Camping in Waianae, Hawaii

by Jacob Michael

Waianae, on the west coast of the island of Oahu, boasts shoreline vistas and views of nearby Waianae Valley. There are several public and private campsites in the area, as well as other campsites nearby. For those who wish to enroll their children in a summer- or school-break camping program, two campgrounds near Waianae offer weekly camps for different age groups.

Honolulu County Parks

Four state parks run by the City and County of Honolulu (honolulu.gov) are located in Waianae. Kea'au Beach Park -- renovated in March 2011 in a massive cleanup effort by the city -- is the biggest, with 25 campsites. Also located in Waianae: Lualualei Beach Park, Maili Beach Park and Nanakuli Beach Park; all three parks are smaller, with 12 or fewer campsites available. Camping at the Kea'au or Nanakuli parks is allowed Friday to Wednesday. Maili is open to campers on the weekends only, and Lualualei's campsites are open only during the summer. Apply for camping permits at the Park Permits office at the Frank F. Fasi Municipal building at 650 South King Street or stop by the satellite city hall offices in either Kapolei or Wahiawa.

Waianae Camp

Waianae Camp (campwaianae.com; 85-1560 Haleahi Road, Waianae; 595-7591) has seven cabins available to rent for large camping groups, with several amenities on-site, including a large kitchen, a swimming pool, a fire pit and a dining hall. Waianae Camp is owned and run by the Hawaii Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, and has separate reservation rates for local church members. A minimum of 10 people is required to make a reservation at Waianae Camp.

Nearby Forest Trail Camping

There are three trails to the north of Waianae that allow camping. These trails are run by the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife (ehawaii.gov) and camping permits can be purchased online. Kuaoakala Forest Reserve has a long trail that crosses public hunting areas. The trail has no designated campsites and campers can camp anywhere within the trail. Peacock Flats has two campgrounds, both with designated campsites. Both Peacock Flats campgrounds don't have a potable water source, so campers must bring their own.

Nearby Camping Programs

To the south of Waianae is Camp Timberline (kamaainakids.com/camp-timberline/overview; 156 Hamakua Dr. Suite C, Kailua; 808-262-4538), a private campground with several summer- and fall-break programs for all age groups. Camp Timberline has several campsites to fit the needs of families and school groups, including traditional tent sites, bunkhouses and large stables. On-site amenities include a swimming pool, fire pits, dining hall and meeting facilities. North of Waianae is Camp Erdman (ymcahonolulu.org/camp_erdman; 441 Pali Highway, Honolulu; 808-531-9622), a campground run by the YMCA of Honolulu. Camp Erdman offers programs for summer break and other school intercessions, as well as a training program for young camp counselors. Registration forms can be filled out and submitted online.

About the Author

Jacob Michael has been a freelance writer since 2010, with expertise in computers, cooking, travel and other topics. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is pursuing a master's degree in American studies.

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