The 6 Best Campgrounds in Oahu

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Oahu is a great (albeit expensive) vacation destination. With a rich history, scenic hiking trails, pumping waves, vibrant reefs, and moderate year-round temperatures, Oahu welcomes 450,000 to 570,000 visitors each month.

If you’re one of them, here’s where to find the best places to camp. While staying at a beachfront resort or hotel can be nice, camping is an affordable way to see the island and escape the crowds.

I moved to Oahu in the spring of 2021 and spent a lot of time researching the best campgrounds on the island. Here are six of my favorites.

The 6 Best Campgrounds in Oahu

Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park

(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

Located on the windward side of the island, Ahupuaʻa ʻO Kahana State Park is nestled between Ka’a’awa and Punalu’u. The campground has 10 tent sites, water taps, and basic toilets, and it’s open for camping Friday through Wednesday.

Beachfront and on the bay, the campground offers stunning views of the bay and easy access to two hiking trails: Kapa’ele’ele Ko’a and Keaniani Lookout Trail and Nakoa Trail. The bay is also a great place to go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding – if the wind blows, there’s a calm river across the street (highly recommend the river).

Reservations and overnight permits are required – $20 per night for residents and $30 for non-residents.

Learn more about Camping eHawaii

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

In Hawaiian, Ho’omaluhia means “peaceful refuge”, and the Botanical Gardens are exactly that. Located in Kaneohe, on the windward side of Oahu, the gardens span 400 acres and have plantings from the major tropical regions of the world grouped by region.

The only urban campgrounds not on the beach, Ho’omaluhia has three separate camping areas, representing 30 campsites in total. Additional amenities include comfort stations, outdoor showers, picnic tables, fire rings and pillows.

The campgrounds are surrounded by lush rainforest. With the Ko’olau Range as a backdrop, you’d be hard pressed to find a more scenic campground.

Learn more at Honolulu Campground

Bellows Field Beach Park Campground

Bellows Field Beach Park Campground
(Photo/Unsplash)

Located on the windward side, Bellows is a seaside campground on an active military training area. Located on a beautiful stretch of beach, the campground has 50 campsites as well as two comfort stations, outdoor showers and two watchtowers.

White sand meets turquoise water, making the beach an ideal place for sunbathing, swimming and wind sports. A printed permit is required to camp and campsites cost $30 per night.

Learn more at Honolulu Campground

Peacock flats

Peacock Flats
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

One of the hardest-to-reach campgrounds, Peacock Flats is in the Waianae Range on the west side of the island. Due to its more remote location, it’s usually not crowded and offers incredible views of the North Shore and an impressive star show at night.

In addition to the Mokuleia Forest Reserve, nearby is pedestrian access to the Mokuleia Trail. There are six official campsites: each comes with a shelter, table and fire pit, and is available for car or tent camping. There is no water available and no restrooms, so be sure to plan accordingly.

To reach the campsite, you follow a long dirt road, so a 4×4 is essential. Sites start at $12 per night.

Learn more about Camping eHawaii

Kuoloa Beach

Kuoloa Beach
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

Covering 153 acres, Kualoa Regional Park is located in Kaneohe, across from the Pali-ku of the Koʻolau Range. The campground is home to 21 sites and offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains, as well as Mokoli’I Island.

If you’re looking for a fun activity, swim or paddle to the island and make the short climb to the top for the best views on all of Oahu. Other campground amenities include outdoor showers and a comfort station. Permits are required for camping and campsites cost $50 per night.

Learn more at Honolulu Campground

Malaekahana Beach Campground

campground oahu
(Photo/Rebecca Parson)

Located on the North Shore, Malaekahana is one of the most popular campgrounds on the island. The campground offers several options, including tent camping, vehicle camping, plantation huts, plantation suites, and a lodge for large groups.

The park offers many activities including fishing, swimming, surfing and body surfing. There are 37 tent campsites, and amenities include showers, bathrooms, electrical hookups, fire pits, picnic tables, a market, and equipment rentals.

The campground requires reservations and the cost varies depending on the site and the number of campers.

Learn more

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