Diving and Snorkeling the Kohala Coast
Map of diving and snorkeling sites along the Kohala Coast
The Kohala Coast represents some of the best snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the Hawaiian islands. Local divers and the many commercial dive operations can be found exploring this coast daily. In good weather, and it is almost always good, is is hard not to run into other divers at the popular sites. These sites can be spectacular, with clear blue water, rich coral and marine life, simply a perfect diving experience waiting to be explored.
Some guides refer to the entire west coast of the island as the Kona Coast, and in a literal translation this is true, the Hawaiian word 'Kona' referring to the lee side of an island. But on some maps there is a different name, the Kohala Coast. The county administrative districts of North and South Kohala occupy the northernsection of the island, as far south as Anaeho'omalu Bay. The middle section is divided into the districts of North and South Kona. Thus many local divers use Kohala Coast to separate the northern area from the more southerly Kona coast. Most of the sites listed here are in Kohala, as these are the sites near to home and the sites for which I can provide current information.
Sometimes finding good access to the water can be daunting. The mega-resorts and large private estates would like to monopolize their prime bits of beach. Roads with locked gates and no trespassing signs abound. But Hawaiian law enshrines a right to public access, the beach itself is public property, open to all who would use it, up the the highest wash of the winter storm waves. The struggle for public access is still fought, with major skirmishes waged in the courts each year, but the law is clear on the subject. The results are public access points all along the coast, you just need to know where to find them. Local knowledgeis useful to know what access points lead to good diving and snorkeling. The knowledgeis out there, a little research will turn up true gems that can make a dive outing something truly memorable. Hopefully this section will be useful to you.
Listed here is an index to the articles I have posted about the various sites from which to enjoy the beautiful water and reefs of the Kohala Coast. I have attempted to describe each site as well as give directions for access. Each site is linked to an annotated Google map to allow further investigation if needed. These are posted in the blog section of the site, but this index should make navigation a bit easier. The blog format also allows the inclusion of comments if you feel some information here is in need of addition or correction.