Overview of Ahukini Landing

Ahukini Landing

Hawaiian Islands


Ahukini Landing is a fun dive for an experienced diver. The water entry, kick-out, and jetty negotiation are all advanced, but the sights can be worth it. Apparently the site was used as a small harbor during World War II. A ship or two jettisoned its ammunition making for an eerie landscape. Don't touch, however. The reef creatures now make the debris their home, and it should stay that way.

Directions: Going into the Lihu'e airport (junction of 570 and 51), you'll have a chance to veer to the left toward the dive site. There may a lot of new construction going on, but just follow the well-beaten path to the end of the road.


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

09/30/2014 les Addison (Avg: 3.00 Review) - No swimming or diving at this site. Met a local fisherman who said it was closed as a way to prohibit unauthorized commercial activity. Sucks for those of us who wanted to dive without a guide.

09/05/2012 Randy Brooks (Avg: 2.70 Review) - I took a good look at this site, considering diving it, especially at night, but it has now been declared a 'no swimming' zone inside the jetty. Apparently, it has been set aside as a 'fishing area' instead. (Sounds like BS to me.) It was EXTREMELY rough outside the jetty and not even close to safe to attempt at the time that I was there. However, the bay looked like it held some very good promise, decent visibility, good entry, etc. The fishermen told me that they catch a good number of baby hammerhead sharks in there in the summer.

05/07/2009 Ronald Zahm (Avg: 3.38 Review) - 04/07/2009 - Tried snorkeling Ahukini Landing when high surf made snorkeling difficult at most Kauai beaches. The water clarify was very good. It would have been excellent, but the surf was occasionally crashing over the jetty and adding bubbles. The entry was one of the most difficult ones I've experienced on Kauai. There were plenty of fish to see, along with brain coral and sea cucumbers. Worth a visit.

05/26/2008 Lee from Elk Grove (Avg: 3.13 Review) - I just returned from Kauai after my 8th vacation there. I have dived Ahukini 7 times and I love it. If anyone can tell me where to find the aforementioned WWII ammo, I would really appreciate it because I can't find it? Please email me at compconn(at)inreach(dot)com Thanks!

11/19/2006 Geoff M. Stiles (Avg: 3.76 Review) - Please let me preface this review by saying that the vast majority of my diving is solo, in SoCal and via the beach. Rocky, rough, semi-dangerous entries are the norm for me. I dove this spot twice today (11-19-2006) First off, the entry is a cake walk. You have to walk over some small rocks for about 15 feet and then you're in the calm waters of the bay. I don't find this to be an advanced entry. If you can't walk far with your gear on, then stay on the boats. The swim out to the tip of the jetty only took about 5 minutes. I rounded the tip and swam about another 20 yards and dropped down. Much to my delight, the vis was excellent. I swam parallel to the jetty for a while and then went straight out to a depth of 60ft. The vis was about 40ish. Compared to Koloa Landing this place was full of life. I saw a large turtle, several kinds of moray (including a dragon) and all the aforementioned ammunition. There are several small walls to explore (no more than 15 feet tall). Overall a great dive. Then I went back about 4PM. The vis was 0-5 at the end of the jetty and only improved at 50 ft to maybe 10-15 in the best spots. Since 10ft vis is common in SoCal I was still happy, but disappointed it was not like my morning dive. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO USE AND SET A COMPASS FOR THIS DIVE. In the 0 vis, God only knows where I would have ended up if I didn't KNOW I was heading OUT to sea. Overall a fantastic spot if the vis is good.

07/19/2006 Joe Pozak (Avg: 3.58 Review) - I was lucky enough to live on Kauai from 1994 to 1999 and dove Ahukini Landing no less than 40 times. It is a wonderful dive and is a must for anyone wanting to get in an inexpensive quality dive. The entry can be a bit tricky and you should always carry a dive knife due to the local fishermen getting the hooks and line caught in the rocks; you may wind up getting entangled. The site is located on a small bay that is a fed by a stream that occurs after a large rain. So visibility is clear once you break free of the brake wall and get in the reef area. On occasion I have seen hammer head sharks in the murky water where the fresh water and salt water mix. Once you make the turn off of the break wall you are in 30 to 40 ft. of water. A reef runs at a 90 degree angle to the break wall and makes a turn inward about 300 or so yards out. There are three finger reefs in that area. There can be a bit of surge tide and diving can be difficult at times. If your a beginner just relax and let the ocean do the work and enjoy the dive. There are many beautiful fish to enjoy. Live ammo crates are in the area and can be found after a storm. Leave them alone! The water is cool and will be clear once you get out of the break water. The most difficult part of this dive is the entry and exit, but in order to become a great diver, a dive like this should be a great experience. I always carried my tank down and put my BC on once in the water.

