Hawaii Whale Watching & Hawaii's Humpback Whale Season | Go Hawaii

Whale Watching

Scroll to Continue

Whale Watching in Hawaii

Just as our idyllic weather welcomes tourists from around the world, the warm and shallow waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands are a favorite destination for kohola, or humpback whales. Scientists estimate that two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population return to Hawaii to breed, calve and nurse their young. They race more than 3,000 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Hawaii, then stay for a lengthy vacation, frolicking just off our shores and delighting spectators from December through May. 

Adult males range from 40 to 52 feet and can weigh up to 45 tons. Despite their size, humpback whales are graceful acrobats. Keep your eye on the ocean and you might see one breach, propelling up to 40 percent of its body out of the water and landing on its side with a spectacular splash.   


Cultural Significance of Whales in Hawaii

Whales have great cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. They play a large role in Hawaiian legend—including one creation story—and appear in ancient petroglyphs on several islands. The return of the kohola (humpback whale) is considered more of a homecoming than a visit. Humpback whales are born in Hawaiian waters, making them kamaaina (native born). Some Native Hawaiians also believe the whales are aumakua (family guardians), so these gentle giants are treated with great respect. 


What's the Best Way to See Whales?

Although humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian Islands, the shallow Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world. 

You may also spot kohola from the southern shores of Oahu, especially at Makapuu Lighthouse and along the seaside overlooks near Leahi (Diamond Head)

Kauai offers a range of whale-viewing opportunities, including Poipu Beach on the South Shore, Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore and Kapaa Overlook on the island’s Coconut Coast.

On the island of Hawaii, whales are often seen along the shores of the Kohala Coast, as well as Hilo Bay on the east side of the island. The Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site is another great viewing spot, with its sweeping, elevated views near Kawaihae Harbor. In fact, Puukohola literally means “hill of the whale” in Hawaiian.

Boat tours may be your best option for viewing whales up close. Hawaii has dozens of tour operators, including a few that lead kayak excursions—a thrilling way to experience these majestic mammals.

In respect for the kohola and the safety of sightseers, all watercraft must stay a minimum of 100 yards from the whales, but you'll be surprised how close you feel when a 45-ton behemoth lunges out of the sea. If a boat tour is not for you, the whales’ impressive acrobatic displays are often visible from miles away. If you're on land, keep a pair of binoculars handy because you never know when you'll see a humpback’s spout (which can be 10–20 feet tall).

Whale Watching in Hawaii

Filter Results
showing 61 - 70 of 180
Currency Exchange International
Oahu
Currency Exchange International
98-1005 Moanalua Road
Level 2 - Between Journeys and Pac Sun
Aiea, HI 96701
Summary

CXI specializes in providing foreign currency exchange at a great rate and with superior customer service. Our services include exchanging foreign currency banknotes, exchanging U.S. and foreign traveler’s cheques. CXI offers a variety of major currencies on demand for immediate availability.

Websites
Large Convention Center Window Banners
Oahu
JPG Media
1860 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 420
Honolulu, HI 96815
Summary

We print what businesses needs. Full design and printing capabilities. Signs, banner, event displays, promo items, out of home advertising, large format, offset, screen print and embroidery services.

Websites
Hanamana Boat
Hawaii
Hanamana Boat Charters
Summary

Family owned and operated since 1966, come fish with the Hanamana and her world-class crew! Book now on our website https://hanamanaboatcharters.com or call (808) 365 - 6886. We offer full day private 8 hour Sportfishing Charters, 3/4 day 6 hour and half day 4 hour fishing guide trips. Book Today!

Websites
Logo
Oahu
Hawaii's Best
Summary

Hawaii’s Best for anyone who has a love for Hawaii and wants to learn more about its culture and people. Through our podcast, partnerships, blog, shop, and social media, there are many ways we spread aloha throughout the world.

Websites
Peerless Host Hawaii 5
Oahu
Peerless Host Hawaii
2005 Kalia Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815
Summary

We have the knowledge and expertise to help you meet your meeting objectives, deliver ROI, and provide imaginative solutions. Whether you are in need of a few things, or seeking full service options, Peerless Host and Waikiki Beach Activities are ready to serve you!

Websites

Learn More About The Cultural Significance Of Whales in Hawaii

Read More

Learn About Ocean Safety in Hawaii

Find out More