Oahu is an adventure paradise. It’s a playground for the adrenaline hunters and for those who push their limits. The cliffs and waterfalls throughout the island make the perfect spot for cliff diving. I love watching and throwing myself into the ocean so I put together a list of all of the best spots for cliff jumping on Oahu.
Before you get to the list I have to make one thing clear. The conditions at all of these places are constantly changing. Rocks are moving below waterfalls, sand level and depths of the ocean are changing. Moving tides and weather conditions can change a safe jump into a dangerous jump. For example, the photo below is a place called China Walls and is often calm and great for swimming and cliff-jumping and other days has a huge swell as you can see. Therefore not only should you be safe but you should also check the location yourself. You should never take a blog post or an article as the all-clear for a safe jump. Please know your limits, be safe, never jump alone, and double-check the conditions and landing area. Oh and have fun!
MY FOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES ON OAHU
If you are looking for some more adventures on top of the cliff jumping while on Oahu, there are lots of other adventurous things to do that will also get your adrenaline pumping. Here are four of my favorites.
- Oahu scenic helicopter flight: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off). You will be absolutely blown away when you see Oahu from the sky! Click to book your tour: Doors-Off Helicopter Flight Tour
- North Shore Shark Cage Adventure: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks! Click to book your tour: North Shore Shark Cage Experience
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins. A once in a lifetime experience. Click to book your tour: Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: One of my favorite memories of Hawaii is floating in the water with a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. On this tour that is exactly what you will do! Click to book your tour: Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran
11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Waimea Bay Rock Jump
Waimea Bay is my favorite beach on Oahu. I wrote about the 11 reasons why it gets my vote for #1 beach on the island. You can read it here. One of those 11 reasons is the Waimea Bay jump rock. A giant rock straddles the shore with its back end on the sand and front end protruding into the ocean. While it seems the water might be too shallow it is almost always deep enough for some good cliff jumping action.
There are multiple spots to jump from with the highest level launching off from about 5 meters. This is one of the safest and most accessible cliff jumping spots on Oahu. Climbing the rock is very safe with natural steps all the way up and there are no rocks in the water to cause you any harm. In fact, the water is so clear during the summer at Waimea Bay jump rock that you can often spot turtles below the surface while hanging out on top of the rock.
The other cool part about Waimea Bay jump rock is that there is an underwater tunnel that leads you through the rock. It is only a few meters long but you should definitely proceed with caution and make sure it’s a calm day. In the winter this is not the spot for jumping. Shore-break waves crash hard at Waimea Bay during the winter and at times 40+ foot waves break further out in the bay making it one of the most epic surfing locations in the world.
Spitting Cave is in the suburb of Portlock and is one of the biggest cliff jump spots on Oahu. The cliffs are similar to China Walls, which is just around the corner. However, everything at Spitting Cave is on a large grander scale. A small inlet feeds into a cave in the cliffs below and as the pressure builds inside the cave with each ebb and flows the water bursts out with huge force. On days with rough conditions in the ocean, the blasts from the cave are phenomenal. The cliffs drop down about 70 feet into the water although some ledges make it possible to jump in from lower. The water is often quite turbid so you cannot see where rocks are beneath the surface. Locals know exactly where each rock is and also know how to land perfectly in the right spot. I personally never jumped here but might if I head back in the future now that I’ve done a bit of cliff jumping. Be extra careful at this spot it is one of the more dangerous on this list and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, it’s an awesome little area to get some epic cliff jump photos on Oahu.
West Side Cliff Jumping
The west side of Oahu is the least explored area by tourists and probably one of the nicest regions of the island. Beautiful beaches and some epic hikes line the coast. The pink pillbox hike is one of the best trails, which isn’t too challenge but provides insane views of the coast. Just before Yokohama Beach, there are a series of nice spots to launch into the ocean. The heights aren’t huge but it’s a great way to release a little bit of energy on your west side adventures. This is one of the lesser known Oahu cliff jumping spots.
Laie Point Cliff Jump
A 25-30 ft cliff jump on Oahu’s north shore is a well-known spot for a strange reason. The popular cliff jump scene from the movie, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ was filmed right here. It’s the best out and out cliff jump spot on the north shore of Oahu and a great way to break up the drive if you are heading up from the east coast. The best time to make the cliff jump is in the summer time because the waves on the north shore of Oahu get crazy big during the winter. Floating next to a cliff at Laie Point trying to scramble out of the water is not where you want to be during January.
One of my favorite adventure days on Oahu involved a traditional outrigger canoe journey to the Mokulua Islands. The Mokulua islands or ‘Na Mokulua’ are the iconic twin islands off of the stunning Lanikai Beach. We paddled out to the islands, which takes about 20-30 minutes and is more or less the only way to make it out there. Once we made it to the back of the Mokulua we tested out a couple of different levels of cliff jumps. There is one smaller jump of about 4 meters into crystal clear water, which was super fun and pretty safe. However, if you clamber up the cliffside there is one epic jump. I shot this snap of my friend making the leap from way up high. You can see the reef below but the gap to land in isn’t massive.
