Cliff Jumping at Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu


Drive an hour northward from downtown Honolulu and you will find yourself in Waimea Bay Beach Park on the North Shore Oahu. With crystal-clear aquamarine waters, ocean cliffs (approx. 10 meters in height), calm ocean surface, and powdery white sand, Waimea Bay a perfect spot to try cliff jumping in the summer. For those who are first-time cliff jumpers, you might stand atop the cliff for hours long shaking. However, once you are ready to jump, it simply takes an infinitesimal moment to get back to your comfort zone again.

Waimea Bay cliff jump on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

Jumping off a cliff at Waimea Bay, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii/Photo credit: Steven Worster via Flicker

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It took me half hour to suck up my fear of heights and decide to walk towards the ‘point of no return’. Here is an implied rule: once you set your feet on the cliff, there is only one way to return to the shore – jump.  Walking back from the cliff is absolutely a no-go and you will be ridiculed.

Weaimea Bay Cliff Jump on North Shore, Oahu

The shore of Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu

I slowly walked up to the peak with my bare feet, secured my bikini (you might have your top slip away after the drop), and trembled towards the edge. Walking along the cliff is fairly easy. The rock surface is a tad jagged but smooth to walk on with my bare feet.  Even though I was scared to death, I did not stumble, slip or scrape myself.

The diving crowd started expanding and I said some words of encouragement to myself as I approaching the edge. I tried striking conversations with several other first time jumpers and allowed myself time to enjoy the pristine beauty of the bay so I would eventually become distracted and let go of my fear. A half hour passed, I saw people passing by, one after another; they stood on the top, got ready and jump, and then came up and went jumping again. Their poses vary – some dipped themselves straight into the ocean, while some tried flying while jumping. There were also pro divers who turned somersaults…and I could exactly hear my heartbeat.

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Waimea Bay rock jump on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

Waimea Bay Rock Jump on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii/photo credit: Julie Cao

A girl was standing behind me and I noticed that she had jumped many times already. There she was, coming up again and excited to jump. Suddenly, I was reminded of a diving scene on one of my favorite TV shows One Tree Hill, where Sarah first met her husband when jumping the bridge. Maybe I need a little push and mental encouragement like that, or worse, a jumping partner. So, here is how I jumped:

I looked back and asked that girl I barely knew:

“Do you want to jump together?

“Sure”, she agreed without any hesitation.

Then she held my left hand, we approached the edge, and began the countdown – three, two, one… the free fall starts, but just for a few seconds. We took a deep breath and allowed the warm water to wash over us. We dropped into the ocean and I was still alive! I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Having just completed my first dive, I hurried to go back on the cliff and was ready to embark on more jumps.

Waimea Bay cliff jumping on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii via Flicker

If you are in search of a fun trip that will challenge you mentally, physically, and give you a great sense of adventure, cliff-jumping at Waimea Bay may be for you! You will overlook one of the world’s prettiest beaches while chatting and laughing with hilarious locals, and your fear will eventually fade. Be sure to secure your tops or wear t-shirts, and master your swimming skills before diving. The currents are strong in winter.

In case you are not ready to jump off the cliff from the highest point that is in the middle of the rock, you can climb down a bit and jump from a lower point to warm up.

Waimea Bay Rock Jump on North Shore Oahu

———————— Additional Information ——————–

-If you are looking for a budget-friendly place to stay, check out Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel. I stayed there for a week during my return trip. Amazing location and the staff there are very knowledgeable about Hawaii and can give you great recommendations on things to do and places to visit. This hostel also offers free breakfast and affordable day tours

-For detail itineraries and off-the-beaten-path destinations, you can get my Oahu travel guide. All the essential travel information, tips, and the routes are included in this guide, so you can just grab this guide and go without additional research.

-I also purchase travel insurance from World Nomad before I go on any trips to cover unexpected accidents and sickness. I highly recommend it because it is affordable and the service is reliable.

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Waimea Bay Cliff Jump on North Shore Oahu Hawaii

Julie Cao

Julie is the creator of Always On The Way. She lived in Hawaii and now resides in London (Ontario, Canada). In 2017, she went on an overland trip from Bogota Colombia to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world. She believes travel is not only about visiting tourist attractions but more about getting to know the culture, people, and the place.

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