Kawela Bay, Hawai'i

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Kawela Bay is a census-designated place and small community in the Koʻolauloa District on the northern coast of the Island of Oʻahu, City & County of Honolulu. In Hawaiian, ka wela means "the heat".[1] As of the 2000 Census, the CDP had a total population of 410.



Kawela Bay is adjacent to (just west of) the Turtle Bay Resort. Land for a Kawela Bay Beach park was allocated[2], but not improved.[1] Coastal features and shorelines (including Kawela Bay itself) are mostly hidden from the traveler along Kamehameha Highway, although access to the shore can be found at Waialeʻe Beach Park with Kukaimanini, an offshore islet. This area to the west is the North Shore of Oʻahu. For those travelling east, the road turns inland at Kawela to cross the Kahuku Plain where the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge preserves some wetland habitat, coming again to the coast at Hukilau Beach in ʻie on the windward (koʻolau) side of Oʻahu.

The U.S. postal code for Kawela Bay, Turtle Bay and nearby Kuilima is 96731.

Just inland from the bay is the Opana Radar Site, a National Historic Landmark that is not open to the public.[3]


Kawela Bay is located at 21°42'10" North, 158°0'40" West (21.702767, -158.010997)[4]. This community is located west of Kuilima (now called Turtle Bay) and Kahuku and east from the communities of Waialeʻe, Sunset Beach, and Pūpūkea along Kamehameha Highway (Route 83).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), of which, 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²) of it is water. The total area is 71.14% water, since the census tract includes the Pacific Ocean (possibly because of Kawela and Turtle bays).

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