So you’re going to Oahu or are in Hawaii and want to go camping, but you’re unsure of where and how. You can’t go wrong with picking a beach, but a nice hike will eventually lead you to some campsites. I’ve been going to Oahu Island for over a decade now and have been camping many different places, so I wanted to share my experience.
Oahu is a great island for camping. The weather is warm here most of the year, so there’s no reason to not be outdoors enjoying nature. It can be tough to choose which campsite or campground to go to on Oahu though, so I’ve come up with a list of my top seven picks for camping in Oahu.
For those who think camping is too strenuous and need all the comforts of home, there are resorts where you have camp amenities like electricity, showers with hot water, air conditioning, and even internet access. If you want to test your survival skills in an unconventional campsite, Oahu wont disappoint you!
Waianae Kai Campsite
Waianae Kai Campsite is located in the Wai’anae Coast State Wilderness Park. This beachfront campground is easily accessible and offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.
The campground has eight campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no reservations at this location—but don’t worry! The campsites are not very popular so you shouldn’t have trouble getting one up until late afternoon each day.
The campsites are separated by a small stream that runs through them all, which makes it easy to find privacy if that’s your thing (it’s not mine).
Each site has fire pits, picnic tables and grills for cooking food over an open flame; however there are no bathrooms or showers here so be sure to pack what you need before setting off into the wilderness!
The cost per night ($25 per person) includes permits needed for camping in Oahu State Parks—which means it’s easy on your wallet too!
What should I bring? You’ll want to pack plenty of mosquito repellent when visiting Waianae Kai Campsite because there aren’t any nearby cabins where mosquitoes won’t be able to find their way inside your tent or camper trailer (trust me). In addition: water bottles filled with fresh coconut juice from nearby farms will also help keep those pesky pests away while drinking delicious drinks made from local resources!
Malaekahana Beach State Park
Malaekahana Beach State Park is a little-known gem on the windward side of Oahu. The park is located in Kailua, about 10 miles north of Waimanalo Beach and 20 minutes from the North Shore.
The shoreline here has been designated a marine life conservation district by the state since 1981, making this a great place for snorkeling. There are also hiking trails through a forested area with views of Kaneohe Bay and Kaena Point as well as some great beaches to explore like Makapu’u Beach Park and Sandy Beach Park (both are less than an hour away).
Kahana Valley State Park
This campground is located on the North Shore of Oahu. The beach is amazing and there’s a great hiking trail that’s just five minutes from the campground.
There’s also a nice picnic area with lots of shade trees, so you can have fun playing in the sun without getting too hot! The campground also has its own store where you can buy snacks and drinks at affordable prices, but if you want to make your own meals instead then they’ll let you use their kitchen equipment for free!
Camping here will be an experience like no other—you’ll never want to go camping anywhere else after staying at this wonderful place!
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens
This is a great place to experience the outdoors, and it’s free! Located at 45-680 Luluku Rd., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 with an official website.
What to bring: If you’re camping, don’t forget your tent and sleeping bag or air mattress (depending on how comfortable you are). You’ll also need some water, food and drinkable water. Make sure that if there’s no rain in sight then bring enough sunscreen too—it gets hot out there without much shade coverage! Finally don’t forget anything else like clothes or toiletries—you never know what might happen when exploring nature so prepare yourself accordingly!
Bellows Field Beach Park
Bellows Field Beach Park is a great place for camping in Oahu.
Kualoa Regional Park and Campground
Camping at Kualoa Regional Park is a great option for those who want to experience camping on Oahu. Camping is available at no charge, though you will have to reserve one of the campsites ahead of time.
The campground has 20 campsites that can accommodate tents or RVs up to 16 feet long. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with grill, though you must bring your own charcoal and firewood; propane is prohibited due to local fire bans throughout the year.
Camping rules do vary from park to park—make sure you check the official Oahu camping guide before setting out!
Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park
Ahupuaa O Kahana State Park is located on the North Shore of Oahu and has some of the most stunning views of the island. It’s open from 6am to 6pm all year round.
The park has a campground where you can stay overnight, making it a great place to get away from city life and enjoy nature. There are also beaches, hiking trails, and picnic areas that you can visit in your time at this awesome spot!
Things to remember when planning a camping trip to Oahu
There are so many things to consider if you plan on going camping on Oahu. So, I’ve created this handy little guide that will help you get the best experience possible, even if you’re a first-timer. You’ll learn everything from how to choose the perfect camp site, what permits to purchase, and how to prepare for the island’s high volume of traffic. If you want to make sure you have a good time, there are few things I recommend doing before arriving at your final destination.
