Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside

Oahu – Day 3 – Part 3

The only things I had planned for day 3 are to go to Diamond Head (done) and to go to Byodo In Temple (next stop). Though I wanted to keep the day relatively relaxed, I was still looking for more things to do, see, or go to. I went online to and found a couple blogs / websites for road trips in Oahu and stumble across Oahu Drive Guide. I didn’t follow the guide but found Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside / Lookout Point.


Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside Lookout point is one of Oahu’s best scenic points overlooking the Windward (north west) coast of Oahu and holds deep historical significance. This is the site of the Battle of Nu’uanu in 1795 which eventually united Oahu. And be prepared for some powerful wind.

It is a 20 minute drive from Waikiki to Nu’uanu Pali. The scenery on this drive though highway 61 (Pali Highway) was very different from the our drive the previous day to North Shore. It felt as if we were driving through a forest (while on a big highway). Nu’uanu Pali is just off the highway exit with a small parking lot. Pay the $3 parking fee at the machine and make your way through the wind to the lookout.


The panoramic views of the Windward coast are just breathtaking. We walked up to this stone railing and just took in the views and wind. The greenery leading to the coast is just beautiful. I wish I can see this kind of greenery a little more in San Diego. From the top level with the stone railing, I noticed another level below us with a metal railing. I guess it’s nice and safe to stay up top if you’re afraid of the crazy winds and heights. I don’t think the wind was too bad, and walked down to the lower level.


From here, you get a slightly closer view of the mountain ranges and the Pali Highway Tunnels (which we will drive through on our way to our next stop: Byodo In Temple). After some research here is a list of things you can spot from the lookout: Mokolii (Chinaman’s Hat), the University of Hawaii’s marine biology research center, Coconut Island, Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward campus, Kanaeohe Marine Corps Base, Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden (part of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens), Kāneʻohe Bay, the Windward coast towns of Kāneʻohe and Kailua. I honestly didn’t really know what I was looking out to when I was there.


My regular pictures just don’t compare after seeing the panoramic pictures above.


While enjoying view, I read a little bit about the history and the battle of Nu’uanu. When the original Pali Road was being built, 800 skulls were found believed to be the remains of the warriors who fell to their death from the cliff above. And just from the single picture posted on the sign pictured above it was hard not to imagine how bloody that battle was. All these people falling off the cliff!

The wind was so powerful and strong, it’s no wonder they tell you not to wear any hats and headgear (and dresses) and to make sure to hold children’s hands due to gusty winds. I had my hair in a braid, but some loose strands were definitely giving me some antennas or ears of some sort. I looked up at the clouds and felt as if I watching a time lapse because the clouds were moving across so fast.


To the left of the lookout, is this mountain. I couldn’t help but to think that it looks like a bird (angry bird anyone?).

And as we were getting ready to leave, dark clouds were rolling in fast. I was glad we got our pictures with the blue sky.

It started to rain just as we got in the car, as we headed back onto Pali Highway through several tunnels to Byodo In Temple.

Nuuanu Pali Dr
Honolulu, HI 96817

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