Water Activities – Kohala and Kona Coasts
Old Puako Rd., Puako
South Kohala District
Located within the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, south of Hapuna Beach and north of Mauna Lani Resort. This beach can sometimes get crowded, but it is a nice, warm area with plenty of shady trees and worth seeing. The water here is generally calm and features some good snorkeling areas. You will see the occasional large green sea turtle resting on the sand. This beach has restrooms and showers, and there is a fee for parking.
Kahalu’u Beach Park
Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona
A shallow, protected bay which makes it suitable for all family members and beginning snorkelers. However, due to its brilliantly clear waters it draws many experienced snorkelers just the same. There is not much of a beach here but the location off Ali’i Drive, in the heart of Kona, is convenient. As one of the most popular snorkeling holes, this beach can get quite crowded.
Kealakekua, South Kona
A highly protected marine conservation district, Kealakekua Bay is best accessed via snorkel charters or guided kayak tours. The long, steep hike on Ka’awaloa Trail down to Kealakekua Bay is not recommended. Kealakekua contains several exceptional snorkeling spots in which to view a wide array of exotic fish, sea turtles, and occasionally dolphins.
Features a healthy variety of marine life and colorful terrain. Its natural rock step-off at the ocean entry has earned this beach the local nickname of Two Step. There is no actual beach and no facilities here except for a porta-potty, but there are a few picnic tables and open areas for resting.
Snorkeling and Dive Charter Cruises
Learn about fish and marine geology along the Kohala Coast onboard the
Ocean Sports Snorkel Adventure .
Snorkel gear, flotation devices, and lunch are provided, plus you will receive a snorkel lesson.
Whale-watching opportunities are automatically included between December 1 and April 15.
View an assortment of tropical fish and coral from the comfort of a Glass Bottom Boat Cruise. Departing from an easy launch at Anaehoomalu Bay, this 30-minute trip is perfect for the family and all experience levels.
Kick back on a luxurious catamaran on the Pau Hana Sunset Cruise or the Sunset Sail. With advance reservation, couples may arrange to participate in a romantic vow renewal ceremony. Sign up for the Pau Hana Sunset Cruise with the Whales from December 1 to April 15 to view humpback whales.
Sail with an experienced team of captains and divers to some of the richest underwater sites in the region on a one- or two-tank scuba diving cruise. Dive classes are also offered.
Ocean Sports provides transportation to and from your resort. Call (808) 886-6666 / (888) 724-5924 ext. 103. www.hawaiioceansports.com
Kohala Divers. Kohala Divers offers a wide variety of snorkel and dive trips to fit every experience level. Try one of the wintertime charters for the chance to see humpback whales and dolphins. Kohala Divers has an impressive mix of specialized courses to meet your needs, whether you’re interested in learning how to dive, receiving PADI certification, or refreshing skills. Visit their well-stocked store in the Kawaihae Shopping Center, approximately one mile from the intersection of Highway 19 and 270. (808) 882-7774 www.kohaladivers.com
Fair Wind. Fair Wind´s snorkel cruises take you through the prized and protected underwater sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay (south of Kona) for the most colorful array of tropical fish anywhere. A variety of morning, afternoon and sunset adventures include breakfast, lunch or snacks, beverages, cocktails, showers, and equipment. Fair Wind consistently ranks first place in West Hawaii Today as number one best snorkel cruise on the Big Island. The boats set off from Keauhou Bay, approximately 15 minutes south of Kona (about an hour and a half drive from Kohala Coast resorts). (808) 322-2788 www.fair-wind.com
Beach Equipment Rentals
Snorkel gear, boogie boards, rafts, floats, kayaks, canoes, and hydrobikes – Ocean Sports concession stand at A-Bay beach; retail store at Queens’ Marketplace, (808) 886-6666; retail store at Kawaihae’s Whale Center, (808) 966-4200
Snorkel sets, beach chairs, boogie boards, umbrellas, coolers, saddles, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards – Big Island Motorcycle Co. at Kings’ Shops, (808) 886-2011
Snorkel supplies, beach chairs, body boards, surfboards, kayaks, canoes, life jackets, surf racks – Hulakai Hawaii at Kings’ Shops, (808) 731-7945
Specialized snorkel packages, vision-corrective masks, chairs, boogie boards, wetsuits, vests – Snorkel Bob’s at Shops at Mauna Lani, (808) 885-9499
Sportfishing Charter Boats
Bite Me Sportfishing Offering a variety of private and group charters among selected luxurious vessels. A variety of rods and reels are available for light to heavy tackle fishing, as well as other equipment. Try the Ocean Encounters tour for some exciting whale, dolphin or manta ray encounters. (808) 936-3442 www.bitemesportfishing.com
Manta Adventures The spacious, comfortable and technologically equipped Maheli Heli accommodates up to 24 people. Along with the signature Manta Night Snorkel cruise there are Fish & Snorkel and Whale Watch tours. Various private tours are also available for your specific group event. (808) 345-2547, www.mantaadventures.com
Humdinger Sportfishing: Features a highly experienced, award-winning captain with a long history of Kona fishing. A wide variety of fishing charters are available for up to an entire day. Explore the Humdinger’s impressive website with helpful sections on fishing seasons, tides, and tournaments, plus a detailed charter availability calendar. www.humdingersportfishing.com
KonaDeepSea.com Light tack and small game fishing, big-game fishing, and bottom fishing. Personalized charters from beginners to advanced. Families welcome. (808) 264-4595 / (800) 264-4595, www.konadeepsea.com
High Noon Sport Fishing The highly rated High Noon Sport Fishing offers private charter boat fishing for spearfish, blue marlin, giant yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi and other big game, as well as light-tackle fishing. Enjoy the safe and luxurious 34-foot Blackfin equipped with the finest technology and supplies. (808) 895-3868, www.fishingcharterskona.com
Maverick Sportfishing Book a full, three-fourth-day, or half-day charter with the highly knowledgeable Captain Trevor for the ultimate fishing experience. (808) 896-7985, (808) 345-2302, www.mavericksportfishingkona.com
Sea Wife Charters Fish the calm Kona waters for marlin, mahi mahi, ono and many other varieties onboard the US Coast Guard-certified and inspected Sea Wife II. Groups of all levels and ages welcome. (888) 329-1806, www.seawifecharters.com
Honokohau Marina and Small Boat Harbor
Honokohau Harbor is the mooring facility for numerous private and charter fishing boats and sailboats.
Boat rentals and charter tours may be arranged here as well as various marine services including repair facilities, vessel washdowns and boat sales.
The Harbor House Restaurant has a full-service menu with wonderful food, and a large array of seating overlooking the marina.
It is a nice place to stop for lunch while driving to or from Kona. There are two sandy beaches on either side of Honokohau Harbor.
The marina is located 5 minutes south of Kona International Airport on Highway 19, bordering the historical Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.
For information on Hawaii fishing regulations and the latest fishing news, see the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources website.