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IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

Wish You Were Here!

About Diamond Head

Towering above the high-rises of Waikiki and a prominent feature from anywhere else in Honolulu, Diamond Head, stands imposingly over its surroundings, and is likely the first thing you will notice flying into Oahu and the last thing you will notice flying out.

While not actually a volcano, Diamond Head is technically a volcanic tuff cone – part of the much larger Honolulu Volcanics grouping. As well, there seems to be debate as to whether Diamond Head is considered dormant or extinct; it makes no real difference for us however, as the last eruption was several hundred-thousand years ago and there is no reason to believe one will happen (if ever again) in the geologic near future.

Diamond Head is also known as ʻahi in Hawaiian, meaning "brow of the tuna”, due to the fact that viewed from the right angle, the ridgeline resembles a tuna’s dorsal fin. The name “Diamond Head” was given by British sailors who mistook calcite deposits in crater’s slopes as diamonds (Go Hawaii, 2024)!


To learn more about the history of Diamond Head overall, check out the short article, Diamond Head Crater, by Dessi Ann Lau and Kenneth Luckey (n.d).

For an in-depth look at the geology of Diamond head, make sure to watch the video below!

Check It Out!