Hanauma Bay is a Nature Preserve dedicated to safeguarding the fragile marine life in the bay. It is the first Marine Life Conservation District in the State of Hawaii. The bay is also a Nature Preserve. Over 300 species can be found there and green sea turtles are seen frequently. The bay was slowly created over 35,000 years ago from different lava cones, eruptions and lava flows. Hanauma has several meanings in the Hawaiian language. The bay had various uses over time including a favorite fishing spot for Hawaiian royalty, but was never a popular destination until the 1950’s. Because of the coral, swimming was limited. The land was sold and a local contractor blasted a 200-ft. wide hole through the reef to create swimming areas. Sounds crazy but it actually crated many new opportunities for wildlife. The city & county conducted later blasts and large rocks were placed to control water flow and erosion. You will have to do your own research on this topic because it’s too detailed to explain here. Hanauma Bay is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. during summer season, and 6:00 a.m. until 7:00p.m. during winter season, and closed on Tuesdays, Christmas and New Years. Changes are possible at any time; for the latest information call the hotline at (808) 396-4229. Admission is $7.50 with discounts for children and kama’aina. Try to get there early. They close parking when the lot is full. Hanauma Bay sees thousands of visitors daily. Please do your part and preserve for the next person.
Maunalua in Hawaiian means two mountains. Maunalua Bay forms the shoreline from Hawaii Kai to Diamond Head and is popular for many ocean activities including scuba, jetskis, water skiing, JetPack, parasailing, snorkeling, stand up paddling, boating, kayaking, banana boat and more. Koko Head makes up the eastern portion of the bay. Sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals and humpback whales all utilize the waters of Maunalua Bay as habitat. Paikō Lagoon is a State of Hawai‘i Wildlife Sanctuary for sea and shore birds. Efforts are being made to find a balance between watersports fun and conservation.
Koko Crater is a large tuff cone that includes Koko Crater Railway Trail, a botanical garden and horse stables. The railway includes 1,100 rail ties that were put in place several years ago by the military for a tram. Parts of the trail are unreliable. It’s a tough hike but the spectacular views are worth it. The Koko Head Botannical Garden has nearly 200 species of plants including Hawaiian plants, African & Madagascan plants, Cactus & Succulent garden, Plumeria grove, Dryland palms, and a focus on the cultivation of rare and endangered dryland plants.
Sandy Beach is popular for local bodyboarding and bodysurfing. It is known for its powerful and devastating shore break. Break as in broken arms, collar bones and necks. We suggest you stay out of the water even in small waves. Sandy Beach’s 1,200 foot shoreline starts at the Halona Blowhole.
Makapu’u makes up the eastern most part of Oahu and includes Makapu’u Point, Trail & Lookout, the lighthouse, the wayside, Manana Island, a bird sanctuary, and Makapu’u Beach Park. Kaohikaipu Island State Seabird Sancturary and Manana Island, aka Rabbit Island, are bird sanctuaries where it is illegal for landing without permit. Makapu’u beach is popular for surfer and body surfers but the shore break can be dangerous. The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse was built in 1909. The Makapu’u trail is a 2 mile hike with nice panoramic views.