If the Kona Manta Night Dive is what primarily attracted me to Big Island, I discovered other diving areas well worth the dip and many impressive nature trails well worth the hike.
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- Map of my 2 weeks in Hawaii.
My itinerary recommendation for a one-week discovery of Big Island is the following and is going from northwest to southeast:. Working on how you will travel to Hawaii and between islands can lead to significant savings once you have all the cards in hands. This why I did my best to reduce to the minimum the number of domestic flights I took during my 2 weeks in Hawaii.
Here is all the essential information you should know when preparing for your trip to Hawaii:. In Maui, they usually start to see them in December. Next time, I will go back in the wintertime, because I want to listen to the whale songs while scuba diving! However, as one of the most touristic places in the world, some periods are more crowded than others.
July and August is the peak season while October and November are the quietest months. You have no idea how happy I was to visit Hawaii in October to beat the crowd, but I found out quite late I would arrive just a few days before the Ironman Triathlon, which brings a lot of people to Big Island. Make sure to check the exact dates if you are travelling to Big Island in October. Love your blog. Support nature, support national parks.
- Best Diving sites in Hawaii.
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- Deep-Dive Into Hawaii's Best Diving Spots?
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The shallow depth and lack of movement make for a dive profile that will allow even inexperienced or infrequent divers to comfortably stay under for an hour, but the extended exposure will make you appreciate a boat with a hot shower for afterward. Local wisdom says that it is best to avoid this tour during the larger phases of the moon, since the ambient light draws plankton and hence the mantas elsewhere. Most dive operators keep a nightly manta sighting tally on their websites, so you can consult these and draw your own conclusions.
The author was once surprised here to find that he had attracted the attention of all the other divers in his party, only to realize that they were actually awestruck by the foot pregnant female tiger shark swimming by just twenty feet behind him. Such shark sightings are quite common at this site, likely due to the fact that inbound fishermen tend to dump their leftover chum directly above.
Crescent beach is not, however, a barren prowling ground fit only for large predators. From just off the beach to depths of about 80 feet there exists a thriving marine ecosystem where you will find tropical reef fishes, nudibranchs, octopuses and eels living among the vibrant finger corals and lava architecture. Dolphins, turtles, rays, barracudas, black tips and tigers also frequent this area.
Deep-Dive Into Hawaii's Best Diving Spots
Water entry is easy — once you have made it to the beach. Access to the entry point requires a yard hike over rough lava terrain. It is highly recommended that you bring a buoy since you will be within the boat channel of a busy harbor. Dangling off a tether 45 feet beneath a boat in 3, feet of water in pitch darkness is a place typically reserved for bait. If, however, you are the type of diver for whom this sounds like the epitome of fun, then the Black Water Dive is for you.
On this dive you will venture far beyond the flourishing reefs of the Kona coast, beyond the point at which the shelf begins its steep descent to , feet, out into the pelagic abyss. Despite the fact that this may sound like the stuff of nightmares for some, most who embark on the Black Water Dive report it as a serene experience. With 1,km of fringing coral reef in the Hawaiian Islands, diving into the deep blue is clearly another one of the top water-based activities to do in the Aloha State.
Plus, as you'll see in our map of Hawaii, there are plenty of great dive sites to choose from no matter which island you visit and locations suited for all diving abilities from beginners to more advanced certification levels. For advanced scuba divers, boat dives offer open-water diving for the opportunity to access deeper and clearer waters and the ability to see a wider variety of marine life from a choice of locations.
The Haleiwa Trench is an easy shore dive with calm conditions and visibility up to 25m. You can spy manta rays, Hawaiian green sea turtles honu and seahorses here. For offshore diving, hop on a boat charter off Waikiki or Waianae to deep-dive amid wrecks and sea caves and spot some of the larger marine life such as eagle rays and sharks.
Here you can spot the state fish of Hawaii — humuhumunukunukuapuaa aka reef or rectangular triggerfish — finning around. Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park has free entry and the Marine Life Conservation District is ideal for swimming amid coral and schools of tropical fish and spotting spinner dolphins. Honauau Bay is a deep-water bay with ocean entry via Paea, a smooth two-step lava rock. Kona dive sites range in accessibility from beginners to advanced divers with visibility up to 40m.
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In summer, Tunnels Reef and Cannons on the north shore offer calm conditions with visibility up to 20m. Molokini Crater, just 4km off the southwest shore of M aui , is a tiny crescent-shaped island and sunken volcano crater surrounded by reef that offers a technicolour underwater world of coral gardens and more than species of tropical fish.
This pristine reserve is also a Marine Life Conservation District and Bird Sanctuary and just a short boat ride from the shore. Lanai has six well-known dive sites that are all boat dives. Head to the southern coast of Lanai to check out the lava caverns of Lanai Cathedral, off Hulopoe Bay, which is also a popular snorkelling site. The First Cathedral consists of a huge two-storey underwater lava tube with a hole at the top that creates rays of light — giving it a stained-glass effect, hence the name.
The underwater gardens are home to green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and a variety of tropical fish. Mokuhooniki Rock on the east shore is another advanced boat dive spot with marine life not seen anywhere else, such as whale sharks and hammerhead sharks.