By Gary – (Thousand Oaks, CA)
We went snorkeling at Salt Pond Park on the south shore of Kauai. As Galen and Nicole warned, winter is not the best time to snorkel in Hawaii, but we found this spot, which is not listed in their Kauai Snorkeling Guide.
It isn’t amazing, or even as good as some north shore sites, but when it’s rainy and rough, it can be a relatively sunny and calm option.
This is a small, protected bay with coral and rocks guarding both sides. The middle is mostly sandy with the most sea life being along the two shallow sides. The sandy bottom does cloud the water a bit and we didn’t see any larger creatures, but there are almost no currents.
It’s a bit out of the way as well, which might keep it may less crowded.
There are public restrooms and there was a food truck on the day we went.
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Nicole & Galen – Jan 19, 2016 – Thank You!
Hi Gary, thank you for sharing your experience.
We visited Salt Pond Park, a Kauai county park, a couple times, when we were on the island. We should have mentioned it in the Kauai Snorkeling Guide eBook. We will remedy that.
We tend to visit Hawaii in the summer months, as we find that we get the most chance to snorkel. But there can be a south swell in the summer and there was both times we visited Salt Pond Park. Because of the rough conditions and obvious terrible visibility, we did not snorkel there. We figured it was like you said, primarily a rock reef with maybe some fish to see.
Just west of the town of Hanapepe, near the Port Allen Airport, it is a bit of a trek to reach.
Salt Pond Park can be very popular with locals. When we were there it was literally packed. We had a very hard time even finding a parking spot.
The county allows camping there and there are lots of other facilities, so it can be a nice comfortable place to spend the day.
We will try snorkeling Salt Pond Park on our next visit to the island.
Update: We revisited Kauai and snorkeled Salt Pond Park and include a full description of the OK snorkeling we found there in the second edition of our eBook linked to above.