|Nickname: The Gathering Place|
Satellite photo of Oʻahu
|Area||596.7 sq mi (1,545 km2)|
|Highest elevation||4,003 ft (1,220.1 m)|
|Pop. density||1,636 /sq mi (631.7 /km2)|
Oʻahu (pronounced [oˈʔɐhu] , anglicized Oahu // ), known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi. The state capital, Honolulu, is on Oʻahu's southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States.
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
Oʻahu is 44 miles (71 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) across. Its shoreline is 227 miles (365 km) long. The island is composed of two separate shield volcanoes: the Waiʻanae and Koʻolau Ranges, with a broad "valley" or saddle (the central Oʻahu Plain) between them. The highest point is Kaʻala in the Waiʻanae Range, rising to 4,003 feet (1,220 m) above sea level.
A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually composed almost entirely of fluid lava flows. It is named for its low profile, resembling a warrior's shield lying on the ground. This is caused by the highly fluid lava erupted, which travels farther than lava erupted from a stratovolcano, and results in the steady accumulation of broad sheets of lava, building up the shield volcano's distinctive form.
Waiʻanae Range is the eroded remains of an ancient shield volcano that comprises the western half of the Hawaiian Island of Oʻahu. Its crest, at Kaʻala, is the highest peak on Oʻahu at 4,025 feet (1,227 m).
Koʻolau Range is a name given to the dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972.
The island was home to 953,207 people in 2010 (approximately 72% of the population of the state, with approximately 81% of those living in or near the Honolulu urban area). Oʻahu has for a long time been known as the "Gathering Place". The term Oʻahu has no confirmed meaning in Hawaiʻian, other than that of the place itself. Ancient Hawaiian tradition attributes the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa , the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates that he named the island after his daughter.
The Hawaiian language is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawaiʻi, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the State of Hawaii. King Kamehameha III established the first Hawaiian-language constitution in 1839 and 1840.
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, and share many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs. Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.
Residents of Oʻahu refer to themselves as "locals" (as done throughout Hawaiʻi), no matter their ancestry.
The city of Honolulu—largest city, state capital, and main deepwater marine port for the State of Hawaiʻi—is located here. As a jurisdictional unit, the entire island of Oʻahu is in the Honolulu County, although as a place name, Honolulu occupies only a portion of the southeast end of the island.
A port is a maritime commercial facility which may comprise one or more wharves where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, some ports, such as Hamburg, Manchester and Duluth, are many miles inland, with access from the sea via river or canal.
Honolulu County is a consolidated city–county in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The city–county includes both the city of Honolulu and the rest of the island of Oʻahu, as well as several minor outlying islands, including all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands except Midway Atoll.
Well-known features found on Oʻahu include Waikīkī , Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma, Kāneʻohe Bay, Kailua Bay, North Shore.
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii.
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.
Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi, most likely from lae 'browridge, promontory' plus ʻahi 'tuna' because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals on the adjacent beach for diamonds.
While the entire island is officially the City and County of Honolulu, locals identify settlements using town names (generally those of the census-designated places, and consider the island to be divided into various areas, which may overlap. The most commonly accepted areas are the "City", "Town" or "Town side", which is the urbanized area from Halawa to the area below Diamond Head (residents of the island north of the Koʻolau Mountains consider the Town Side to be the entire southern half), "West Oʻahu", which goes from Pearl Harbor to Kapolei, ʻEwa and may include the Mākaha and Waiʻanae areas; the "North Shore" (northwestern coast); the "Windward Side" (northeastern coast from Kahuku to Kāneʻohe); the "East Side" or "East Coast" (the eastern portion of the island, from Kāneʻohe on the northeast, around the tip of the island to include much of the area east of Diamond Head); and "The Valley" or "Central Oʻahu" which runs northwest from Pearl Harbor toward Haleʻiwa. These terms are somewhat flexible, depending on the area in which the user lives, and are used in a mostly general way, but residents of each area identify strongly with their part of the island, especially those outside of widely-known towns. For instance, if locals are asked where they live, they would usually reply "Windward Oʻahu" rather than " Lāʻie ".
