What to Expect
Hanauma Bay, along the eastern shore of Oahu, is known for its rainbow of ocean fauna. This "curved" bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. Due to the protected nature of the cove it is a great place to snorkel or scuba dive for the first time, though experienced snorkelers and divers can also enjoy the beauty of this bay as the reef extends throughout the cove into deeper water.
The bay floor is actually the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded when the exterior wall collapsed and the ocean rushed in. The bay boasts a large sandy beach that's perfect for sunbathing, relaxing and picnicking. Several hiking trails extend along coastline and along the ridge overlooking the bay. The curvature of the bay usually provides protection from large ocean waves and allows swimmers an opportunity to view the marine and reef life in a safer, protected environment.
You can expect to see the state fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the milletseed butterfly fish, yellow tangs, trumpet fish, angel fish, and turtles.
Hanauma Bay has a park entrance fee of $7.50. Showers, restrooms and a concession stand are all available to visitors, and lifeguards are on duty. Always monitor the ocean conditions at all times and obey lifeguard warnings and postings.