Hanauma Bay is without question the best snorkeling spot on O‘ahu. This beautiful sheltered bay fringed by a white sand beach is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District, with approximately 400 species of fish inhabiting its reefs. Also home to a large population of resident honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), spending an afternoon at Hanauma Bay is a must-do.
Hanauma Bay O’ahu, Hawaii History
Hanauma Bay was never inhabited due to a lack of fresh water; however, numerous pre-contact fishing implements have been found there, and it was a recreation area for Hawaiian ali‘i (royalty). In the 1920s the City and county of Honolulu purchased Hanauma Bay; a paved road was constructed down to the shore in the 1930s. In 1941, after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, a military bunker was constructed at Hanauma Bay, O’ahu. After WWII ended, the area became a popular film and television site for productions such as Blue Hawai‘i, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Magnum P.I., and Hawai‘i Five-0. Hanauma Bay was designated as a Marine Life Conservation District in 1967.
Hanauma Bay Facilities
You’ll find paved parking, picnic tables, restrooms, and showers at Hanauma Bay. Beachside concessions offer snacks and rent snorkeling gear, kayaks, lockers and beach wheelchairs.
Hanauma Bay Swimming Conditions
Hanauma Bay’s clear, calm waters make for great swimming, kayaking and snorkeling, except in heavy weather. As with all Hawaiian beaches, check the current conditions and pay heed to all posted signs regarding ocean conditions and safety.
How to Get There
From Waikīkī, take H-1 south. H-1 turns into Hwy 72. Follow Hwy 72 along the coast to Hanauma Bay Road. Turn right and follow the road to the parking lot. There is a $1 parking fee and $7.50 per person entry fee. Hanauma Bay O’ahu, Hawaii is closed on Tuesdays.