Stop 1: Kaneohe Bay Overlook
Kaneohe Bay is a large lagoon that is protected from the ocean by the only true barrier reef in Hawaii. Although there have been many changes to the Bay due to dredging and the construction of retaining walls for residential development, the Bay is still amazingly beautiful, and worth an extra detour on the SE Oahu Virtual Field Trip!
Many years ago, the town of Kaneohe was the largest center of population on Oahu. The sheltered bay with many productive fishponds and vibrant coral reefs attracted Hawaiian royalty as well as other natives. Today we can get fine views across the Bay from the Mokapu Peninsula. The two red boxes outline the areas shown in high resolution in the other images for this stop.
Spectacular weather on Oahu in early January 1996 provided the Virtually Hawaii Team with this rare cloud-free view of Kaneohe, with the towering Pali as a backdrop. The vertical lines in the rock are due to heavy erosion by water -- hard to believe in this view, but this part of Oahu gets over 500 cm (~200 inches) of rain per year!
Running along the foot of the Pali, you can just see the start of the new H-3 Freeway. Currently, there are only two road tunnels that go through the Koolau Range, and this is causing serious traffic problems as more and more people start to live on the "Windward Side". H-3 is intended to relieve some of these traffic problems.
From here you can continue on to Stop 2 on the ground.
Return to Kaneohe Bay Virtual Field Trip
Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze