Clear Snorkeling at Kahalu'u - Big Island Hawaii
We love snorkeling at Kahalu'u. Why? Because even when it is too windy to snorkel at our other Big Island spots on the Kohala coast, we can drive down to Kahalu'u and enjoy clear water and tons of fish. And, for me, there is always the plus of having the sense of security of the protective reef a ways out.
We've been amazed at the size of the parrotfish there and the overall excellent variety of fish. At first, we just fin around taking in all the colorful showy creatures. Then I try to hang around looking for the less obvious. It's so amazing what is around if you just wait to see what's hiding in the rocks.
I've spent probably 15 minutes in one spot waiting to get a shy fringed rock-mover wrasse photo. And have been surprised by a flying gurnard! It's the place to go on the Big Island if you want a good variety of photos. Our kids have gotten amazing shots of turtles even before getting into the water.
Maui used to be a magnet for us, but now that we've discovered the Big Island - specifically Kahalu'u - we're hooked. We're looking forward to your Big Island e-book. We always get energized from the anticipation of new snorkel adventures!
But if the wind has picked up or we're wanting an afternoon snorkel, we know that Kahalu'u is the place to go on the Big Island and there are plenty of great places to have dinner in Kona once we've worked up an appetite!
Snorkeling At Kahalu'u Beach Park - Big Island Hawaii
by Heather Felkey
Snorkeling with Convict Tang at Kahalu'u
We recommend snorkeling at Kahalu'u Beach Park on the Big Island, Hawaii. In September 2010, we stayed at the Kona Coast Resort nearby and discovered this beach by accident. Since we were short on time and this beach was close to our condo we thought we would give it a shot. This was a perfect location for my first time snorkeling and swimming in the ocean. I couldn't believe the abundance of fish and turtles in the water.
We went out twice, about 60 - 90 minutes each time. The first time around we went toward the reef. Here we found smaller more colorful fish and coral with shallower waters. The second time we went towards the rocks, north of the reef. Here we found larger fish and coral. This was where we saw a sea snake. Both locations at this beach were incredible.
We saw several Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Some sunbathing in the sand, others floating next to the shore. We also saw one next to the rock wall. One of my goals in Hawaii was to see Sea Turtles, I never imagined I would get to swim next to them!
Even though I have never snorkeled anywhere else I would highly recommend this beach, it is a real treat.
Kahaluu's Coral Gardens, Big Island Hawaii
by John Floyd
(Kailua, Oahu, HI)
Thanks for a great site and sure have enjoyed your e-books. At one time you had noted that while the fish were abundant at Kahaluu Bay, the coral inside was lacking and that one had to go along the outer reef barrier to appreciate the better coral.
While it's certainly better than further inside, what I've found is the most impressive array of coral there is towards the former resort. It's not the easiest area to get to as it is fairly shallow so you will want to go there and exit the area during high tide. However, we've rarely seen more than a couple of snorkelers out there and one gets the feeling it's your own private coral gardens. Here's a photo taken by Will Short showing the coral, a turtle and me in the distant background. It was midway between low and high tide.
Besides the wide array of fish and corals, we saw 3 Yellow Margin Eels out there that day as well as Snowflake and Zebra Eels, the latter being thoroughly cleaned by a cleaner shrimp shown in this video.
We were there in June 2015.