Some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii
Hanauma Bay is Hawaii's first marine life nature conservation district. The beautiful coral reef and its inhabitants are dilligently protected by the state of Hawaii. This is not, as the state points out on its website, a beach park for typical beach sport activities. the purpose of this beach park is to preserve the reef and educate the public.
While you wouldnt want to show up here with your surfboard in hand you most definately want to bring snorkel gear, and an underwater camera. The bay is sheltered from the rough east Oahu seas, and provides some of the most breath taking underwater scenery anywhere in Hawaii.There is a small donation of $3 dollars to enter the park, which is used to help protect and maintain the bay.
Upon entering, you will be shown a short video that will teach you a bit about the ecosystem in the bay, and how you can interact with it in a way that is safe for you as well as the marine life that thrives here. Don't Have snorkel gear in your pack ? No problem, you can rent a resonably priced set right there at the beach. there are also several tour companies that will pick you up at your hostel or hotel, and provide round trip transportation and a snorkel set.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve|
Phone: 808 396-4229|
Fax: 808 395-0468
User Reviews Rating scale: 1=Poor, 2=Fair, 3=Acceptable, 4=Good, 5=Excelent
Review by: canadamomof4 E-mail: Private
Rating: 1 Submitted: 2009-08-20 14:25:51
Comments: I visited your Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve yesterday with my 4 children. The scenery and swimming was spectacular but was overshadowed by your rude and incompetent staff. I felt like I was an intruder to the Park at every turn, even though I did nothing but follow all the "rules" yelled out at me.
We waited in line for 30 minutes under no shade with no available benches and then bought tickets for 4 people, as 2 of my children are 12 and under. I was asked to see the children just to make sure I wasn't trying to get someone in for free. We then waited to watch your video. We did meet a lovely gentlemen who told us alot of information about what we were going to see. This was the only enjoyable interaction with staff we had. The video room was full and cooled by one fan in the back which another visitor turned directly on himself- it was very hot. When we walked down the path we got yelled at by the tram driver to get out of the way as he was coming down the road even though we were walking on the inside of the rope. The same happened on the way back up. We stopped at the snack bar before we headed to the bus stop and received the slowest service ever. It was as though we were inconveniencing the ladies by buying their ridiculously priced items. One guest ordered a shaved ice, the lady called the order to another lady who was cleaning a counter and she continued cleaning. When asked again about the shaved ice a full minute or more later, the one cleaning slowly turned around and went to get it with a "yeah, I heard you". The amount of time it took for me to buy 1 snickers bar and recevie my change was a joke. On our walk tothe bus stop we were surrounded by roosters and birds roaming free, my son began to run with them and was screamed at by another man in a white suit. When my husband and I asked about the bus times, we were 2 completely different times by 2 different staff, both looking at schedules, and then the bus came 30 minutes after that. Finally, there is no shelter from the sun waiting for the too infrequent buses and so the bus driver crammed us all on, sweaty and stinky, literally sandwiched together with strangers for the 30 minute drive home. It was a MISERABLE experience and I can't believe I paid for it.