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What is the Halona Blowhole?

The Halona Blowhole is a natural wonder on Oahu's rugged coastline, where ocean waves force water through a lava tube, creating a spectacular geyser-like spray. This breathtaking display is a testament to nature's power and the volcanic origins of the Hawaiian Islands. Have you ever wondered what other secrets lie hidden within Earth's geological formations? Join us to explore further.
B. Miller
B. Miller

The Halona Blowhole, sometimes spelled Halona Blow Hole, is a popular tourist destination in Hawaii. It is found on the south shore of the island of Oahu, north of Haunama Bay along Kalanianole Highway. Widely regarded as a can't-miss destination, a stop at the Halona Blowhole can be a great way to relax while sightseeing in Hawaii.

The Halona Blowhole is a natural phenomenon, caused by an underground lava tube created by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. The lava tube that creates the Halona Blowhole opens into the sea and when the waves crash into it, tremendous pressure builds up inside the tube. This causes water to shoot up and out of the tube.

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Woman waving

While the water can shoot out up to 30 feet (almost 10 meters) into the air, the conditions are not always optimal to show such an impressive display. If the waves are large, you are more likely to see this natural occurrence than on calm days. Otherwise, you will just see some mist and steam rising from the blowhole.

Visitors and locals recommend viewing the Halona Blowhole from the scenic lookout since it is dangerous to get too close. Getting to the lookout is relatively easy for everyone as it is handicapped-accessible. While the blowhole is beautiful, the jettison of water is not the only spectacular view you can see from the lookout.

From this lookout during the winter, you can sometimes see whales at play. If the day is especially clear, you can make out some of the outer islands of Hawaii, including Molokai and Lanai. Finally, if you are especially lucky, you may also be able to catch a glimpse of the Hawaiian green sea turtle.

The lookout is a good place to relax and bring a picnic lunch. It is also a nice walk down to the beach. Next to the Halona Blowhole is the Halona Beach Cove. You can swim here when the waves are not too rough, but since there are no lifeguards on duty, you might want to play it safe and refrain from this. The Halona Beach Cove is also known for a famous scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Care in the movie From Here to Eternity, produced in 1953.

The coast where the blowhole is located is one of the most dangerous for diving and snorkeling because the high cliffs prevent exiting the water easily. Additionally, the strong current, slippery rocks and high waves, make exercising caution while visiting this beautiful location a must. It is best to view and enjoy the Halona Blowhole from a safe distance rather than putting yourself in danger.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Halona Blowhole and how was it formed?

The Halona Blowhole is a natural ocean geyser located on the southeastern shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It was formed thousands of years ago when molten lava tubes were etched out by the ocean waves. When the surf is right, waves funnel into the tube and shoot water up to 30 feet in the air. The phenomenon is a result of the pressure that builds up as waves enter the tube and is a spectacular sight, especially when the tide is high and the wind is strong.

Can visitors swim near the Halona Blowhole?

Swimming near the Halona Blowhole is not recommended due to the dangerous currents and sharp rocks. The area around the blowhole can be slippery and treacherous, and rogue waves can catch visitors off guard. For safety, it's best to enjoy the view from a distance and heed any posted warning signs. Nearby, Halona Beach Cove, also known as Eternity Beach, offers a more suitable spot for swimming in calmer conditions.

What is the best time to visit the Halona Blowhole for optimal viewing?

The best time to visit the Halona Blowhole for an impressive display is during high tide or when the sea is rough, typically during the winter months. Morning hours are often ideal as the position of the sun can enhance the visual spectacle of the geyser. Visitors should check local tide charts and weather forecasts to plan their visit accordingly for the most dramatic effect.

Is there an admission fee to see the Halona Blowhole?

There is no admission fee to see the Halona Blowhole. It is located in Halona Blowhole Lookout, which is a public area accessible to everyone. Parking and viewing areas are provided for free, making it an affordable and popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. However, it can get crowded, so arriving early or visiting during off-peak times can provide a more enjoyable experience.

Are there any cultural significances associated with the Halona Blowhole?

The Halona Blowhole and its surrounding area hold cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. The blowhole is located near ancient Hawaiian fishing grounds and is part of the rugged coastline that has been featured in Hawaiian legends and stories. Additionally, the nearby Halona Beach Cove has historical importance as it was a filming location for the famous kiss scene in the 1953 movie "From Here to Eternity," further adding to the area's cultural lore.

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