Spouting Horn blowhole on Kauai, Hawaii, one of the best Hawaii blowholes

5 Best Hawaii Blowholes: Halona, Nakalele, Spouting Horn & Keahole Point

Ever watched the Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park? There is something fascinating about a huge gush of water erupting in thunderous fashion to heights of 180 feet (about a 20-story building)!

Hawaii has its own version of Yellowstone National Park’s popular geysers: Hawaii blowholes!

A blowhole operates somewhat similar to geysers – the ocean waves force water through underground lava tubes, expelling them out of the ground through openings called blowholes.

The bigger the waves, the greater the force with which the blowhole erupts, and the more dramatic and higher the water spray!

If you understand this much, you automatically know what is the best time to go watch a blowhole: high tide, stormy / windy conditions when you have huge wave swells and high surf warnings!

See below the towering water spray from the Nakalele Blowhole on Maui during high tide!

Aerial view of the Nakalele blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes on Maui, showing high tide waves
Aerial view of the Nakalele blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes on Maui, showing high tide waves

While there are many blowholes dotting the coastline of the main islands, the five best Hawaii blowholes are: Halona Blowhole on Oahu, Nakalele Blowhole and the Wai’anapanapa State Park Blowhole on Maui, the Spouting Horn Blowhole on Kauai and the Keahole Point Blowhole on the Big Island.

Be warned though, many of the blowholes in Hawaii may not erupt under disagreeable conditions: low tide, no wind, good weather and calm waters.

Close proximity to blowholes is not safe, and rogue waves are not uncommon. Every year, unwary tourists get swept out into the ocean!

Goes without saying, heed the warning signs and stay safely at designated lookout points.

Hey, by the way! Visiting Hawaii? While you finalize your packing, don’t forget to book your tours and activities, way in advance, to avoid disappointments! Start here, and pick the islands you plan to visit. Or go directly to the best Oahu tours, the best things to do in Maui, and the best Kauai helicopter tours!

The best Hawaii blowholes are best enjoyed from a distance, heed warning signs!
The best Hawaii blowholes are best enjoyed from a distance, heed warning signs!

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Best Hawaii Blowholes

1. Halona Blowhole, Oahu

The most famous of all the blowholes in Hawaii, the Halona Blowhole is just a few minutes from Waikiki and Honolulu, on the southeast coast of Oahu, between Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Sandy Beach.

Water spray eruptions can reach upto 30 feet high, especially during high tide and high wind conditions.

Iconic Halona Blowhole on the windward side of Oahu, most famous of Hawaii blowholes!
Iconic Halona Blowhole on the windward side of Oahu, most famous of Hawaii blowholes!

You can expect stunning views from the Halona Blowhole lookout, and we spotted majestic humpback whales on our last winter visit!

The nearby beautiful Halona Cove (visible from the Halona Blowhole lookout) was the site of many Hollywood movie shootings including “From Here to Eternity” and the “Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides.”

Halona Cove Beach (also known as Eternity Beach), Oahu, Hawaii
Halona Cove Beach (also known as Eternity Beach), Oahu, Hawaii

Watching the Halona Blowhole erupt is one of the best free things to do on the windward side of Oahu!

And even if the blowhole is not active, the stop is very scenic, with views over the pretty Halona Beach Cove.

The Halona Blowhole is located near Hanauma Bay, and is a stop on most island tours. Here are three highly popular, 5-star rated island tours that stop at Halona Blowhole:

2. Nakalele Blowhole, Maui

The Nakalele Blowhole can shoot water up an impressive 100+ feet when conditions are ideal, making for a remarkable sight!

Nakalele Blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes, a natural feature on Maui's northern coastline
Nakalele Blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes, a natural feature on Maui’s northern coastline

While you get amazing views from the hilltop lookout, braver souls can take the rocky and often slippery trail for a closer view, but make sure you keep a safe distance.

Don’t forget to turn around to take a snap of the beautiful, heart-shaped, natural hole formation, a popular Instagram photo opportunity! The Nakalele Point Lighthouse is a few minutes walk away.

