Shark’s Cove / Pupukea Beach Park (Pūpūkea)

Lava rock cove great for scuba and snorkeling

The Beach

Shark’s Cove is a lava rock rock beach located on O’ahu’s North Shore, on the south end of Pupukea Beach Park, known as one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Don’t let the name scare you though, you’re not likely to encounter a shark attack here. Depending on who’s story you believe, the name comes from the fact that a coral reef just outside the cove has the silhouette of a shark or that harmless white-tipped reef sharks inhabit the reefs outside the cove.

Either way, you can expect your primary audience in the cove to be a variety of tropical fish and sea turtles that inhabit the cove’s waters. If you have your scuba equipment or are an experienced freediver you may also want to explore a little deeper as there are underwater caves and lava tunnels around the cove.

Shark’s Cove is best to explore during the summer months when the surf is down. During the winter, the combination of the North Shore’s famously powerful winter surf and the cove’s sharp lava rock is a recipe for injury. The sharp rock might also make water shoes advisable if you don’t have tough feet.

The Activities

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba
  • Swimming