Kaka'ako Waterfront Park

Kaka'ako Waterfront Park (Point Panic Beach Park), Oahu

The history of Kaka'ako Park (view panorama) is an interesting one. While walking over the green, hilly meadows in the park one wouldn't think that this is a former landfill site. In 1948, the City and County of Honolulu constructed a large landfill right here on the shoreline's shallow reef to get rid of material that they couldn't burn.

They built a large seawall that measured 10 feet (3 m) high and 30 feet (9 m) wide at its base that reached all the way from Kewalo Basin at its west end to Pier 1 in Honolulu Harbor at its east end. The landfill was in operation until the 1960s, which added 29 new acres of land to the Kaka'ako shoreline. In 1992, years after the landfill was closed, the Kaka'ako Waterfront Park opened on this former landfill site.

The park's shoreline doesn't have a sandy beach. There is a seawall along the water's edge and large boulders. A convenient access point to the ocean is located at the east end of the park, which is used by surfers to enter the water.

The park's shaded and spacious grassy areas are the perfect place for family gatherings and picnics. Most people who visit the park come here to do just that – to picnic, relax or do some shoreline fishing.

Kaka'ako Waterfront Park (view panorama) is sometimes also referred to as Point Panic Beach Park because of the popular bodysurfing site that's located offshore at the east end of the park, which is called Point Panic. This surf site is strictly for bodysurfers only. No surfboards or bodyboards are allowed. Two other surf sites at the park's west end where board surfing is allowed are called Flies and Incinerators. Kaka'ako is also a popular diving location. Especially on weekends one can see divers in the nearshore waters exploring the coral reef.

Two memorials are located within the park, the Ehime Maru Memorial and the Victim Memorial. The Ehime Maru was a Japanese fisheries training vessel that was accidentally rammed by the U.S. Navy Submarine Greenville on February 9, 2001. The Ehime Maru sank and nine crewmembers and students of the Ehime Maru died. The accident occurred about 9 miles (14.5 km) south of Oahu. The Victim Memorial was sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). It is dedicated to victims and survivors of drunken driving accidents.

Kaka'ako Waterfront Park Overview

  • 35-acre park in the heart of Honolulu
  • Good place for picnicking, shoreline fishing and accessing offshore surf and dive sites
  • Located on a former landfill site

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Reviews and Comments:
Close to my heart; friends and I "rediscovered" Flies in the mid-'60s and had the surf to ourselves for several years. I'd like to return.
Bill Machovina, Sun Sep 04, 2016
My wife and I live near Point Panic, and love it! Recently we sat on the sea wall and just watched the wave roll in, such a calming and awe inspiring sight! Then we walked over to the stair leading into the water and while watching the boats, surfers, and waves, we saw several turtles break the surface. Since we love turtles this was a great afternoon!
Jim K, Fri Apr 15, 2016
I live near Kakaako Park and it is my favorite place to jog.
Alan, Fri Jan 20, 2012