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China Walls Coastline

This rocky coastline at the edge of the Portlock neighborhood of O'ahu on the eastern end of the island is not your typical beach. The waters and even the coastline are dangerous, and if you are unfamiliar that waves come in sets, and the current tide and swell height, you may be swept in just standing on the rocky coast; turning your back to the ocean to pose for a photograph is unsafe.

The warning signs are to be taken very seriously, and this location is not family-safe. We do not recommend going here to the locations pictured on this page.

                                                                           The exact rock formations revealed here first.


This location may be dangerous.
Heed all posted warnings.
See also the notes below.

We'll say it again. This area is very dangerous. We recommend against entering this area.

Simply walking along the coast, especially left toward Spitting Caves, can be extremely hazardous. People have been swept away and killed (link).

You may see other people cliff jumping, swimming or surfing: This does not mean you are safe, even if you are a strong swimmer. Conditions vary by tide, swell, and time of the year, as well as proximity to channels and rock formations. If the ground is wet, then a wave was there recently; a new large wave will almost certainly sweep into the area during the next set-- in particular, standing on a wet ledge with your back turned to the water to pose for a photograph is a bad idea!

Honolulu Advertiser
2006 article on water safety education showing the warning obelisk at China Walls

Public beach access at the end of the short cul-de-sac Hanapepe Pl. at Hanapape Lp.


Portlock is the last oceanside residential area before Hanauma Bay.

From Waikiki/Honolulu, take H1 east. The highway soon ends and turns into Kalaniana'ole Hwy. Continue straight, staying in the right lane as you pass Hawaii Kai Rd. Turn right at Lunalilo Home Road, which features a pedestrian overpass (with a sign for Hanauma Bay). Make your first left at a park and go uphill at Po'ipu Dr. Go through all intersections to the end of the street, making your second right onto Po'ipu Dr. Take your fourth right (the street after Moloaa St.) This takes you immediately to the second occurence of the looping Hanapepe Pl. on your left. Street parking is prohibited inside Hanapepe Pl., so park somewhere outside.

Note that if you made your fifth right on Po'ipu Dr., you would find yourself at the Po'ipu Pl. residences.

The access to the significantly more dangerous Spitting Caves area is at the end of Lumahai St. between two homes on the right side of the road. Enter Lumahai St. by turning left (uphill) onto Moloaa St. from Po'ipu Dr.

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1. The access is at the Hanapepe Pl. cul-de-sac.

2. At the end of the cul-de-sac is an opening to a small park with multiple warning signs. Depending on the tide and the time of year, conditions may change considerably. This is truly a dangerous area. Areas of the coast that are wet indicate that later and larger sets of waves may inundate that area, sweeping you in, even if it looks like the last few waves will come nowhere near. The nearby "Spitting Caves" is even more treacherous with a steep rocky incline much like walking the slopes of a large quarry. Neither location should be considered safe, and especially not "family-safe".

We do not recommend going here to the locations pictured on this page.

3. The short garden path to the shore access

4. Closeup of the warning signs.
See warning comments at top and far right column of this page!

5. This break in the bushes leads to the shore. In photo #1, this would be toward the right edge of that photo.

6. The short path opens out onto the coast. Diamondhead is visible at center, in a differnet view from the familiar one from the opposite side in Waikiki.

7. Stepping onto the coast, and turning left, this view is visible. The filming location is just around the corner.

8. About 20 feet farther in the same direction.

9. Another 20 feet and you can see there is a cove opening to the left. At near right is an eye-catching rock formation that focuses the incoming waves. WARNING: especially near high tide, you may be swept off the shore and drowned here and elsewhere. Always be cautious when walking on portions of the shore that are wet, which means a larger set of waves will eventually come to splash or inundate that area within minutes.

10. A Quicktime Virtual Reality panorama from the point on the other side of the cove. You can see the stained rocks in Charlie's scene, which is also part of the rocky point that Arzt was standing at, but viewed head-on here. At the top of the cliff above Arzt's point, are the Po'ipu Pl. residences (not clearly visible from this angle). The camera is on the wet rocky platform that the party to and from the Black Rock traversed. The cove itself is visible in these scenes from Lost. Also, Diamondhead Crater is visible on the horizon.

Caution: All areas, including the vantage point of this VR, are not always safe, especially (but not limited to) during large swells and/or high tide. Especially if the ground is wet, you may be in danger of being swept away by the occassional large wave. Always watch the ocean. In fact, we do not recommend venturing out here at all.

11. Returning to the first location on the coast, your steep exit looks like this.

1. Shore access at end of Hanapepe Pl. culdesac
2. First cove (filming locations around this cove)
3. Poipu Pl. residence (exterior scene, blue tile roof)
4. Poipu Pl. residence (interior scene, green tile roof with atrium)
Episode 1x23 Exodus: Part 1 Lost Virtual Tour

Arzt tells it like it is.
Note the walking stick is used by his right hand.

This point forms the far side of the first cove encountered as you enter the area and turn left. This view is with the camera nearly at ground level.

A wider view of the same location from a standing position.

The fence has been rendered away. Does Danielle carry her rifle on the left or right shoulder here? Does Arzt use his walking stick with his left or right hand?

The same point as Arzt's body shot above, but the scene from Lost has been horizontally reversed from the actual orientation. The fenced property above is another Lost filming location, one of the Po'ipu Pl. residences. The ocean view, rocky details, and the shape of the profile from the other side (see below) preclude the possibility that the scene was filmed from the other side and not flipped.

Here Danielle has the rifle on her left shoulder, and Arzt uses his walking stick with his left hand. But the scene has been flipped from the filming location. Below is what it really looked like:
A wider view showing the point, cove and both Po'ipu Pl. residences filmed in 1x17 In Translation. The one on the left served as the interior location, and the right as the exterior.
Episode 1x24 Exodus: Part 2 Lost Virtual Tour

This is the cove that lies just before the point (visible at left) filmed above in Ep 1x23. Depending on ocean conditions, it may be dangerous to stand here. Note the height of each surge of the water as compared to the left, and below.

A top view of the same cove. The viewpoint is about 10 feet high, indicating a camera platform was likely used.

Looking out across the cove from the opposite shore. Arzt's point from Ep 1x23 is in foreground at left. The colored markings are runoff from the residential areas above, and the red appears to be slippery algae growth-- stepping on it will put you at risk of slipping and falling backward onto the rocks! We're not exaggerating, even a tiny patch of it has caused many a spill. The rectangular shoreline feature in the center back spectacularly fills with a rush of water. Below is a view of it empty between waves:

In closeup:

The deep boom of the surge is intense. The water can strike even harder, shooting well above and around the entire area-- be aware and don't be swept away! This is a dangerous area. Remember that wave strength comes and goes in sets of waves.
Looking straight up from Charlie's approximate location, we see the fenceline of one of the Po'ipu Pl. residences.
Episode 3x22 Through the Looking Glass: Part 1 Lost Virtual Tour

This corner is where Arzt stood

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