Oahu Island: Miracle CoastSOURCE Nowness
In his new short, photographer and filmmaker Lyall Coburn captures a halcyon summer spent idling along the shimmering waters of Hawaii’s North Shore, a mecca for the surfing world and cult tropical getaway.
Affectionately known as “The Country,” the bohemian outpost, located 30 miles north of Honolulu on Oahu Island, boasts a stretch of coast that plays home to some of the greatest waves on the planet, including the infamous Waimea Bay where in the winter they can climb to over 20 feet. “During the summer months local surfer kids hurl themselves off the rocks on the left hand side of the bay, attempting to recreate the sensation of that big winter drop,” says Coburn, a regular visitor to Oahu with his surfboard and camera.
The film is an ode to the luxury of “Hawaiian time,” he explains. “No-one and nothing runs to a schedule on the North Shore. It’s a perfect summer idyll free of crowds and pretentious bikini beach strips.” Spotlighted by hit TV series Lost, the North Shore’s pristine beaches and world-class surf breaks feature an increasing number of luxurious vacation homes. While celebrities including Owen Wilson frequent the shore’s only plush resort hotel, Turtle Bay, the real Sunset Beach stars are surfers like John John Florence, the 18-year-old breakout talent from Hale'iwa, who has been touted by World Champion surfer Kelly Slater has as the next big thing.
Here’s our list of the North Shore’s must-see spots.
Rise and shine: Cafe Hale'iwa is a legendary breakfast joint and espresso bar dishing up “Off the Wall” omelettes, traditional lunch plates and fresh tropical juices.
Paradise found: One of the best ways to discover the island is by foot. Hike around the wilderness of Ka'ena Point (there is a hidden beach en route that is a local secret) passing through Mokule'ia, home to Camp Erdman where Lost was filmed.
Midday re-fuel: With juicy half-pound pineapple- and avocado-topped hamburgers a specialty, surfers’ favorite Kua 'Aina Sandwich counts President Barack Obama as a customer when in town visiting relatives.
Spectator sport: From October, when it’s only the pros battling the 25-foot waves, the best place to watch them barrel is at the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park.
Afternoon refresher: Matsumoto Shave Ice stand in Hale'iwa. The homemade ice comes in an assortment of rainbow-colored flavors, including honeydew melon, coconut and li hing mui (a local delicacy of salty dried plums).
Sunset dinner: Haleiwa Joe’s outdoor seating and harbor view makes it a destination spot. The menu offers whatever was caught fresh that day, whether it be black and blue ahi sashimi, whole Hawaiian Moi, or other local favorites such as coconut shrimp.