Introduction to Central Oahu
Facts, history, visitor attractions, and general
information about the central part of the island of
Oahu in Hawaii.
The 1000-foot-high Leilehua Plateau, a bountiful agricultural
region planted with pineapple, coffee, papaya and other fruits and
vegetables, extends from the North Shore to the southern reaches
of Oahu. Legends say this area is the birthplace of Oahu’s rainbows.
Situated in the middle of the island between the Waianae Range on
the west and
Koolau Range on the east, central Oahu encompasses
Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks,
Mililani, Waipio and Waikele.
The Wahiawa fields on the Leilehua Plateau are the bulk of
Oahu’s remaining 11,500 acres of pineapple fields. Pineapples were
introduced to Hawaii in the early 19th century, but did not become
a viable commercial crop until James Drummond Dole revolutionized
the way that they were grown, harvested and canned.
Wahiawa, a small 100-year-old city, is the region’s commercial
hub. Located in the central Oahu plain about 30 miles from Waikiki,
vestiges of rural life remain in Wahiawa despite the rapid growth.
Hidden behind the stores and everyday small-town look of Wahiawa,
is the 27-acre and 40 year old Wahiawa Botanical Gardens. The garden
is comprised of exotic and beautiful species from Africa, Asia,
New Guinea and Australia. Just north are the
Kukaniloko birthing stones, where Hawaiian alii (royalty) gave birth. The indentations
in the stone reflect the shape of a woman’s body in labor.
Nearby Wahiawa is the U.S. Army Schofield Barracks and Wheeler
Army Air Field. Named after Major General John M. Schofield,
commander of the U.S. Army Division of the Pacific in the 1870s,
Schofield Barracks was built in 1909. This 14,400-acre military
installation is the home of the 25th Light Infantry
"Tropic Lightning" Division, a rapid-strike force of nearly
11,000 men and women. Schofield Barracks, said to be the most
beautiful military base in the world, is the gateway to Kolekole
Pass. Kolekole Pass is the lowest point on the Waianae mountain
range. There are two short trails at Kolekole Pass and large
roadside signs mark the beginning of both. One trail leads to
the base of a large white steel cross and the other leads to
Kolekole Rock. Each has a grand view of Oahu’s central plain.
South of Schofield lies the historic town of
Waipahu, home of
Hawaii’s Plantation Village, a partially re-created and restored
village that spreads across three acres of Waipahu Cultural Park.
The village depicts plantation life with restored houses, places
of worship and immigrant businesses that supported the sugar
plantations. The old Waipahu Sugar Mill is now the Filipino
Heading further south, the town of Waikele ("muddy water") is
just past Waipahu. In ancient times, Waikele Stream irrigated
taro terraces, which fed a large Hawaiian population.
History of Central Oahu
Captain George Vancouver made the following observations
concerning central Oahu while anchored at
West Loch in 1793: "The part of the island opposite to us
was low, or rather only moderately elevated, forming a
level country between the mountains that compose the east
and west ends of the island. This tract of land was of
some extent but did not seem to be populous, nor to
possess any great degree of natural fertility; although
we were told that, at a little distance from the sea,
the soil is rich, and all the necessaries of life are
Temperatures in Central Oahu
During the winter, temperatures reach highs of 82°F and
dip to 58°F. During the summer, temperatures range from
87°F to 66°F. For more information about Oahu weather
forecasts, please call (808) 973-4381. For surf report
information, please call (808) 596-7873.
Sightseeing in Central Oahu
Information about the most popular visitor
attractions inn Central Oahu, including the Dole
Pineapple Plantation, Hawaii's Plantation Village, and
the Pearl Harbor.
Article provided courtesy of the Oahu Visitor's Bureau
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