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Hawaii Travel --> Islands --> Oahu --> Attractions --> State Recreation Areas --> State Parks --> Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park

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Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park

Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park is approximately 100 acres in size and Hanauma Bay Beach is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Hawaii.

Hanauma Bay
Copyright © Kathleen Walling Fry

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Hanauma Bay is a deep cove on the south shore of Oahu with a 2000 foot white sand beach. There are several hiking trails on the cliffs above the cove and the beach is one of the best spots on Oahu for snorkeling. The area surrounding the Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park is the County of Honolulu's Hanauma Bay Beach Park.

The views of Hanauma Bay from the parking lot lookout points are beautiful, making it a "must see" spot for visitors driving around Oahu. Many people stop to see the view and take photos, without walking down to the beach. Visitors who do wish to get a closer look at the beach can either take a tram or walk down the cliff on a somewhat steep but paved trail.

WATER ACTIVITIES: The most popular activities at Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park are swimming and observing the coral and tropical fish while snorkeling, SCUBA diving, or snuba diving. The water is shallow and usually calm, so it is a suitable for both beginning and more advanced snorkelers and divers.

HIKING: Commercial hiking tours of Hanauma Bay are only permitted two weekdays and two weekend days per month, but hiking on your own is also possible. The trail from the parking lot to the beach is steep but it is also paved, and there is a shuttle service if you are not up to walking down the trail. There are also trails above the bay, on the left and right sides of the bay. The trail on the left side as you are facing the bay goes to the "toilet bowl", which is a natural hole in which the water rises and falls. It is dangerous to swim in the hole... several people have drowned there. It is best to view the toilet bowl from above.

FACILITIES: There is a beach park pavilion with nature exhibits. a shop, and a theater. Other facilities include toilets, showers, picnic areas, lifeguards, and hiking trails.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park is closed every Tuesday. The park opens at 6:00 a.m. and it usually closes at 6 or 7 p.m. The park is open until 10:00 p.m. one or two Saturdays a month. Feeding the fish and smoking are not permitted in the park. There are small parking fees and entrance fees. No more then 2000 people at a time are allowed on the beach and lower level of the park. For more information call 808-396-4229.

GETTING THERE: Hanauma Bay is located about 10 miles east of Waikiki, between Hawaii Kai and Sandy Beach, just off of Kalanianaole Highway on the south coast of Oahu. If you are driving yourself, be sure to arrive early because highway parking is no longer permitted in this area, and the parking lot will be closed when it is full. Hanauma Bay can get crowded, but over-crowding has been less of a problem in recent years, since the city eliminated highway parking in this area and severely restricted the activities of taxis and tour buses. Taxis and shuttle buses are not allowed to drop people off at Hanauma Bay, but it is possible to take bus #22 from Waikiki. Commercial tour companies are only permitted to access the parking lot and upper level view points, with one exception: Several companies have received permits to operate commercial snorkeling, diving, and swimming tours to Hanauma Bay.

Hanauma Bay Photo Gallery

A photo gallery with ten pictures of Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park.

Useful Resources:
- Hanauma Bay Fish Identification Card (PDF)
- Hanauma Bay Photo and With Features Labeled
- Hanauma Bay - Official Web Site
- Hanauma Bay - Education Program
- Friends of Hanauma Bay

Oahu Attractions Near Hanauma Bay
- Koko Crater
- Halona Blow Hole
- Sandy Beach

Hanauma Bay Tours
- Hanauma Bay Tours

More Hanauma Bay Resources on the Web
- Wildernet on Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park
- Photos of Hanauma Bay at Night s
- Hawaii Web on Hanauma Bay
- Aloha.com on Hanauma Bay Beach

Hawaii Web - Hanauma Bay Beach

See also:
- Hanauma Bay Beach
- More Hawaii State Parks on Oahu
- The Beaches of Oahu

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Islands of Hawaii
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