All campgrounds on Oahu require a permit.
Permits may be obtained online at camping.honolulu.gov or in person at the Fasi Municipal Building (FMB). Online permits become available two (2) Fridays before the Friday you wish to camp at 5:00pm HST. In-person permits become available Monday in the Permits Office.
Campers are required to set up camp only in designated campsites and must move from one campsite to another each night. Campers may not set up a tent or other temporary shelter anywhere else on public land except within a designated campsite.
Campers must maintain a distance of 25 feet from all streams and water sources, including springs and ponds, and 100 feet from all streams and water sources during heavy rains, floods or landslides.
Keep all food properly stored away from animals, including wild pigs and birds. Do not leave food unattended while you are hiking or swimming; it may attract wild animals who might damage your equipment and belongings or harm you.
Leave no trace — take all your trash with you when you leave an area, even if it is not yours!
Permits range ($6-$200) in price
Planning a camping trip to Oahu is a great way to get off the beaten path and enjoy the serene beauty of Hawaii’s lush landscape. If you’re planning to camp on Oahu, there are a few things you’ll need to know before getting started.
Permits range (~$6-$200) in price depending on Hawaii state residency, agency, and type of camping. If you’re planning to camp on public land, it’s best to check with each agency first to see if they require permits for camping.
Camping permits are required for all types of camping in Hawaii, with the exception of backcountry hiking where no established campsites exist.
There are many different types of public land available for camping on Oahu including beaches, parks, and forests along with some private land that may allow tent camping or RV parking in designated areas.
Book your campsite early to avoid disappointment
Another thing to keep in mind is how busy each park can get during peak season. If you’re looking for peace and quiet during your stay, book your campsite early — especially if it’s during spring break or summer vacation. The last thing anyone wants at the beach is the sound of screaming kids playing across the sand dunes while they’re trying to enjoy their vacation!
If you prefer a more rustic experience, consider camping on one of Oahu’s many beaches — but make sure to check on any restrictions before setting up camp. Some beaches (like Makapuu Beach) prohibit overnight camping due to concerns about erosion caused by people walking on the sand dunes; others have strict rules about what kind of tents or accessories are allowed. It’s best to check with the state parks department before heading
Stay Safe and ensure you book a secure campsite
Booking a secure campsite is essential if you’re planning on staying overnight at one of the many campgrounds on Oahu. Most people who visit the island do so for its beautiful beaches and lush scenery and don’t want to deal with the hassle of camping. Secure campsites offer amenities such as bathrooms and showers, electricity and other conveniences that make camping easier for everyone involved.
Consider Your Location
When choosing where you want to camp on Oahu, think about what activities you want to do while you’re there. If you want to spend most of your time on the beach or swimming in the ocean, choose an area that has easy access to these activities. If you want more privacy or seclusion, look for a quieter area away from tourist spots.
Be ready to rough it out
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when planning a camping trip. It’s not just about setting up the tent and sleeping on the hard ground. You have to be prepared for the unexpected, like bad weather, bugs and even snakes!
If you are going on a camping trip to Oahu, here are some things that you need to know:
Be ready to rough it out. There are no hotels or resorts in Hawaii that offer camping services so be prepared to rough it out at night. Sleeping on the hard ground might not be comfortable but it is better than sleeping in your car or tent. Also, when you go camping, there will be no electricity so bring flashlights and lanterns for lighting up the area during the night time hours.
Bring bug repellent with DEET content. If there is one thing that I hate about camping, it’s bugs! They love me and I hate them back! Bugs like mosquitoes, ants and black flies can make any camping trip miserable so make sure that you bring plenty of bug repellent with DEET content to keep them away from your skin!
Bring rain gear and sunscreen too! It rains often on Oahu but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get wet while hiking through the mountains or walking along the beachfront.
Hawaii is a great place to camp! There is so much to do and see and you can feel good knowing that all of your money is going to the people who live there and not some hotel chain. If you’re looking for an adventure, this could be it! The only downside would be if you don’t like bugs or sand but otherwise everything else about camping on Oahu should be perfect!
Camping is a fantastic activity, which allows you to unplug, relax, and connect with nature. Hawaii offers a variety of camping sites; however, selecting the right one will greatly enhance your experience. We have summarized the main factors to consider when planning a camping trip to Oahu.