Spending the Early Afternoon at Hanauma Bay

by May 6, 2020

Ever been to Hanauma Bay?

What’s a hanaumabay?

Hanauma Bay tl;dr

  • Arrive Early to Get Parking
  • Bring Your Snorkel Gear to Explore Wildlife Around the Coral Reef
  • $1 Parking Fee Per Vehicle and $7.50 for Non Local Resident Admission
  • Bring Water, Reef Safe Sun Block and Snacks

FIRST and FOREMOST, don’t forget to bring your underwater video gear if you brought it. And DON’T FORGET to charge the batteries!

Before the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, Nadia and I used to travel. Now that we are sheltering at home, we are looking back at all our past activities that we used to enjoy and take for granted.

One place we miss a lot is Hawaii. One of our favorite places to snorkel around Oahu is Hanauma Bay. It’s one of the first places we visited after landing on the island.

Nadia Jm Hanauma Bay (5) Oahu

Hanging Out at the Bay

Nadia and I headed out there but I was ill prepared. In my rush to beat the weekday crowd in the early afternoon, I forgot to charge the batteries for our GoPro camera. And not wanting to let the mishap ruin rest of the day, we stayed and just disconnected from the world to take in our surroundings.

What you won’t see pictures of on this post is our entire time underwater. You’ll just have to trust me when I say “It’s magical down there!” You’ll see plenty of coral and fish. And if you’re lucky like us, you’ll see a turtle doing it’s turtle business, turtling here and there as turtles do.

After snorkeling, we dried off in the sun watching the waves break on the shore, people come and go and the clouds drift overhead. My least favorite part of this excursion is trekking back up the steep ramp to the parking lot. Yeah, we could have paid to take the tram back up, but then again, I probably needed the extra activity to burn off the surge of incoming calories coming my way…

Hanauma Bay (11) Oahu

What is It

Hanauma Bay is a protected nature preserve formed from an ancient volcanic cone that is now home to a secluded ecosystem of coral reef and aquatic wildlife. As you can imagine, it’s a popular destinations for visitors and locals alike. They do have a number of other facilities there as well:

  • Snack Bar
  • Education Center
  • Gift Shop
  • Photographic Lookouts
  • Information Desk
  • Snorkel Rental
  • Locker Area
  • Shower Area

Hanauma Bay (4) Oahu

What to Do There

You can do tons of different things at Hanauma Bay. Though, if you’re anything like us, you won’t be doing much beyond soaking up the sun and spending a lot of time in the water. Other than trekking down to the beach and finding your own patch of sand, relax and let the day pass you by.

If you can, register your name and you can skip the video for a year.

Things You Need to Do

  • Follow the rules
  • Watch a intro video after entering
  • Go relax and enjoy the preserve

Things Not to Do

  • Don’t Walk On or Touch the Coral Reef
  • Don’t Touch the Animals
  • Don’t Go to the “Toilet Bowl” area
    • It’s a natural wave phenomenon off to the side of the beach
    • The waves raises and lowers the level of the water
    • Too many accidents and injuries

Hanauma Bay (14) Oahu

If you’re more activity driven, you can also go snorkeling like we did. And if you followed my first bit of advice, you’ll remember to bring your underwater camera and charged batteries to record your findings.

Where is It

Hanauma Bay is located on the Island of Oahu’s southeastern shore, about a 20 minute drive from Waikiki. Just off Kalaniana’ole Highway, you’ll find the parking lot entrance on the ocean side of the road. From their, you’ll park and then make your way down a steep path down to the beach. It’s not a short walk, but if you’re worried, there are trams you can pay to take to and from the shore.

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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