Free Whale Watching in Hawaii

Free Whale Watching in Hawaii

It’s whale season in Hawaii from now through next Spring, and it’s easy to spot giant Humpbacks on your Hawaii vacation. Seeing Humpbacks weighing up to 90,000 lbs is a sight that no local or Hawaii visitor ever tires of.

Whale watching tours are popular on all the islands. For the most up-close viewing, there’s nothing like a tour. It’s definitely possible, however, to see whales on dry land for free (now that’s a Hawaii deal), and without getting sea sick (an issue for me–if something works for you, let me know).

Park yourself along a popular shoreline, and get ready for an adventure. If you’re able to capture a photo of the fast-moving behemoths you’re in luck. I’m still trying to capture the perfect photo; I always miss by a second. With well over 5,000 of the huge animals in the state at this time of year, they shouldn’t be all that hard to spot on your own.

Big IslandSee Humpback whales in Hawaii

My best viewings have happened along the Kohala coast. Friends have told me they also see them at Hilo and Kawaihae.


Places to look for whales include Poipu Beach Park and all south shore Kauai beaches, north of Kapaa on the east side, and from Kilauea to the Napali coast.


Once the hub of Hawaii whaling that almost brought the species to extinction, Maui is now renowned for perhaps the state’s best whale-watching opportunities. Locations along and west and south shores are considered prime. I’ve seen them at Pohaku Beach Park.


You won’t have to go far from Honolulu to see whales. I’ve seen whales near Diamond Head, from Sandy Beach to Makapuu, and at Hanauma Bay and Waimea.

More About Whales in Hawaii

What are your best  Hawaii whale-spotting experiences?
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  1. Tyler (3 years ago)

    Love whale season in Maui. We keep seeing more and more every day. Maui no ka oi!

  2. Marsha (3 years ago)

    Saw them jumping and tail slapping off the Kilauea lighthouse point on Kauai Nov 11th ! It was amazing.

  3. Lorrie (3 years ago)

    April 2008 while taking a charter to snorkel Molokini two whales along our boat then back at our condo (Nohonani) from our lanai as we enjoyed the sunset and cocktails!

  4. Greg (3 years ago)

    Try the sea sick wrist bands. I’m in Kauai right now and I’m heading for the Big Island next week. Will let you know if I see any whales.

  5. Colleen (3 years ago)

    Saw them breaching from a distance as we drove along the coast heading north towards Kawaihae and Hawi on the Big Island in 2009. We weren’t close – but it was still great to see. Also saw them from a distance near Polulu Trail in North Kohala that same year. We were far away, but could see with Binoculars.

    • Jeff (3 years ago)

      Mahalo Colleen!