Central Valley & North Coast, Oahu Attractions
One frequent circular day trip takes in the central valley north of highway H2 up to Waialua plus the route along the north coast and back down along the northeast coast.The north coast is well known as a world-class surfing area with surfers coming from all over to take advantage of the huge waves in the winter months.
Puu O Mahuka Heiau Temple
The temple can be reached on foot as well as by car from Waimea Beach Park by turning on to Pupukea Road in Waimea. After about 3/4 mile/1.1km, an unmade-up red sandy road (please heed the street sign) is reached - follow this also for 3/4 mile/1.1km.From the temple there is a lovely view on to Waimea Beach Park and the sea.Puu O Mahuka Temple is one of the largest of the few remaining heiaus on Oahu. Typical of this temple site is its totally rectangular shape, which extends to the size of a football field. The temple was once surrounded by a stone wall. Inside, small stones were piled up and tree trunks were presumably laid on top to create a platform. The buildings erected on top of this no longer exist as perishable materials, such as wood, leaves and grass, were used.Puu O Mahuka was apparently one of the temples to which human sacrifices were brought. According to legend three sailors from the crew of one of the ships that brought George Vancouver to Hawaii were supposed to have been sacrificed along with others here - because they had angered the natives. Human sacrifice was originally unknown in Hawaii. Polynesians from Tahiti brought this religious custom here for the first time in the 13th c., and it was then practiced for more than 500 years until the abolition of the kapu system by King Kamehameha II and his mother Kapiolani. Visitors to Puu O Mahuka are often surprised by the fact that "sacrifices" are still brought here. On the stone walls can be seen stones, bones or fruit wrapped in ti-leaves or other leaves and bound together with grass - a sign that even 170 years of Christianity has not been able to extinguish completely the old religious customs.
Dole Plantation Country Store and Maze
The Dole Plantation is home to the world's largest maze according to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records. Recently expanded in 2007, the maze covers an area of over 138,000 square feet, with 3.11 miles of pathways and is made up of over 14,000 Hawaiian plants and flowers.Dole Plantation is also home to the Pineapple Express train tour, which is a 20-minute, fully-narrated tour where visitors can learn about the history of pineapple and agriculture in Hawaii, while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the North Shore of Oahu. Visitors can also take a walk through the Plantation Garden tour, which is a self-guided tour where guests get an up-close view of a wide variety of crops being grown on the North Shore.The Dole Plantation Country Store offers its famous DoleWhip® and other snacks, along with through Dole Plantation's exclusive line of clothing, food and gift items.
Address: 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, Wahiawa, HI 96786, United States
Opening hours: 9:30am-4:30pm
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $6.00, Child 4-12 $4.00
Useful tips: Admission applies to the maze.
Transit: Bus 52 "Wahiawa-Circle Island"
Wahiawa Botanic Garden
In the middle of Oahu, in Wahiawa (the farming center of the island), there is an attractive botanic garden where a stop can be made on the way to the pineapple fields in the north of the town or on the way back to Honolulu.Here the trees from tropical areas of Africa, Australia and the South Sea Islands, planted about 40 years ago, are eye-catching. Only some of them are named - the strongly-smelling camphor trees from China and Japan, cinnamon trees from Sri Lanka and a particularly fine rubber tree from New Guinea.