Because there are so many things to see and do at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Honolulu - even for those who aren't hotel guests - the resort is an attraction within itself. From surf to golf to helicopter tours, there's a huge array of things to do on the gorgeous approximately 600-acre property.
The resort is virtually the only one on the North Shore, and it harbors the majority of things to experience in the area (other than just beaches and surfing). Visitors who aren't hotel guests are welcome to utilize just about anything Turtle Bay has to offer, except for the pools, hot tubs and the guest room floors.
Experiencing Turtle Bay by horseback is quite a unique experience and a wonderful way to explore the forests, beach paths and rugged coastline of the area. A horseback ride will take people to a magical and huge Banyan tree that has been used for filming several TV shows and films including Lost and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Private/advanced rides are set to the ability of the least skilled rider in the group, and they're offered daily at 7:30 a.m. for groups of four maximum for an hour and are priced at $125 per person. Group trail rides are also offered throughout the day for $70 per person and begin at 8:30 a.m. for riders seven years of age and older.
For the little ones, the Pony Experience is a hands-on activity for kids six and under. They get to groom, feed and ride on the pony. This experience lasts for 15 minutes and costs $30 per child.
Kayaking on the North Shore — Photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort
Water lovers can go on a kayak tour with Shaka Kayaks. The two-hour guided eco-kayak tour of the North Shore is an amazing way to see the coastline. An expert guide begins the session with instruction and assists paddlers along the way through calm and protected Kawela Bay, which is home to over two dozen green sea turtles (called honu in Hawaiian).
A clear-bottomed kayak enables paddlers to view turtles, fish and sometimes dolphins through the bottom of the vessel. The 45-minute paddle leads to time on the beach at Kawela Bay with light refreshments, before a 15-minute sea turtle feeding session. This adventure is for people six and older.
Surf and stand-up paddle lessons are also available, and these are a good idea considering that surfing is the dominant sport of the North Shore. Group lessons are offered for adults and teens from $75 and private and semi-private lessons are also available. Those under 13 require private lessons for safety concerns, and these start at $150 for 2 hours.
Horseback riding along Turtle Bay — Photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort
Take a helicopter tour that departs from Turtle Bay on the original Magnum P.I. "Chopper" from the hit TV show. Turtle Bay is the only resort with helicopter tours on site, and they offer an array of tours:
- The Oahu Experience - This tour lasts for an hour and includes the best of Oahu's views. It traces the Windward Coast and looks at Sacred Falls, the Kahana Valley rainforest, Kaneohe Bay, Makapuu Lighthouse, Koko Head, Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head, Waikiki, Pearl Harbor and Waimea Bay. It then finishes along the famous North Shore surf breaks. Cost is $269.61 per person.
- Best of Oahu - This tour runs for 40 minutes and flies over 1000-foot Sacred Falls, the lush Ko'olau Mountains, beautiful Kaneohe Bay and all of the North Shore's famous surf breaks. Cost is $205.49 per person.
- North Shore Waterfall Adventure - This experience is only 20 minutes, but opens guests' eyes to the North Shore's beautiful countryside. Get a bird's-eye view of Sacred Falls, Kahana Bay, Waimea Bay and the waves of Sunset Beach and Banzai Pipeline. Cost is $141.72 per person.