wild coastal beaches. Turtle Bay also offers an abundance of opportunities for wildlife viewing, with its green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seal habitats. The area is also known for its whale spotting opportunities and traditional fishing areas.
Unfortunately, swimming conditions are poor at Turtle Bay, as the ocean bottom near to the shore is quite rocky. In addition, there is a large limestone shelf that stretches across nearly the entire length of the bay. While this may not be ideal for swimming, the coastal underwater formations at Turtle Bay serve as the ideal home for some of the most striking algae on the islands. Martensia fragilis, which ranges in color from light blue to pink and orange, grows on the rocks in tide pools as well as on reef flats.
For those who want to explore nature outside of the water, Turtle Bay boasts around 5 miles of beaches and 12 miles of trails. Turtle Bay is also the site of the Rainbows Break surf spot and offers excellent opportunities for kayaking.
Turtle Bay Attractions
In addition to its untouched natural attractions, Turtle Bay is also home to small agricultural lots and Hawaiian ancestral burial grounds. A World War II concrete bunker can also be explored at the tip of the bay’s western point just north of Route 83. Kawela Bay is located just to the west of this point, while the former site of the Kahuku Army Airfield is located to the east.
Perhaps the most impressive man-made attraction on Turtle Bay is the Turtle Bay Resort. Located on the North Shore on 840 acres of land, the resort is the only large hotel in the area. Consisting of 410 hotel rooms and suites, the resort also boasts beachfront Villas and the Kuilima Estates Condos.
The resort, which also owns five miles of oceanfront along Turtle Bay, recently underwent a $45 million resort-wide, eco-system renovation. Due to the location of the hotel and the way it was constructed, every room within the hotel offers a view of the ocean. The resort also boasts a number of restaurants as well as two championship golf courses: The Arnold Palmer Course and The George Fazio Course.
Due to its unspoiled landscape and its proximity to Honolulu, Turtle Bay is also a popular spot for filming for television and movies. Its rock formations and constant rolling surf served as the backdrop for the series Lost, while Forgetting Sara Marshall was filmed at the Turtle Bay Resort. Mythbusters also chose the bay as its site to test myths related to being marooned on a desert island with only duct tape and a few other simple items.