07/10/2005 Anonymous (Avg: 3.43 Review) - While it takes a bit of a kick to get to the site, it is well worth it. The bottom is strewn with old WWII ordinance (DO NOT TOUCH AS THE ORDINANCE IS STILL LIVE) everything ranging from 20mm to .50 calibers to mortar and anti-aircraft rounds. To the discerning diver, one can tell where the ship ground out on the reef. A must for any WWII buff or a beginning diver who wants to try a new dive.

05/04/2005 JT (Avg: 3.34 Review) - Akuhini is a good dive for intermediate or advanced. Not so good for beginners as vis inside the breakwater/bay is nil and not a soft sand entry. I personally found entry very easy though: Always check out the general area, conditions, surf, swell, entry path, entry point before gearing up for any shore dive. At Akuhini there's a small clump of trees about 20' south of the break wall right at the edge of the parking lot and rocks. Just to the left of these bushes is the best way down over the rocks to the water. Look for the round post (for ship tie-up?). It sits on a flat concrete base. Just to the left of this base is a relatively flat black lava rock which is perfect for donning fins and giant stride entry into about 8' water. Be sure to have your BC inflated so that you don't hit bottom. Again go down and scope it out first, you'll see it. Surf was very high that Mid-April day, many times crashing over the break wall. But that wall made a very calm bay/entry point. I surface swam the 100 yds west past the end of the break wall to the swells entering the bay. After taking compass bearings (the wall/shore here runs nearly due east/west with shore to south) I submerged through nearly zero vis to the 30' bottom under the swells/waves. Perfect, no sweat! Swam directly north & vis greatly improved to 30'-50' in a few yards. The reef was just to the east/right with its edge running north/south. Swam north along the edge of the reef. Look for the large anchor chain and later a LARGE old fashioned double hooked anchor from some old ship. Fish life was good. I stopped and a sea turtle swam right up looked me over the went on about his business. Saw turtles on the surface inside the bay after I exited. Overall a very good intermediate level dive.

06/06/2004 Hypnotized by The Garden Isle (Avg: 2.93 Review) - Went diving the day after an unusually bad storm. The vis was so/so due to the storm. I am a relative beginner but overall I had fun. One BIG drawback for me was climbing down the huge sharp looking lava chunks wearing my gear and tank (worrying about falling). I was anxious by the time I got to the water. I would also HIGHLY recommend wearing good GLOVES and Full length wetsuit or something to cover your legs. I wore a shorty and NO GLOVES and I paid the price with cuts all over my hands and legs from exiting on the Lava. OUCH! Overall would go there again but better equipped. I was told it was a great night dive but I couldn't imagine myself going down those rocks AT NIGHT!!! Lots of people snorkeling near shore, saw several pods of spinner dolphins just off shore, lots of fish and sea life. As they say, even a so/so day diving on Kauai beats a good day anywhere else.

11/11/2003 Greg and Kieron (Avg: 3.13 Review) - 3 eagle rays swimming in synchronicity, many eels. Hawaiian legends tell that sharks live in the murky waters of the bay, so stay in the clear water near the reef and the jetty! Beware of morning crowds, as this is a popular site for classes to practice.

10/17/2001 Anonymous (Avg: 3.40 Review) - having dove this site several times I found that when the conditions allow to dive here it can be the best dive on the island of Kauai.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: KA0801


Entrance at Ahukini Landing 

The entrance into the Lihu'e Airport.


 Map     Sat
GPS: KA0802


Parking at Ahukini Landing 

You'll find plenty of parking. The entry is in front of the blue car.


 Map     Sat
GPS: KA0803


Entry at Ahukini Landing 

Find a suitable ledge here to enter. Conditions are usually favorable at this point because of the jetty.




Overview at Ahukini Landing 

Kick out around the jetty toward the sea, carrying your dive flag with you. Yes, you should always expect boat traffic in the area!




Aerial at Ahukini Landing 
(click photo for details)

The edge of the lava shelf is apparent from this photo. Follow it around, ensuring you have enough air to return underwater to the jetty.

Last Verification: September, 2000  


Diver Averages for  Ahukini Landing  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.09
Bottom Conditions:  3.45
Reef Conditions:  3.45
Animal Life:  3.64
Plant Life:  3.09
Facilities:  1.55
Solitude 3.27
Roads:  3.73
*Site Average:  3.25

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  2.64
Beginner Scuba:  2.82
Intermediate Scuba:  3.55
Advanced Scuba:  3.64
Night diving Scuba:  3.55

Number of reviews for this site: 11


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