We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

CA
Level Contributor
125 posts
What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

May be a stupid ? but I keep reading about those 2 sides of the island

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
29,434 posts
1. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Windward:

East side of the island from Makapuu Point (eastern tip) to Kahuku Point (northern tip)

Leeward:

West side of the island from Barbers Point to Kaena Point

CA
Level Contributor
125 posts
2. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Thanks Dusty

Bayonne, France
Level Contributor
11,349 posts
3. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Actually Dusty....

The leeward side extends all the way to Koko Head (encompasssing Pearl Harbor, Honolulu to Hawaii Kai).

By definition. "Windward" is the side of an island where the predominant wind travels from the sea onto the island. "Leeward" is the side of an island where the predominant wind travels from the interior of the island to the sea.

In practice on Oahu. What is on the other side of the Koolau Mountains from Honolulu? Kailua. What is Kailua called? Windward. Therefore, Honolulu is leeward.

A common mistake created by the practice of referring to the Waianae Coast as the "Leeward" coast or side of the island. While correct, it is not exclusive. Honolulu and Waikiki are clearly leeward locations.

The leeward of Oahu extends from Kaena Point to Koko Head, including the west and south shores of the island; just as windward includes the east and north shores.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
29,434 posts
4. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

The Windward district is the area from Kahuku Point to Makapuu Point, and is bounded by the Koolau Mountains on the East and the Pacific Ocean on the West.

http://www.hawaii-aa.org/?page_id=16

Windward Oahu can be divided into two parts. The northernportion, from Kahuku Point to Kualoa Point, gets our vote for Oahu's most spectacular coast. Rain forest pushes right down to the beach along this thinly populated strand, creating cool, shady parks ideal for leisurely picnicking--although mosquitoes can be annoying at times. Gather picnic basics in Honolulu, but stop at a roadside stand for home-grown papaya, fat "apple' bananas, juicy pineapples, and crisp mountain apples.

Farther from the mountains, the stretch of coast from KailuaBay to Makapuu Point is more dependably sunny. Kailua, roughly a half-hour's drive from Honolulu over the Pali Highway (State 61), draws windsurfers from around the world because of its large sheltered bay, reliable onshore winds, and sandy bottom and shore. It's one of the best places anywhere to learn the sport.

www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-4696686.html

Here seems to be the best definition of the Leeward Coast. I've found it on many sites. Some of the sites include the Ewa section including Kapolei as part of the Leeward coast, some don't.

"The Leeward coast, that stretch of the west shore bounded by the Wai'anae range and the ocean"

"The Leeward coast, that stretch of the west shore bounded by the Wai'anae range and the ocean, is less affected by development. Like rural Windward Oahu, the west coast is populated mostly by Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders. The Ewa Plain, west of Pearl Harbor has been developed in recent years as Kapolei - Oahu's "Second City" in an effort to ease population pressures in Honolulu proper."

I have never seen Honolulu & most of the south shore listed as being windward or leeward.

I have never seen the North Shore listed as being windward or leeward.

While I may be wrong, most people consider Oahu as North Shore, South Shore, windward side & leeward side.

If you have a source that says different, I'd like to see it.

Bayonne, France
Level Contributor
11,349 posts
5. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

C'mon Dusty, just google "English Dictionary" and enter the words "windward" and "leeward"...

From Mirriam-Webster for example:

"windward

Function: adjective

Date: 1627

: being in or facing the direction from which the wind is blowing — compare leeward"

"leeward

Function: adjective

Date: 1630

: being in or facing the direction toward which the wind is blowing; also : being the side opposite the windward."

I appreciate how folks and govt. agencies name things and districts, but they are NOT EXCLUSIVE uses of the word. It is not a matter of how they name things on Oahu, but a matter of definition.

Simply,

If you are standing on the beach facing the ocean and the wind blows in your face, you are facing windward (i.e. Kailua).

If you are standing on the beach facing the ocean and the wind blows in your back, you are facing leeward (i.e Waikiki).

So tell me, if Kailua is windward than Honolulu must be _________ (fill in the blank), and you only have a choice of two answers.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
232 posts
6. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

I don't think Mike was asking about the leeward area in the meteorological sense.

In common usage, the island of Oahu is divided into 5 large sections, more or less bounded by the 4 main points of the island:

1. Leeward side - west coast, e.g. Waianae

2. Windward side - east coast, e.g. Kailua

3. North shore - north coast, e.g. Haleiwa

4. South shore - south coast, e.g. Honolulu

5. Central Oahu - interior highlands, e.g. Mililani

You can debate about the exact boundaries of these areas, but most people generally know what you are talking about if you reference one of these areas.

Bayonne, France
Level Contributor
11,349 posts
7. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Words have meaning, whether nautical (as "windward" and "leeward"), meteorological (?), or otherwise...

And, it is imperative they are used correctly in order to communicate.

Common usage is great, but can be imprecise and create unnecessary arguments, as in this case. Anyone who has sailed (which is a minority) could appreciate this distinction.

If you are going to be precise, there are seven districts on Oahu, none of which are named "Leeward". the "Leeward Coast" is not an official identification (it is the Waianae District), because everyone in authority knows that the leeward area of the island is not limited to that coastline.

Amazing how you can determine what's in the OPs mind from just 15 words, particularly when the title clearly states "leeward side vs. windward side" (the very brunt of the definitions) which is easily distinguished and not open to question.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
232 posts
8. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Given that this is a travel site, people are usually looking for tourist attractions or accomodations. So when they ask about the leeward side vs. windward side, they are probably not interested in a technical nautical definition. It's all in the context. If this was a sailing forum, I guess you would be justified in nit-picking about Dusty's response and citing definitions about windflow patterns. But that's just my opinion...

Bayonne, France
Level Contributor
11,349 posts
9. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

Sure call anything whatever you want....

But tourists will want to know where the best location is to stay. Where it is most sunny, driest, favorable climatic conditions, etc.

And, they are to leeward.

Every successful destination resort and locale in the State is located to leeward, and it is an important distinction when making travel plans.

Turtle Bay (Kuilima) has always had problems, Princeville has been spotty over the years, and even Kapalua (northerly leeward) has encountered some difficulties.

So, it is a very important distinction when providing travel advice in Hawaii.

Just my opinion...

South Pole
Level Contributor
41,342 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: What is the leeward side vs. the Windward side of Ohau?

I was just hoping someone would gently point out that it's OAHU, not Ohau.

I am very understanding of the difficulties of many names here, but this is an important one to get right and only 4 letters.