Kaneana Cave is a mysterious site on Oahu's leeward (west) coast, almost as far away as you can get on the island near where the road ends. It sits at the base of a cliff outcropping and is about 100 feet (30 m) high and 450 feet (137 m) deep. The cave is estimated to be around 150,000 years old and was once underwater, carved out by the waves of the ocean.
There are many ancient legends that tell about the cave's history. One legend tells that it was here where mankind was born, from the womb of the earth goddess. That's why the cave is called Kaneana (Cave of Kane), named after Kane, the god of creation.
Another legend tells of the shapeshifter Kamohoali'i, who could transform himself from a shark into a man. He and his human wife had a son, Nanaue. When Nanaue discovered his taste for meat, just like all man-eating sharks, from then on he always had an appetite for human flesh. So whenever he was hungry, he disguised himself as a human to trick his victims. He then dragged them into the cave and ate them. But when residents later found out about Nanaue's true identity, that he was a shark man, they captured and killed him.
The interior of the cave is dark and sometimes slippery. From the main cavern, a few smaller tunnels branch off to narrower areas. Stay away from these tunnels because they are not safe.
Kaneana Cave Overview
Cave is not maintained – stay out of the narrower areas
Bring a flashlight and wear sturdy shoes
Cave is dark and can be slippery
This is a sacred site, but nevertheless it has been vandalized in the past (graffiti on the walls)
Directions:Kaneana Cave is located near Makua Beach on Oahu’s leeward (west) coast, north of Makaha. From Honolulu, take H1 West. Continue on H1 until it turns into Farrington Highway. Drive all the way north. The cave is about three miles (4.8 km) after Makaha and two miles (3.2 km) before Kaena Point State Park on the right-hand side of the road. Watch out for the concrete road barrier in front of the cave. Park across the street from the cave.
it is almost on the northwest section of the island.
but in any case the place is a mess and you don't
want to go too deep into it. it is not stable.
Vincent Eblacas, Sun Feb 18, 2018
Cave is right before Ka'ena State Park sign. Still
a great place to see.
Mango808, Wed Sep 13, 2017
I don't know what the other reviews are talking
about. There is absolutely no cave there. I have ran,
walked, hiked, and even swam in the ponds and there is
no cave at all. They must be thinking of some other
David Ghramm , Sat Feb 18, 2017
This is a sacred site but has been badly desecrated;
graffiti on the walls, bad urine smell, and rubbish
abound. The opening to the cave is huge though and you
can't miss it if you're going in the town-bound
direction (or looking in the rear view mirror when
going out there) because the cave is on the north
western face of the hillside right off the road.
Please show respect people
G P, Wed Feb 03, 2016
In 1994 my then boyfriend (a local boy) and I went into
the cave. I had no clue of it's history. About 1/2
way in we heard a child talking in a different
language, further in there were two conversing, we were
alone. He said, "do you hear that"?! I said
knock it off I'm sure there are kids on top of the
cliff or outside. We began walking out, at 1/2 way out
it was only the one child's voice again. He
exclaimed, " You hear that right, see I told
you"! We got outside the cave, it was a sheer
mountain, no cliff and ABSOLUTLEY no one near. I was a
true believer in all the spirits and legands after that
experience and many more that followed during the 8
years of living on the island.
Tammy Pearce, Fri Nov 07, 2014
"Southwestern" shore- NO!!! on the windward
side, more like northeastern in direction, but
north-south-east-west directions do not work
The Sierra Club of Oahu joins with
Marine Environmental Dept the second Saturday of each
even-numbered month to perform service projects to
maintain a welcoming habitat for migrating native birds