Alan Davis Plank Jump
Alan Davis Beach is a short detour from the popular Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. What’s so cool about this beach on the east coast of Oahu? Wedged into the rocks on the side of the beach are two wooden planks that lead you out over crystal water deep enough to accommodate all the diving and flipping you can handle.
Out on the east coast of Oahu, Alan Davis Beach is rarely spoken about among tourists but the locals flock here like crazy on the weekends. Hoards of school kids and beachgoers head to the secluded beach to jump in off the wooden planks. Several wooden boards have been wedged into the rock wall creating several diving boards.
Alan Davis Beach is a great spot to do some low key cliff jumping in a relatively safe swimming area. If you can, head to the beach on a week day to avoid the flocks of crowds on a weekend.
Read my full blog post: Alan Davis Beach
Lulumahu Water Tank Cliff Jump (Illegal)
Lulumaha Falls is a short waterfall trek, which begins just off the Pali Hwy. If you follow the trail towards the waterfall along the way you will pass a reservoir. To get to the tank In the middle of the reservoir you would need to climb over a fence into restricted area which is illegal. This is an extremely dangerous spot and I have only ever seen very experienced divers fling themselves from the tall tower. I’m not 100% sure it is an illegal jump but playing on the safe side and knowing that most of the cool things on Oahu are restricted I will label it illegal until someone corrects me. Social media star and gun videographer Sam Kolder, is one of the guys who has made a few videos at this particular spot. Devin Supertramp another Youtube star has also made an awesome video from this spot.
Mauna Wili Falls
Mauna Wili Falls is what Oahu is all about. The jungle hidden right on the doorstep of the city. A 2-mile trail is riddled with tree roots and slippery sections but leads down to an epic cliff jump spot. A 20-foot waterfall flows into the basin of dark water, surrounded by thick foliage. You can reach the top of the falls by scaling the cliffs or take the easier option by following the trail. This is a 30ft cliff jump into dark water. Definitely check for debris and rocks before sending it. In terms of Honolulu cliff jumping, this is one of the closest jumps if you live downtown.
Kapena Falls on Oahu is an epic water basin, which requires a hike through the Jurassic Park like terrain and jungle. Banyan trees and giant boulders line the trail that leads to the watering hole. Here you can refresh after the short hike, which is near the Nuuanu Memorial. A 40ft cliff jump will give you adrenaline seekers something to go after. The water here is quite dark so be sure to check this one for rocks and debris under the surface!
Waimea Falls is a beautiful nature walk just behind Waimea Bay Beach. The nature walk takes you on a tour exploring hundreds of species of plants and animals. However, I doubt you are reading this post to find out about insects, you want cliff jumps. Well, take a look at this epic vintage video for some inspiration. Between Waimea Bay jump rock and Waimea Falls there is some pretty good North Shore cliff diving to be done!
China Walls Cliff Jump
A beautiful, wavy rock formation is a ledge of activity on the edge of the ocean in Portlock, Oahu. During the summer months, the surf can pick up at China Walls and when it does a crowd flocks to the area to watch brave surfers push their limits in some of the most dangerous waves I have seen. However, when it’s flat the area is an awesome place to hang out with friends on the ledge and throw some gainers and flips into the water. It can be a little tricky climbing back up the ledge. I’ve seen plenty of people get a few cuts and scrapes on the way up.
The Jump is only about 4 meters but it’s high enough to send a few flips. The best part about China Walls is that the ledge is a sweet place to set up for the day with a few drinks and snacks while laying out in the sun.
Read my full post: China Walls on Oahu
Waimano Falls trek is a 3-mile round trip trail, which gets increasingly more difficult as the trail continues. At the end of the trail is Waimano Falls. A soft-bottomed watering hole is a playground awaiting you after the hike. A rope swing and a 4 meter cliff jump into the water is the perfect way to refresh before the trek back.
Where to stay on Oahu
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach. Luxury rooms overlooking the beach, a private lagoon and a free fireworks and dance performance show. Hilton is easily the most recognizable hotel on the Island. Kids can kayak, swim and snorkel with no worries.
Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach. The bar and nightclub at the Sheraton is a great place to relax after a long day of island adventures.
Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Hotels in Waikiki can be expensive. Deciding where to stay on Oahu can be difficult if you don’t have much cash. Luckily, there is an accommodation option on the edge of Waikiki that is excellent value. Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD. If you are like me, I never swim in the hotel pool anyway.
Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location. Walking distance to Waikiki beach and a central location to base yourself for a week of adventures. You can grab a dorm room for under $35 a night within walking distance to Waikiki surf beach.
Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like a theme park at times with just how many pools and activities are available. If you can afford it, this is the #1 place to stay for families on Oahu. A huge lazy river/tire tube lagoon is probably the highlight of the resort although the water slides and private beach aren’t too far behind.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
My Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 THINGS TO DO ON OAHU – THE BUCKET LIST
What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK AND WHY
A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU: WHICH REGION IS BEST FOR YOU?
Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII: UPDATED 2018
The best Waterfalls: 11 AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU, HAWAII
The Best Hikes on Oahu: 10 BEST HIKES ON OAHU, HAWAII
My favorite experience on Oahu: AMAZING DOORS OFF HELICOPTER TOUR OF OAHU, HAWAII