Portlock is a picturesque Hawaii Kai neighborhood with around 120 luxurious homes rising from the Maunalua Bay oceanfront to the western slope of Koko Head. The community is named for Nathaniel Portlock, a member of Captain Cook’s crew who became the first European to arrive at Maunalua Bay in the 18th century. Modern development began in the 1940s and ‘50s and accelerated with the arrival of influential industrialist Henry J. Kaiser in the 1960s. Kaiser was responsible for the masterplan guiding much of Hawaii Kai’s development, and he chose Portlock’s beautiful bayfront as the setting for his grand 5.5-acre Portlock Estate. In the 1990s, real estate billionaire Genshiro Kawamoto purchased the property for more than $40 million.
A majority of Portlock’s homes were built following Kaiser’s arrival in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and around a third are located directly on the waterfront. All boast exceptional design and amazing ocean, mountain, and city views.
What to Love
- Gorgeous homes with outstanding views
- Oceanfront landmarks and surf breaks
- Hanauma Bay snorkeling
- Close to Hawaii Kai shopping and dining
People & Lifestyle
The adjacent communities of Triangle and Koko Kai are often thought of as belonging to Portlock, though the neighborhood is technically comprised only of properties on Portlock Road. Portlock is close to waterfront shopping and dining in Hawaii Kai and within 30 minutes of Downtown Honolulu. Portlock is also near several great surf breaks and bodyboarding spots, plus many scenic ocean lookouts. Portlock’s views take in dramatic sunsets over Diamond Head in the west and ocean waters teeming with marine life including whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
This peaceful neighborhood is close to the conveniences of Hawaii Kai’s and. These stylish commercial hubs offer dozens of restaurants and retailers. Highlights include, a Hawaiian bistro with delicious brunch and lunch options. has a great craft beer selection and a menu of gastropub eats. offers arguably the tastiest burgers on Oahu, serving a wide range of specialty burgers and custom toppings in sizes that range from generous to mountainous.
Things to Do
The coastline around Portlock features several landmarks that are favorites of locals and tourists alike. For example, you can dive from into the clear ocean water. The waves can sometimes be powerful, but on calmer days, it’s an excellent swimming spot. The sea cliffs above are one of the best places to relax and take in the endless ocean scenery, and the caves at the cliffs’ base are so named because of the mesmerizing way the ocean waters flow in and out of them. (Water flows in through the caves’ inlets and builds up until the pressure reaches a point where it is blasted back out with unbelievable power.) When conditions are calm, the high cliffs above Spitting Caves attract daring cliff divers. However, the caves’ water blasts are at their most impressive when the seas are rough.
is one of Oahu’s most popular tourist destinations, and its curving sandy beach is arguably the island’s most attractive. Hanauma Bay provides excellent snorkeling, with an abundance of sea turtles and around 400 species of fish inhabiting its waters.
Public schools are organized by the Hawaii Department of Education. Highlights include:
- Hahaione Elementary School, Public, PK-5
- Kamiloiki Elementary School, Public, PK-5
- Koko Head Elementary School, Public, PK-5
- Niu Valley Middle School, Public, 6-8
- Henry J. Kaiser High School, Public, 9-12