Natural, heart-shaped hole formation at Nakalele Blowhole in Maui, one of the best blowholes in Hawaii
Natural, heart-shaped hole formation at Nakalele Blowhole in Maui, one of the best blowholes in Hawaii

The Nakalele Blowhole is on the northern coast of Maui, a few miles north from Kapalua, around the 38 mile marker on Highway 340.

>> Book an exciting, 5-star rated, highly popular, Oahu tour now!

3. Spouting Horn Blowhole, Kauai

If you’re headed from Poipu to Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park, two of the best state parks on Kauai, make sure to stop at the Spouting Horn Blowhole, part of the Spouting Horn Beach Park, a convenient stop with lots of parking and restrooms.

The Spouting Horn blowhole ejects water and air to heights of upto 50 feet when the conditions are appropriate, and is a stunning sight to behold!

Spouting Horn blowhole erupting on Kauai, Hawaii, one of the best Hawaii blowholes
Spouting Horn blowhole erupting on Kauai, Hawaii, one of the best Hawaii blowholes

The Pacific Ocean views from this location are phenomenal, and you may spot humpback whale breaching the ocean waters in winter.

Sunsets here are amazing as well, so stay back for a colorful sunset if you have the time!

Colorful sunset at Spouting Horn Blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes
Colorful sunset at Spouting Horn Blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes

Visiting the Spouting Horn Blowhole is one of the best things to do in Kauai!

>> Book these 5 star rated, highly popular, Kauai Tours now!

4. Keahole Point Blowhole, Big Island

The Keahole Point Blowhole on the Big Island of Hawaii is best viewed for eruptions during high tide in the wintertime, when the waves swells are the most ferocious.

Keahole Point blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes on the Big Island, Hawaii, USA
Keahole Point blowhole, one of the best Hawaii blowholes on the Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Not only that, we spotted multiple humpback whales in winter, with their live blowholes and breaches providing a dramatic background to this geological wonder!

In summer, the wave action is usually not strong enough to eject water from the blowhole.

Keahole Point Blowhole is in Kailua-Kona, just a few minutes from Kona airport.

>> Book these 5 star rated, highly popular, Kauai Tours now!

5. Wai’anapanapa State Park Blowhole, Maui

One of the best stops on the magnificent road to Hana, the Wai’anapanapa State Park is a must-visit destination in Maui, where you can visit the stunning black sand beach, Pa’iloa Beach, enjoy magnificent views from lookouts, explore sea caves and hike a few trails!

And of course, a beautiful blowhole to be admired from a safe distance!

Spectacular blowhole in Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui, one of the best blowholes in Hawaii
Spectacular blowhole in Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui, one of the best blowholes in Hawaii

Be a bit cautious with this blowhole. We noticed every once in a while, a larger wave would result in a violent, much bigger plume of water, often drenching the nearby unsuspecting viewers.

Note, due to its popularity, you need reservations to enter the state park.

>> Book these 5-star rated, highly popular, Maui Tours now!

Ocean Safety Tips

Hawaii’s beaches are beautiful, but ocean activities can be dangerous. Ocean conditions are dynamic and can change without warning.

Here are some tips to enjoy the ocean and beaches safely:

  • ALWAYS heed posted warning signs.
  • Check conditions just before you arrive at your chosen beach, and watch conditions at the beach for a bit before you decide to enter the water.
  • Swim at a lifeguarded beach and ask the lifeguard for advice before you enter the water.
  • Never turn your back on the ocean, whether you are standing at the shore or on a cliff above. If you see wet rocks or sand, it means the water has been here recently.
  • Know your limitations, especially if you are not an experienced swimmer. If in doubt, do not go out.
  • If you choose to enter the water, go with a partner or in a group.
  • Know that alcohol can impair judgment and motor skills in the water.
  • Keep children close and always keep your eyes on what they are doing in the water.
  • Watch for sharp coral or rocks or sea urchins.
  • Check advisories regarding water quality at various beaches here.

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Discover the must-visit blowholes in Hawaii, from Halona on Oahu to Spouting Horn in Kauai!

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