A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated small community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the U.S. border with Mexico, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.
Kapolei is a planned community in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States, on the island of Oahu. It is colloquially known as the "second city" of Oahu, in relation to Honolulu. Officially, it is a census-designated place (CDP) within the consolidated city-county of Honolulu.
Ewa Villages is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District and the City & County of Honolulu on the leeward side of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi some 20 miles (32 km) from downtown Honolulu. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 6,108.
Being roughly diamond-shaped, surrounded by ocean and divided by mountain ranges, directions on Oʻahu are not generally described with the compass directions found throughout the world. Locals instead use directions originally using Honolulu as the central point. To go ʻewa means traveling toward the western tip of the island, "Diamond Head" is toward the eastern tip, mauka is inland (toward the central Koʻolau Mountain range, north of Honolulu) and makai toward the sea. When these directions became common, Diamond Head was the eastern edge of the primary populated area. Today, with a much larger populace and extensive development, the mountain itself is often not actually to the east when directions are given, and is not to be used as a literal point of reference—to go "Diamond Head" is to go to the east from anywhere on the island.
Oʻahu is also known for having the longest rain shower in history, which lasted for 200 consecutive days. Kāneʻohe Ranch, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi reported 247 straight days with rain from August 27, 1993 to April 30, 1994. The island has many nicknames one of them being "rainbow state." This is because rainbows are a common sight in Hawaiʻi due to the frequent rain showers. The average temperature in Oʻahu is around 70–85 °F (21–29 °C) and the island is the warmest in June through October. The weather during the winter is cooler, but still warm with an average temperature of 68–78 °F (20–26 °C).
The windward side is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Lanikai Beach on the windward coast of Oʻahu has been consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world.
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The island has been inhabited since at least 3rd century A.D.The 304-year-old Kingdom of Oʻahu was once ruled by the most ancient aliʻi in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of Oʻahu was Maʻilikūkahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the warlike kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783, Kahekili II, King of Maui, conquered Oʻahu and deposed the reigning family and then made his son, Kalanikūpule, king of Oʻahu. Kamehameha the Great would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nuʻuanu. Kamehameha founded the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaiʻi would not be unified until the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau surrendered under King Kaumualiʻi in 1810. Kamehameha III moved his capital from Lāhainā, Maui to Honolulu, Oʻahu in 1845. ʻIolani Palace, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.
Oʻahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19, 1778, during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS Discovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oʻahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779, when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (island of Hawaiʻi) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitoes, and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.
The Imperial Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor, Oʻahu on the morning of December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II. The surprise attack was aimed at the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone).
Today, Oʻahu has become a tourism and shopping haven. Over five million visitors (mainly from the contiguous United States and Japan) flock there every year to enjoy the island.
Oʻahu boasts of having had the Olympic Gold Medal winner Duke Kahanamoku serve as Sheriff, perhaps the only such athlete to serve as a law enforcement professional. He held that office for 13 consecutive terms, from 1932 until 1961.
Visitors should be aware that some of the police vehicles on Oʻahu (and on the "Big Island" of Hawaiʻi) are unmarked except for the blue lights mounted on their roofs.
Due to its beauty, easy access from Hollywood, and incentives offered by the state and local governments, Oʻahu has been featured in many movies and television shows. A sampling of notable films and shows that have shot scenes on Oʻahu includes, but is not limited to:
Beginning with a contract with the US Navy in 2001, Ocean Power Technologies began ocean-testing Azura, its wave power generation system at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) at Kāneʻohe Bay. The Oʻahu system was launched under the company's program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of such systems, including connection to the Oahu grid. kW, a system with 500 kW to 1 MW is planned to be installed at end of 2017.The prototype can produce 20
Oʻahu has 343 MW of rooftop solar power,and potential for 92 MW of wind power.
