Lahaina Pier (Mala Ramp)

Hawaiian Islands


Submitted By:
Bryan Heit

Submitter Comments:
This dive is located on the wreckage of the old Mala pier, which was destroyed during a storm in the early 90's. Corals and fish have since taken over the wreckage of the pier, and the odd turtle can be found. Enter at the boat launch and swim around the breakwater. All of the interesting stuff is to the north of the remaining pier (i.e. where the wreckage is). Avoid swimming under the remaining pier as there is little to see and many swimming hazards. The wreckage itself is covered in corals, and most species of Maui's reef fish can be found here. Bring a light as there is a lot to see under the wreckage, including some reef sharks resting in the deeper depressions under the wreckage. This dive is less then 30' in depth, with great visibility. This site is not sheltered so it should be avoided during periods of heavy surf. Bathrooms and an outdoor shower can be found by the parking lot.

 This site is located to the south of Mala Warf. Take highway 31 to Lahaina, and turn onto front street at your first opportunity. Follow front street to the access road for Mala wharf. If coming from the north this is immediately after the Lahaina Cannery Mall. Park in the parking lot.

The entry for Mala Pier should not be the boat launch. This is illegal and is jeopardizing divers' use of the area. Divers must enter to the LEFT of the pier using the beach access. DLNR in Hawaii is cracking down and issuing $250 tickets. Using the boat launch is not only dangerous it is illegal.


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04/18/2018 Darrick (Avg: 3.46 Review) - Going to the left side of the Pier is not the way. Walk out on the rocks to the right of the Pier and away from the Boat Ramp. Have been told by local diver if you get caught exit or entry at the Boat Ramp Hawaii Fish and Game or the Harbor Patrol will give you a ticket. Dive Flag required.

05/01/2017 Jim (Avg: 3.74 Review) - We dove here in the summer of 2016. We have been doing shore dives in Maui for years and this is our new favorite. TONS of fish, white tip sharks everywhere. Rough entry unless you go at high tide. Do not dive here at low tide. Even small waves will drag you across the inner reef.

12/15/2014 Briano52 (Avg: 2.95 Review) - A windy day produced low visibility of 20'-30' but the site was very fishy, especially for Maui. Long 100 yard entry along the broken down pier. Good idea for timid divers to float their bc and tank in and out. Very worthwhile dive.

11/15/2014 David Nicholson (Avg: 4.61 Review) - This was my first shore dive and I booked it with Extended Horizons Scuba. It was awesome 'Nordy' took me on an amazing tour of the pier wreckage showing me lots of turtles, sharks and many species of fish. This was a great tour, I recommend it highly. I did it after a morning 2 tank dive off of Lanai, great way to finish a day of diving with a shallow reef dive with tons to see.

11/19/2013 Lynne Flaherty (Avg: 4.01 Review) - I've been diving here for about seven years, always in the daytime. But last trip we did it as a night dive from the Lahaina Divers boat. It's a fantastic daytime site, but it out-does itself at night. Tons of hunting conger eels, sponge crabs, lobsters, and we even saw a seahorse! I'd HIGHLY recommend doing this at night, but the shore entry would be gnarly in the dark.

03/10/2012 Jason from Richmond (Avg: 3.27 Review) - We dove this site mid February. The left side access is the best bet, really shallow (Knee Deep)until you get to where the pier starts to fall apart. Wear your booties, lots of urchins and fish hooks. Tons of boat traffic on the right side being an active boat landing! We saw massive assortment of life, white tip sharks, eels, turtles, moorish idols, even a frog fish!!! There are a few swim throughs to try also. Be sure to take a dive flag with you DLNR frequents this site, please don't tie off to living things, plenty of rebar and concrete to tie off on.

