Kayaking Kailua Overview
Twelve miles northeast of Honolulu is the beautiful Kailua – a 4-mile ivory sand, pristine bay protected by coral reefs. The scenic views and paradise-like vibes of Kailua makes it a famous getaway spot for anyone who wants to escape busy Honolulu for a while. Kailua is known for its long, white sand beaches and gentle waves – ideal for water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.
Why Kayaking Kailua is Great
Although Kailua is only 30-minutes away from Waikiki and Honolulu, it feels a world away from the sprawling resorts, high rise hotels, and the city’s infamous traffic. Kailua’s beach is perfect for first time kayakers, paddleboarders, and surfers. Plus, many kayakers spot sea turtles, monk seals, and more on a visit to the area. Bar none, Kailua is a perfect destination for your family kayak trip, couples kayaking, or solo kayak adventures.
Where to Go Kayaking in Kailua
The best kayaking in Kailua, HI is anywhere along Kailua’s long beach. The most popular area to start is near Kailua Beach Park, which has a convenient launching spot for cruising up to Lanikai Beach or over to the bird sanctuaries, the Mokulua Islands. As the Mokulua Islands are offshore, remember that the winds are against you until your return trip. If you are not an experienced kayaker, we recommend a kailua kayaking tour to explore the islands. Most Kailua kayaking tours provide snacks, water, and/or lunch. Local paddlers suggest a drybag, plenty of water, and tasty treats for your time on the water.
When to Go Kayaking in Kailua
The best time to visit Kailua is from January through May for the best temperatures. April to June and September to December see less visitors, so also make ideal times to visit. Typically across the Hawaiian Islands, the winds are the gentlest in the morning. The same goes for the best kayaking in Kailua, HI, before noon is your best bet. Regardless of when you go, if you plan on going offshore, make sure to get the weather report.
Getting to Kailua, O‘ahu
There are direct flights from various domestic airports to Honolulu, O‘ahu (HNL) airport. From the West Coast of the United States, the flight time is a little over five hours. To experience Kailua, it is best to rent a car. By car, you can drive from Waikiki and Honolulu in a half-hour or from O‘ahu’s North Shore in forty-five minutes. Either drive is breathtaking, so be prepared for photo stops along the way.
Kayaking Kailua Rentals, Tours & Lessons
TripOutside features the absolute best Kailua kayak rentals and kayaking tours in Kailua. Our Kailua shops, instructors, and guides are all four-star rated or above, and are some of the most experienced kayak experts in all of Hawaii. We take the guesswork out of booking kayak rentals Kailua or kayak lessons Kailua – all of our outfitters provide top notch service and safety.
Kayaking Kailua FAQs
Where is best to launch Kailua beach kayak?
For Kailua Bay kayaking, the best launching place is right next to the Kailua Beach Park. Head towards the bridge and you will see a canal for launching your Kailua kayak rental. An alternative is to start at Lanikai Beach, which is a direct shot to the Mokulua Islands, but not as nice of a launching spot.
How long does it take to kayak from Kailua Beach to Mokulua Islands?
The Mokulua Islands (aka Mokes) is probably the most popular Kailua kayaking tour or do-it-yourself route with a kayak rental. The Mokes are only a half-mile off-shore. So, you can see your destination from Kailua’s beach. However, the timing depends on the winds. Most estimate forty-five minutes to an hour to arrive at the Mokes.
Do you need a permit to land at the Mokes?
Yes, you do need a permit, which costs you $3 per person. The easiest way to obtain one is to get it through your Kailua kayak rental shop or take a guided Kailua kayaking tour.
Can you kayak to Kaneohe Sandbar?
Yes, you can kayak to Kaneohe Sandbar, but not from Kailua. You would need to transport your Kailua kayak rental to Kaneohe Bay. The paddle out to the sandbar is about a thirty minute ride.