While urban environments dominate many parts of Oahu, the island’s wild areas are reasonably accessible, and in these special places you can see and enjoy some of Hawaii’s unique and interesting native species. Not far in terms of either time or distance from Waikiki are areas filled with fascinating native flora, fauna, bird and marine life. There are even guided tours to help you explore the nature areas of the island.

A Pocket Guide to Nature on O’ahu shows where O’ahu nature can easily be discovered and the island’s native birds, sea creatures, and plants viewed firsthand.  In special places like Hawaii’s largest and oldset public park, Kapi’olani Park in Waikiki, one may glimpse the White Tern or Pacific Golden-Plover, or swim with a multitude of fish and watch Hawaiian sea turtles sun themselves in the sand at thirty-thousand year old tuff cone, Hanauma Bay. 

Contemplate the assortment of native Hawaiian coastal plants framing incredible scenery at Makapuu Beach Park. Observe Hawaiian monk seals at the remote and wild Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve or along the coastline north of Turtle Bay. Walk through mountain forests at Aiea State Recreation Area.

At these, as well as other sites, you will see spectacular products of millions of years of evolution—a beautiful honeycreeper, graceful albatross and other seabirds, rare migratory bird species, multi-hued tropical fish and corals, a majestic koa tree, endemic coastal plants, a colorful Hawaiian tree snail, or an ancient lobelia.

To help explain what you will observe, A Pocket Guide to Nature on O’ahu also provides a backdrop of interesting information about the islands, weather and natural events, the evolution of Hawaii’s species, and current conservation efforts. Hopefully, by witnessing Oahu’s nature firsthand, you will be inspired to help protect its native species and wilderness areas.


  • Creation of the Island
  • Island Weather, Rare Events, and Natural Disasters
  • The Arrival of Life and Evolution’s Greatest Masterpieces
  • A Fading Paradise
    • European Discovery and the Continuing Decline
    • Efforts to Save the Few that Remain
  • Places to Experience and Enjoy Nature on Oahu

Author: Michael Walther