Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Self-Guided Kayaking Experience

Kayak to Kaneohe's Sunken Island

Experience the amazing views and surreal experience of standing on the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar on your kayaking adventure. The kayaking route to the Kaneohe Sandbar is protected by a barrier reef and has underwater coral islands along the way. Get plenty of sun and kayaking time on this 4 hour or all-day Kaneohe Bay Sandbar kayak experience.

*We make your Kaneohe Bay Sandbar experience a breeze. You will meet us at our Kailua storefront and we will provide roof pads and straps so you can drive 20 minutes down the road and launch the kayak straight into Kaneohe Bay from He'eia Kea Boat Harbor.

356 Reviews
4 hrs/All Day
Kaneohe Bay
  • $96 – 4 Hour - Visitor
  • $86 – 4 Hour - Kama'aina / Military
  • $135 – Full Day - Visitor
  • $125 – Full Day - Kama'aina / Military
  • Kayak to the Kaneohe Sandbar
  • Great views of the mountains, especially when standing out on the sandbar
  • Paddle your kayak around unique reef formations on your way to the sandbar.
  • Spectacular views of the Ko’olau mountain range.
  • You will receive foam pads and straps that fit all 4-door vehicles or vehicles with rails or cross bars.
  • You will meet us at our Kailua storefront a short 20-minute drive from the Kaneohe sandbar kayak launch location.
How to prepare
  • Be sure you are capable of getting in and out of the kayak while floating in the water
  • Wear a swimsuit and reef-safe sunscreen
  • 15L Dry bags are provided for items you want to keep dry
  • If you bring snacks and water, be sure to pack out the trash.
  • Life jackets, seatbacks, paddles, and a kayak leash are provided

“…The Kaneohe sandbar was epic the views were stunning. On our way out to the sandbar we saw a huge coral reef that we could get out and snorkel around to see beautiful turtles and sea life. once on the sandbar the water was crystal clear and it was the perfect level to play around and have fun and take awesome photos in the middle of the ocean…”


“They provided us kayak on time perfectly even though we asked them just the day before. Thanks to them, we enjoyed kayaking to beautiful sandbar!”


“…There was great communication with the staff and they were very informative as well. We had a very enjoyable time and would definitely use Active Oahu Tours kayak rental company again!”

Activity Overview

On your Kayak Trip out to the Kaneohe Sandbar, we will provide all the gear and instruction you need to get out and enjoy your day. You will experience scenic views of the Ko’olau Mountain Range from the ocean, glide around underwater coral islands and arrive at Kaneohe Bay’s Sunken Island, Ahu’O Laka (more commonly known as the Kaneohe Sandbar).

Kaneohe Sandbar Kayak Trip

What to Expect on your Kaneohe Sandbar kayak experience

The whole kayaking trip is 4 hours long, or, if you are prepared, you can select the “All-Day” option. The actual paddle from the launch point to the Kaneohe Sandbar takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

We’ll be meeting you at our Kailua storefront, just a 20-minute drive from the kayak launch location (He’eia Kea Boat Harbor). We’ll send you all the meeting location details in your confirmation email, so no need to write this all down. We’ve got you covered!

From there, our friendly team will be there to assist you in loading your kayaks using our provided foam roof pads and straps so you can drive the kayak over to He’eia Kea Boat Harbor. You will be launching the kayaks into Kaneohe Bay from the harbor and using the public parking at the harbor for your vehicle.

Heeia Kea Boat Harbor, Kayaking to Sandbar Launch Location

Kayaking out to Oahu’s Kaneohe Sandbar

Be sure you check out the underwater coral reef island on the way out to (or on the way back from) the sandbar. It’s always a treat to see the coral reef from your kayak. You’ll probably catch a glimpse of some fish and if you are lucky, you’ll happen upon a sea turtle hanging out at the edge of the reef.

Kayaking out to the Kaneohe Sandbar takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on conditions. There’s a prevailing wind that goes from the ocean toward the shore, so paddling in from Kaneohe’s sunken island will usually be faster than the initial paddle out.

As you start paddling out to Kaneohe, you will see the sandbar as a tan sliver on the horizon. There will usually be boats on the edge of the sandbar and other paddlers heading out there too. Just keep a calm and steady pace. Our kayaks are tandems, so you and your partner can work together as a team and be much more efficient than paddling alone.

Kaneohe Sandbar Kayak Route

We conveniently provide a floating kayak leash so you can tow your kayaks behind you for when you arrive at the sandbar or if you decide to snorkel. With the kayak leash, you avoid damaging the reef as most anchors end up doing, even when anchors are used by experienced professionals.

Snorkeling at the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar

If you do end up snorkeling on your Kaneohe Sandbar Experience, Please adventure responsibly. The reef is beautiful, but don’t touch it. You will hurt it and it will hurt you. Coral reefs are sharp and highly abrasive to your skin. Cuts received from contact with coral often get infected because coral is alive, so keep your distance.

Kayak the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar

The best time to kayak in Kaneohe Bay is in the morning and at low tide. If you are an early riser, you can snag our 8 am or 9 am slot. On perfect days, the ocean is calm and you can see through it like glass, but it’s not always like that. Ocean conditions change with the tides, winds, and weather, so please keep that in mind. Days with less wind and lower tide will give you better visibility while you are snorkeling.

About Kaneohe Bay

Kaneohe Bay Views from above

Kaneohe bay is a remnant of a massive volcano caldera that collapsed, leaving epic cliffsides that form the Koolau Mountain Range and a protected bay surrounded by Hawaii’s only barrier reef. This barrier reef helped create a refuge for underwater islands of coral to form. You will have the chance to kayak out to these coral reefs and if you are feeling adventurous, put on some snorkel gear and hop into the water. Please look, don’t touch. The reef is a combination of millions of microscopic living things and has taken thousands of years to grow this large and beautiful. It just takes a few flipper strokes to undo hundreds of years of growth. If you aren’t into getting in and out of your kayak on the ocean, the coral reef is clearly viewable from the comfort of your kayak. You even often spot turtles cruising near your kayak.

Ocean Conditions and Advice

Ocean conditions can change quickly and kayaking can dangerous. That said, Kaneohe bay is one of the safest kayaking locations. We advise children over 12 years old to do this tour, but younger children may join the tour, especially if the conditions are nice. Since it’s on the windward side of the island, it’s almost always breezy in the afternoons. During the summer months (End of May – beginning of Sept) conditions are calmer and more predictable and the area is much more accessible.

If there are storms or high winds we will notify you as soon as we know and can re-schedule your kayaking trip or offer a full refund.

Feel free to check out our Cancellation Policy for more info.

Book the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar Self-Guided Kayaking Experience