12/21/2010 Lanny Morton (Avg: 3.64 Review) - I have been diving this site for 5 years. It is a really easy fun dive. Don't be alarmed by the shark that is there all the time, he/she is super chill and not a threat. If you are taking a beginning diver out, it is a really great (Safe) way to give them their first shark encounter. The collapsed pier offers a lot of cool hiding spots for a lot of different fish as well as some cool swim throughs. There are 2 ways to enter, you can go along the rocks to the left of the dock and walk out to the edge of the break wall. Be careful if you go this way, as I have dropped gear in those rocks more than once, never to be found again. You can also enter from the left of the pier. If you go in on the left, it is very very shallow, which can be kind of freaky. If you want to find the shark, he hangs out under a big piece of concrete almost to the end of the sunken pier. At night, this place is cool, not the best night dive, but pretty fun.

11/20/2010 Bruce Irvine 2 (Avg: 4.00 Review) - I enjoyed this dive the best out of the four dives in Maui. Wonderful marine life. Turtles, crab, rays, assorted fish. Great visibility for taking awesome pictures. Also the coral was plentiful. It's easy to enter and exit, not more than 30 feet in depth, giving more bottom time.

11/10/2010 Tim 1 (Avg: 3.60 Review) - Another recommendation.... We entered on the north side, away from the boat channel.. however could have gone either way, did not see any kind of enforcement. Dive is great.. along with the list you see from others.. turtles, nudibranchs and spotted eagle rays (yes, two), we also saw a Grey Shark, possibly Glapogos. About 9 footer and definitely got our pulse going, this boy didn't just hang on the bottom, he was cruising and seemed to have a bit of attitude.

08/12/2009 Jlcsnake (Avg: 4.06 Review) - I agree that this is the best shore dive on Maui. I have dived this site multiple times and there is always something fascinating here. Marine life includes eagle rays, whitetip reef sharks, nudibranches, turtles, frogfish, and lots more. Many dive books and shops won't tell you about this site. Some dive boats use it as a fall back if conditions on other parts of Maui or Lanai are bad. Max depth is around 30 feet. Viz is 50-70 feet unless it has rained recently and runoff from the mountains has clouded the shoreline. Enter the water on the South side of the old pier. You will have to walk 50 yards or so across a shallow rocky bottom until it drops off. Some people enter on the North side of the old pier adjacent to the boat ramp. However, if the police catch you entering this way, across the active boat channel, you will get a ticket. Also, make sure you take a dive flag as there may be several boats running in and out of the ramp area.

06/04/2009 Jerry Burawski (Avg: 4.43 Review) - This is the best dive on the island. It's not uncommon to go under a local dive boat here. Easy parking, bathrooms and showers at end of parking lot. Walk in on the left side of the ramp, snorkel to the start of the pier. This dive is know for frog fish. I've seen as many as 5 in 1 dive. Creep up and down the pillars and look close. You'll find them. On some days white tip reefs, octopus, 7-11 crabs and eels in the coral at the end of the pier.

05/08/2009 S. Williams (Avg: 4.02 Review) - This is a great place to dive!!! If you want to see reef sharks, go here!! Excellent swim throughs and the viz was great, with turtles and tons of fish. You can park right next to the beach with restrooms and showers right there. Easy entry from the beach but can be rough with the waves coming in. Go at high tide and snorkel out to the end before descending. Save as much air as you can because you will want to stay down as long as possible!!

03/21/2009 D & C Daughenbaugh (Avg: 3.85 Review) - This is an excellent site to dive! Entry at High Tide is highly recommended because it is a VERY rocky entry through the water out to at least 50-60 yards. Enter on the beach side of the pier. Use your snorkel as far as possible out to the end of the pier to help preserve your air and maximize your bottom time. Once you get out by the end of the pier, you will WANT to stay out there as long as you can because there is so much to see. We saw a small reef shark which was really neat. We '2nd' the other reviews listed! We will DEFINITELY dive this site again!

05/16/2008 B Kuhn (Avg: 4.11 Review) - Mala Warf 27 ft. This is one of the best dives on the island. The visibility was over 75 ft. with lots of marine life near the collapsed pier that now lies in the shallows. There is also a nice colorful shallow reef next to the pier on the harbor side of the pier. Be careful with entries, and avoid the boat ramp early in the day as it can be busy. Dive the old abandoned pier next to the boat ramp. This dive site is not mentioned in most shore diving guide books. Not sure why as this is one of the best shore dives we did on Maui. Five stars. Not to be missed!

