The Windward Coast of Oahu
The Windward Coast of Oahu – In Hawaii, the prevailing trade winds blow east/northeast to west/southwest bringing storms and cooler air with them to the windward, or east, side of the islands. On Oahu, the incoming storms and moisture stall on the corduroy-ridged, nearly perpendicular cliffs of the Ko’olau Mountain Range, and drop the majority of their rain on that eastern windward coast.
As you exit the tunnels on the other side of the Ko’olau Range driving from Honolulu, it feels as if you’re entering another world as the drier landscape and bustling metropolitan area give way to an incredible luscious green countryside. For me, it was the quntessential Hawaii landscape that I had always envisioned – tall spine-like mountains covered in jungle on one side and turqiouse blue shimmering water with white sand beaches on the other.
We ended up taking two trips over to the windward coast from where we were staying in Ko’Olina. One trip was right down through Honolulu and Waikiki and around the southeast shore and back along the Pali Highway. The other trip was a sunrise expedition to Kualoa Point and then up and around the winding shore road the to the world-renouned North Shore.
Personally, I couldn’t get out of Waikiki fast enough (and we literally only drove through it… didn’t stop!) and Ko’Olina was absolutley beautiful, but still bustling.
The Windward Coast and North Shore of Oahu was what I had always imaged Hawaii to be…
Makapu’u Point Lookout
Nu’uana Pali Lookout
Mokolii Island (mo-ko-lee-ee)
Better known as Chinaman’s Hat due to its distinctive shape, which is reminiscent of the conical “coolie hats” commonly worn in days of old by immigrant plantation workers.