HIGHLIGHTS: Napali coast, Tunnels Beach shore dive
Divers can access the south shore year-round by boat and take in some great dive sites like Sheraton Caverns or Turtle Bluffs. A collapsed V-shaped lava tube, Sheraton Caverns is home to many Hawaiian green sea turtles. At Turtle Bluffs, divers deep drift and see sand caves along with several whitetip reef sharks and turtle cleaning stations.
Koloa Landing, home to the dragon moray eel, is one of the best shore diving spots. It offers easy access and you can dive it nearly year round so just bout the only thing that brings Koloa Landing to a halt is weather. Prince Kuhio's (known to local divers as the turtle airport) is another great spot just minutes from Koloa Landing. It offers an abundant supply of Hawaiian green sea turtles that aren't afraid to have their pictures taken.
Anini Beach is part of a historical tale involving missing gold, but it's the diving that's the main attraction. You can only dive Anini Beach during summer months but it offers great reefs and abundant marine life all at a maximum depth of 14 metres/45 feet.
Tunnels Beach is highly recommended for divers visiting Hawaii during the summer. A local guide is strongly encouraged because you dive with the current on the way out and into current on the way back. The name comes froma series of collapsed lava tubes both on the inner and outer reefs (a great two tank site). Known for geologic structure, turtle cleaning stations, octopus and even whitetip sharks, this site doesn't fail to impress.
Locate a PADI Dive Center or Resort near Kaua'i
You've come thousands of kilometers/miles to see underwater creatures that exist nowhere else so this isn't the time to learn underwater photography through trial and error. The PADI Digital Underwater Photographer specialty course can get you quickly up to speed and make sure you come back with photos you'll be excited to share.
It’s possible to see spinner dolphins, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, manta rays, Galapagos sharks, whitetip sharks or grey reef sharks on just about any dive. Octopus, crabs, sea urchins, lobster and a variety of Hawaiian reef fish are also commonly sighted.
Divers and nondivers will love a boat trip along the Napali Coast. You'll spend a beautiful morning cruising along breathtaking waterfalls and dramatic, weather-carvedcliffs. On the return trip, you'll often anchor up for an afternoon of diving, snorkeling and some amazing local pupus (snacks and veggies). Calm, crystal clear water means that even those who don't dive or snorkel can get in on the action by watching the dive from the deck.
Explore all the Hawaiian Islands:
All images are courtesy of:
- Hawaiian Tourism Authority: Sri Maiava Rusden, Ron Dahlquist, Kirk Lee Adder, Joe Solem
- Captain Steve Juarez