Kailua is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of the island of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.
Kāneʻohe is a census-designated place (CDP) included in the City and County of Honolulu and located in Hawaiʻi state District of Koʻolaupoko on the island of Oʻahu. In the Hawaiian language, kāne ʻohe means "bamboo man". According to an ancient Hawaiian story a local woman compared her husband's cruelty to the sharp edge of cutting bamboo; thus the place was named Kāneʻohe or "Bamboo man". The population was 34,597 at the 2010 census. Kāneʻohe is the largest of several communities along Kāneʻohe Bay and one of the two largest residential communities on the windward side of Oʻahu. The commercial center of the town is spread mostly along Kamehameha Highway.
North Koʻolaupoko is an area in the County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, on the island of Oʻahu. It corresponds to the Waikane census-designated place, with a population of 778 at the 2010 census. In Hawaiian, koʻolau poko means "short windward", referring to the fact that this is the shorter of the two windward districts on the island. Koʻolaupoko extends from Makapuʻu Point on the southeast to Kaʻōʻio Point on the north. Included within the district, south of North Koʻolaupoko, are the largest windward towns of Kāneʻohe, Kailua, and Waimānalo.
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Hawaii:
The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System (HSPLS) is the only statewide public library system in the United States. The flagship Hawaiʻi State Library, built in 1911 and designed by architect Henry D. Whitfield, was funded in part by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is a historic downtown Honolulu building. The system has 51 libraries on all the major Hawaiian Islands: Big Island of Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi and Oʻahu. The system's collection of books and other library materials totals over three million. There is one library for the blind and physically handicapped, located on Oʻahu. The Hawaiʻi State Public Library System is headed by the Hawaiʻi State Librarian, currently Stacey Aldrich, who reports to the Hawaii Board of Education.
Hanauma is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring and located along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands.
Route 63, known as Likelike Highway, is one of three main highways passing through the Koʻolau mountain on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. The highway passes through the Wilson Tunnel, and takes commuters from the towns of Kāneʻohe and Kailua on the windward (northeast) side of the island, through Kalihi Valley into Honolulu on the leeward (south) side of the island. The other trans-Koʻolau highways are Pali Highway and Interstate H-3.
Nuʻuanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff of the Koʻolau mountain located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley on the island of Oʻahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oʻahu. The Pali Highway connecting Kailua/Kāneʻohe with downtown Honolulu runs through the Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels bored into the cliffside.
Kamehameha Highway is one of the main highways serving suburban and rural O‘ahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Starting from Nimitz Highway near Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, it serves the island's older western suburbs, turning north across the O‘ahu Central Valley to the North Shore. At the North Shore, Kamehameha Highway heads northeast around the northern tip of O‘ahu, then southeast to and just beyond Kāne‘ohe Bay on the windward coast. The road was named after King Kamehameha I.
The transportation system of Hawaii is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure.
The Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention (HPBC) is a group of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention located in the U.S. state of Hawaii and other pacific regions. Headquartered in Honolulu, it is made up of 138 churches on 11 islands in 6 Baptist associations.
The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku Point, Hawaii.
The Sullivan Family of Companies is a privately run American supermarket, retailer and restaurant franchiser headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. The family-owned business is run by Jenai S. Wall, the daughter of Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan, who founded the Foodland supermarket chain, which she expanded after his death. Although all of the properties are under the same roof, each is run separately.
Kualoa Regional Park is located at Kāneʻohe Bay, on the island of Oahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The park covers 153 acres across the road from the Pali-ku (cliffs) of the Koʻolau Range. The beach front is white sand and 1/3 mile offshore is the small basalt island of Mokoliʻi.
He`eia State Park is an 18.5 acre state park located near Kaneohe on the windward shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The park is located on Kaneohe Bay, between the He`eia Fish Pond and He`eia Kea small boat harbor.