Scuba Diving Hawaii

Scuba Dive in Hawaii and discover unique Marine Life

Scuba diver next to a friendly reef shark
Hawaii scuba diving offers choice locations and an unrivaled experience.

Bathed in the tepid crystalline depths of the azure Pacific, tethered by bubbles and brushed by rainbow-colored fish, scuba divers enter a fantasy world of brilliance and wonder.

Best Hawaii Diving Locations by Island

Tip: Boat diving is one of the easiest ways to experience Hawaii’s underwater wilderness. Diving from the shoreline is dictated by ocean conditions and is not recommended in high surf.

Kauai Scuba Diving (including Niihau)

Kaua’i boasts 10 prime dive spots located on both the north and south shores of the island. From the Ha’ena area of the north shore, in summer months when the ocean is calm, Ke’e Lagoon, Tunnels Reef and Cannons offer shore diving in depths ranging from 12 to 65 feet.

South shore spots on Kaua’i offer intermediate to advanced boat dives including Sheraton Caverns, Brennecke’s Drop-off and Oasis reef. A special attraction for advanced divers is the challenge of diving Ni’ihau, where monk seals, schools of dolphins and clouds of seabirds swarm above and below the crystalline sea.

underwater up close to a Hawaiian Monk Seal off of Niihau
Hanging out with a Hawaiian Monk Seal underwater

Big Island Scuba Diving

Dive spots on the Big Island occur only along the leeward, Kona and Kohala coastlines. Cavern Point, Place of Refuge, Kailua Pier, Pine Trees, and Red Hill are some of the favorites. Kona and Kohala coast dive spots range from novice to advanced with depth ranges of 10 to 130 feet.

Maui Scuba (including Molokini Crater)

These islands are teeming with excellent dive sites. From the island of Maui, most dive spots are located on the western shore and include Honolua Bay, Olowalu and Five Caves. A short boat ride to Molokini Crater, meanwhile, reveals four additional dive sites that occur along the rim of this ancient, sunken volcano. Highlights include black corals and schools of tame fish in depths of 10 to 130 feet.

Molokini and lanai in the background
Molokini is a short boat ride away from Maui

Lanai & Molokai Diving

Lana’i has six popular dive sites on its south coast. All Lana’i dives are by boat. Moloka’i dives center around Mokuho’oniki Rock at the east end of the island.

Oahu Scuba Diving

Waimea Bay, the Wai’anae coastline and Maunalua Bay offer popular dive attractions on Oahu. Hanauma Bay offers one of the island’s most breathtaking panoramas along with advanced, intermediate and novice dive sites accessible from shore.

Calm sea at Waimea bay
Waimea Bay on a calm summer day

Where to go?

Each of Hawaii’s eight main islands has outstanding dive spots with an array of unique marine animals, colorful corals, and bizarre lava formations. Most diving occurs on the calmer, leeward coasts of all the islands, where visibility often exceeds 100 feet.

Are there Dive Shops?

Dive shops abound with gear rentals, dive trips, lessons, and certification are offered on all islands.

What is the terrain like?

Five types of underwater habitats—coral reefs, lava tubes, caves and caverns, sandy bottoms, drop-offs, and basalt boulders—create Hawaii’s underwater terrain.

Diving with Hawaiian Sea Turtles. Video by Mark Wingo