Hawaii, with it’s many islands and well developed tourist infrastructure, has numerous diving opportunities.The best places to dive on Oahu are near the famous landmark of Diamond Head. Other popular areas are along the Waianae Coast (outstanding during summer months), the North Shore (not accessible during winter months because of high surf), and Makapuu’s offshore Rabbit Island. Maui offers a host of good to outstanding diving areas all around its shoreline. The best area on the Big Island of Hawaii is along the Kona Coast where there are excellent places to dive to view beautiful reefs, shallow to deep, with coral, shells, large fish, turtles, lobsters, black coral, and fascinating topography resulting from lava flows.
Lanai lies Cathedral Reef, 30 to 100ft deep, with colorful coral, shells and big fish such as the 50lb ulua (Crevalle Jack) and lobsters. Molokai’s east and west ends are considered by some divers to be unmatched anywhere in the world.
The diving in Kauai is very similar to what you might experience in Maui. On any given day in the summer, you can get great visibility and have access of up to 26 dive sites, many from shore. However, in winter, the seas on the north side of the island are very rough, and those sites are not divable, limiting your choices to only a few on the south (Poipu) side of the island.
Best Diving Destinations in Hawaii
The best diving in Hawaii is found on the Kona Coast of the big Island.
When to Visit Hawaii
Weather on all of the Hawaiian Islands is very consistent, with only moderate changes in temperature throughout the year. This is possible due to the year-round warm sea surface temperatures, which keeps the overlying atmosphere warm as well. In practical terms there are only 2 seasons here: the summer months (called Kau in Hawaiian) that extend from May to October and the winter months (Ho’oilo) that run from November to April. The average day-time summer temperature at sea level is 85°F (29.4°C) while the average day-time winter temperature is 78°F (25.6°C). Night-time temperatures are approximately 10°F lower.