Cliff Jumping at Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu

Drive an hour northward from downtown Honolulu and you will find yourself in Waimea Bay 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 jumping on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
Jumping off a cliff at Waimea Bay, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii/Photo credit: Steven Worster via Flicker

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.

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.

Waimea Bay cliff jumping on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii/photo credit: Julie Cao

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.

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.

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Cliff jumping at Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

 

Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

20 thoughts on “Cliff Jumping at Waimea Bay on North Shore Oahu

  • February 9, 2017 at 1:30 am
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    That is amazing! I would love to try that someday! I also love how you told the story. At the beginning, I was terrified along with you and by the end I was excited and wanted to do it myself!

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm
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      Thanks Maya! I hope you get to visit Hawaii one day and try the cliff jumping. It is challenging but very rewarding.

      Reply
  • February 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm
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    That cliff diving photo looks amazing – not sure if I’d be so brave though. The water looks beautiful though, so blue and clear!

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:04 pm
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      Waimea Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii and I think that is part of the reason why people keep going there cliff jumping. Glad you like the photos!

      Reply
  • February 12, 2017 at 12:27 am
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    Oh you are so brave! I’ve been on a few holidays where they have gotten you to jump off boats etc and even though I’ve always done it- it has scared me so much!

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:06 pm
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      I was really scared when I stood on the top, and you are brave to jump off the boats too.

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  • February 12, 2017 at 2:51 am
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    That sounds like an amazing rush. I Cliff jumped when I was younger and would so love to do it again, especially in Hawaii.

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm
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      Jumping off the cliff in Hawaii is really fun with gorgeous views. Where did you jumped when you are young?

      Reply
  • February 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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    While I’m not afraid of heights, I think I’d have a hard time cliff jumping. I’ve jumped off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas before, but it took a few seconds once I got up there to actually jump. Cliff jumping on the other hand, I’d be afraid of belly flopping more than anything, haha. That would be pretty painful.

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm
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      Haha as long as you jump straight into the ocean, belly flopping usually will not happen. I have seen people jumped off the Stratosphere Hotel and that height makes me really scared. You are very courage to do it, I would just stand back and watch lol

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:09 pm
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      Haha as long as you jump straight into the ocean, belly flopping usually will not happen. I have seen people jumped off the Stratosphere Hotel and that height makes me really scared. You are very courageous to do it, I would just stand back and watch lol

      Reply
  • February 13, 2017 at 7:15 am
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    I know how to swim and dive, but haven’t tried cliff diving. I need more courage to do that. But seems exciting!

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:10 pm
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      I feel so good after jumping, but you will drop deeper into the ocean that is for sure, but I was lucky there is no waves come in.

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  • February 13, 2017 at 10:16 am
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    I would love to try this and I would not be afraid to jump, I am always more afraid of landing or hitting my head on a rock. I have heard so many stories……congrats, I hope I will get to one day.

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm
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      Thanks! The jumping is fine, I have not heard anyone hitting the rock, and you will only ended up in the ocean. Wish you will get to it one day, it is really thrilling.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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    That is amazing! I love Hawaii but I don’t know that I would go cliff jumping, I’d be so scared. I love how you asked a total stranger to jump with you, that’s also courageous and it made me smile.

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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      Thanks Claudia. I was not expect that she just agreed to jump with me like that. Actually after we jumped, she hurried back to the cliff and asked me to jump with her again.

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  • February 13, 2017 at 8:45 pm
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    So jealous! The water looks so beautiful and clear. Hawaii is definitely on my list of places to go to…I’d love to go with my entire family!

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    • February 15, 2017 at 9:13 pm
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      It is a great place for family vacation too.

      Reply
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