One of Oahu’s best spots to view the beauty and energy of mother nature is at Spitting Caves! This place is amazing, and if you own a camera, it is a stop you must make!

How to get to the Spitting Caves of Portlock:

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The Spitting Caves are located in a small neighborhood called Portlock, which is in the town of Hawaii Kai. Check out the map for details.

The trail head is covered by a canopy of trees and may be difficult to see if cars are parked in front. Just go to the end of the road and park in an authorized curbside parking spot. Spitting Caves trail head is the only pedestrian beach access point around the area.

The Spitting Caves trail is only about 75 yards, yet is a steep decline towards the cliffs. I highly recommend sturdy hiking shoes for this one! There are plenty of things to grab onto, but it can be slippery.

Once you have reached the opening, prepare for total amazement! Take your time and catch your bearing as you navigate around the area. There is much to see and plenty of room to move about, but please watch your step as there are lots of dips, crevices, and obstacles to maneuver around. Make your way to the right side and take a seat, enjoy the view, then prep your camera.

Spitting-Caves-of-PortlockLooking to the right, you will see views of the backside of Diamond Head and West Oahu. To the left, you will see spitting caves and possibly Molokai in the distance.

If you are lucky, you might witness a few brave souls jumping into the spitting caves down below. Taking pictures of the cliff jumpers is a lot of fun! Tip: fast shutter speeds will ensure the jumper is frozen in mid-air. NOTE: On bright days, you should not have to worry about that as your camera will be forced to do this. If your camera is set on Auto mode, it should automatically capture at faster shutter speeds during mid-day.

I DO NOT recommend venturing out to the following, but on the other side of the Spitting Caves jumping area. Although it is a beautiful site to see, but it is extremely dangerous — where the local fisherman and dare devil tourists hang out to see the backside of Portlock cliffs.

There are a few homes that rest above the cliffs. Try and place a home or two in your picture. This will provide the viewer a sense of size and depth to the area. People in your picture can also show size and depth, so that is another option.

What’s the best time to go? Best time to go is anytime! Sunrise and sunset can be seen from here. Mid-day can usually provides deep blues and greens in the water below. A good time of the year is during whale season (i.e. winter) as they tend to pass by here a lot. Turtles can also be seen throughout the year.

This place is awesome! Have fun but be careful.

If you would like to visit places similar to Spitting Caves please check out our selection of daily Oahu Photo Tours. We offer sunrise, sunset, full-day and many other custom photo tours on Oahu. Join us!


Oahu Photography Lessons in the Field-3185

Oahu Photography Lessons at Spitting Caves

Chris Rose
My name is Chris and this is my super cool job. We set-up & facilitate photography tours, workshops, and free photo walks for residents and visitors to Hawaii.
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