Current conditions at Pokai Beach Park

Beach & Nearshore


Approach the water with caution. Be aware that ocean conditions can change. This is the safest level of nearshore conditions.
Primarily for beachgoers and surfers


High Hazard

Conditions are hazardous. Kayakers and users of other unpowered craft are encouraged to stay out of the ocean.
Primarily for boaters and kayakers
Learn more about these rating signs and alerts. Ratings updated Thursday, February 02, 2023 - 4:55am


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Winds East at 3.5 MPH (3 KT)

Surf Forecast (Official)

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Beach ID: 56


Pokai Bay Beach Park, portions of Lualualei No. 2, Nanakuli Beach Park (including Cove) and Tracks Beach Park will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily beginning July 28. The shoreline will remain accessible to fishermen at all hours.

In the 1922 Hawaiian Annual, editor Thomas Thrum gave a brief description of Pokai: “Po-ka-i, a land section of Waianae, is said to be the name of an early voyaging chief from Kahiki, who brought and planted there the coconut from which has spring its grove, famed in song.” One of the songs that mentions the bay is Aloha ʻIa ʻO Waiʻanae. Written by Waiʻanae residents Abigail Pililaau and Rachael Kaleiwahea and popularized by the Kahauanu Lake Trio in their 1964 album Hawaiian Style, the first verse describes the coconut grove.

Aloha ia o Waianae Love for Waianae

He malu i ka ulu niu Peaceful shade of the coconut grove

Ulu niu kaulana o Pokai Famous coconut grove of Pokai Bay

He nani ke ike aku. I see the beauty.

Pokaʻi Bay, the most protected bay on the Waiʻanae shore, lies between the Waiʻanae Small Boat Harbor and Kaneʻilio Point. The bay takes its name from Ka Uluniu o Pokaʻi, the famous coconut grove that once grew in its backshore. The Waiʻanae Army Recreation Center, a 20-acre recreational facility acquired by the federal government in 1918, is in the middle of the bay, and Pokaʻi Bay Beach Park, a 15-acre public park, is on Kaneʻilio Point. A sand beach lines the entire bay.

Pokaʻi Bay Beach Park is the site of the former Waiʻanae Small Boat Harbor. Dedicated in October 1953, the harbor was relocated to the west end of the bay in 1980. The breakwater that protected the original harbor was left in place where it protects the swimming beach during periods of high surf and provides a popular fishing site. A wide reef lies in the center of the bay. Waves breaking on the reef are normally small and gentle, providing a good surf site for novice surfers.

Kaneʻilio Point is the site of Kuʻilioloa heiau, one of the temples in Hawaiʻi that was built on a point in the ocean. A popular fishing site, the shore of the point is lined with home-made memorials for people whose ashes have been scattered offshore.

This description is from John R. K. Clark's Beaches Series: Beaches of Oʻahu, Beaches of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, Beaches of Maui County, and Beaches of the Big Island published and available for purchase from the University of Hawaiʻi Press. We thank John R. K. Clark for providing beach descriptions for use on this site.
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