02/19/2008 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 3.76 Review) - I was very impressed with Mala. This is a great change of pace site on the island and the twisted wreak of the collapsed pier is very fun to dive on. This site maxes out at around 27-28 feet, but should not be skipped. The reef growing on the pier pieces is very nice. We saw white tip reef sharks and even 2 sponge crabs. I found a snorkel and several fishing weights, too, which is always fun. I have been advised to not walk down the ramp, so climbing out on the break a little and then under the pier (watch for falling pier pieces) may be the way to get in these days. But several divers enter from the beach as well (watch for shallow reef). Have fun, great site, but a little tricky entry.

10/30/2007 Bill Stohler (Avg: 3.15 Review) - AKA, the Mala a twisted wreck of a disintegrating concrete pier / dock. Underwater, it makes for a great habitat of fish, eels, and even some white tip reef sharks! This is a shallow dive, and getting out to deeper (divable) water is a bit of a trek through a rough bottom...but, it's worth it! Probably a good idea to bring a flag.

03/04/2007 TT (Avg: 4.06 Review) - I have dove different places on Maui and Kona - including boat dives. Mala Ramp is by far the best site in all respects. Forget about Black Rock. It is too expensive to park there and a long walk (1/2 mile) to the beach with the tank and gears. This is particularly difficult for an underwater photographer like myself to carry things back and forth. The surf can also be bad at Black Rock. Old Airport Rd and Mile 14 are not that great either. Nothing special about them. During my Mala dive, however, I saw 2 white tips, lots of fishes, at least 3 different turtles, and eagle rays. This is a good beginner dive site, but an advance diver will enjoy this also (I am a dive master myself). The depth is shallow, less than 30 ft. The current is almost non-existent. This makes picture taking very easy and with clear water. Entrance is very easy and simple. However, I would highly recommend that new divers to this site follow a dive tour during the first dive since there is boat traffic and you need to know the swim path to avoid boats. There are 2 shops nearby that can arrange the dives with reasonable price. The visibility is excellent. Some of my best Maui pictures were taken in this place. This should be the first dive of your Maui trip.

01/04/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 3.78 Review) - This old concrete pier that has fallen into the water is a great dive! My instructor suggested it as an alternative to Black Rock (famous or infamous for massive crowds) and I would strongly agree. Save it for a day you want some new scenery and a fun time. Most of the pier is in pieces under water. Great fish/plant/turtle life. It is a fairly new reef so don't expect the rainforest, but the best part are all of the little swim throughs and nooks and crannies to check out. The outdoor shower and restrooms are quite handy. I would think twice before you dive here with the surf up, but definitely make time to check this place out. Nearby, in Lahaina, you could grab a bite at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co. The smoothies are tasty and they have some of the best ribs on the island.

09/06/2006 Stephen Scott (Avg: 3.81 Review) - Had a great dive here. The wreckage is really neat with lots of overhangs/caves to look into. The light also filters nicely through the wreckage when you're on the opposite side of the sun. Saw a couple resident reef sharks, some turtles and there was a good variety of fish life. Just make sure you have a dive flag over you as there is some boat traffic overhead.

08/16/2004 Bryan Heit (Avg: 3.64 Review) - This is a good dive, quite shallow (max 30'), with a lot to see. All types of fish, green sea turtles, and the occasional reef shark can be found here. Because the reef is relatively young a lot of the wreckage is still visible, adding another interesting component to this dive. Be careful of entanglement - there is a lot of rebar hanging around.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Special thanks to Bill Stohler!
Mala Wharf.
Submitted by Bill Stohler

Special thanks to David Daughenbaugh!
The Entry.
Submitted by David Daughenbaugh


Diver Averages for  Lahaina Pier (Mala Ramp)  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.30
Bottom Conditions:  4.20
Reef Conditions:  4.10
Animal Life:  4.50
Plant Life:  2.90
Facilities:  3.40
Solitude 2.95
Roads:  4.30
*Site Average:  3.80

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.50
Beginner Scuba:  4.05
Intermediate Scuba:  4.40
Advanced Scuba:  4.00
Night diving Scuba:  3.80

Number of reviews for this site: 20


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