Discovering Oahu’s China Walls
During the first few days of our Oahu trip, Scott and I did a lot of research about fun things we could do & explore while on the island. One of the destinations we were really intrigued by was a cliff jumping spot, not too far from the city of Honolulu, named China Walls. From the reviews and pictures online, it looked like an amazing spot to jump into the clear, blue water but there were some warnings about how huge the waves could be and the risks people face when jumping in and possibly not coming back out. In this quick blog post, I’ll talk about how to get to China Walls, what to expect, and our personal accounts from our big jumps 🙂
What was really nice about this spot was how close it was to the city. Depending on the time of day and how many people are on the road, it’s only about a 25 minute drive to China Walls. Directions are SUPER easy, a 10 mile clear shot from HI-72 to a right on Lunalili Home Rd. From here you will enter into a beautiful neighborhood where you will go along until you reach Poipu Dr., where you will make a left and go down until you reach Hananpepe Loop where you will make a right and then you will have arrived at your destination, parking is on the left side of Hanapepe Place.
Address: China Wall, Hanapepe Pl, Honolulu, HI 96825
You will see signs and other cars parked along the neighborhood because China Walls starts at the end of a coul-de-sac and you can’t park right outside the entrance. Following the warning signs, you will see a foot trail that leads you down a walk way covered by bushes and then emerges out into a beautiful lookout where China Walls meets the water.
What to Expect
When we saw China Walls for the first time, it was about 4pm and we didn’t plan on cliff jumping that day, we just wanted to see how big the drop of was and get a lay of the land. There were about 6 other people there jumping off the cliff so getting to watch them jump was a treat for us because we could see how they got out of the water and what to expect when we came back for our turn to jump. The area itself is on a perch about 20 feet above sea level.
From the way the waves crashed against the cliff, it very much did seem like a dangerous place to be if you weren’t careful when you jumped. We spent about an hour there looking around and walking around the cliffs. The cliff spans out around the coastline above sea level for what looked like miles, but we weren’t sure because we didn’t walk around too much. We loved the area and stayed until the sunset talking about when we would visit again to jump into the water, and we both agreed it was something we wanted to do, so with that, we left and returned 7 days later.
On this day, we chose to come to China Walls earlier than we did the last time (arriving at about 1pm) and were greeted by WAY more people, at least 25 others. It was the weekend and it seemed like this was the local hangout spot for teenagers to meet up at. Our nerves were rattled but we were ready to jump! Having more people there did help us a little because we knew if something went wrong there would be more people to help or let us know if the tide was too crazy to jump. Like I said earlier, it’s about a 20 foot drop into the water, nothing too bad but still a great adrenaline rush.
Our experience here was a great one to say the least! We visited this spot a total of three times because we loved it so much. When we visited to jump into the water we both had nerves but the jump itself isn’t that bad. We had cliff jumped while visiting Kona and the drop was at least 30-40 feet so this one wasn’t that bad at all. I will say getting out is a little hard. You really have to be a strong swimmer and have some strength to pull yourself out of the water. The rocks that you must grip to get out can be very sharp and if you’re too close to the wall when a wave comes, it will suck you under towards the sharp rocks! OUCH. Must be careful and time your escape out swiftly. I would advise cliff jumping when there are lots of people around just incase, if you come too early or too late the chances of someone helping you or calling for help are a lot slimmer.
This is a great spot for photography and watching the sunset. Planning a romantic getaway here is a perfect spot for some alone time since you can walk off to many areas along the China Walls coastline. The waves can get very big and this makes for some entertainment watching them crash against the cliff, it sounds like explosions going off in front of you. On our last full day on the island we made sure to come back one last time to say goodbye to this beautiful place, it really is a nice place to come back to and have your final moments of gratitude from your island adventure.