Overview of Mokule'ia


Hawaiian Islands


Mokule'ia is another great dive and snorkel site, but it's a good hike down to the beach. A great place to spend the day with the kids, so bring a cooler with food and water.

Directions: Travel North on Highway 31 until about mile mark 32.6. You can't miss the bay off to your left.


ShoreDiving Survival: Campaign for Patrons
  Please click HERE to learn how, for $1 a month,
YOU can help sustain and grow ShoreDiving by becoming a Patron!

A very warm 'Thank You' to all the one-time and continuing contributors.
Because of you, after 20 years, we are becoming Ad-Free and Tracking-Free!!!

Mokule'ia Patrons:   Please consider becoming a Patron for Mokule'ia
*  David and Maryanna Hirsh (Great White) -- Thanks for all you've done.

Dive Site Links:   (If you have a relevant link for Mokule'ia, please write us here.)
No external links have been submitted.

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

06/20/2011 Jon Simms (Avg: 3.67 Review) - Snorkeled with Leanne in the early morning. Big fish, I mean big and turtle on the north end. Huge underwater drop-offs, cannons and cool ledges. Swam through some coral-lava channels. The size of all species of fish was unique. Would return in a heartbeat.

07/22/2010 Rich Bender (Avg: 3.63 Review) - Good parking along the hiway. Nice stairs to walk down to a beautiful sand beach. The only problem is after the dive, you gotta carry all your gear back up what seems to be an eternity of steps. Now don't let that keep you away from this spot as it is a excellent dive. We entered the water and headed to the north side of the bay. We kicked out about 100 yards before dropping down and it was worth the walk and the all the stairs. Great viz 50-60, temp 77-79. Giant turtles were found at the reefs end before wrapping around to Honolua Bay. Schools of bait fish everywhere, several eels tucked away in their caves and some very large unicorn fish. There are several large corals just sitting alone in the sand that make for great sanctuaries for marine life, so be sure to explore those as well. The back side, as it wraps around to Honolua, has a few swim through and lava canyons to explore. Last thing, keep in mind that there is no grassy area to set your gear up on, so take towels or gear up at the car and walk down ready to go in the water. Wash down showers would be nice, but as most beaches here, they are a hit and miss.

10/30/2007 Bill Stohler (Avg: 2.87 Review) - Slaughterhouse has some solid stairs that make the hike down the hill easier than the adjacent Honolua Bay. The central portion of the bay is mostly 'barren' sand flats; the reefs hug the outer portions of the bay on the left and right. I actually prefer to dive this site from Honolua Bay....heading out the left side of Honolua and into the right side of Slaughterhouse (as referenced from shore). I've seen green sea turtles in the bay. Great beginner snorkeling spot in the summer time when the waves are non-existent, and the bay is as flat as mirror!

08/24/2006 Jerry GoDiveMaui.Com (Avg: 4.04 Review) - There are 2 ways to dive Mokule`ia. One is from the East side of the bay which gives the diver easier access to the West point of Honolua bay. This dive is something like a mini wall dive. The hard corals at Mokule`ia and Honolua bays are some of the healthiest on Maui due in part to the protection from rough seas by the horizontal depth of the bay and, no doubt, to their status as marine-life sanctuaries since 1978. There is a higher likelihood of a dolphin encounter here than just about any where on the Island other than La Perouse Bay, which has been made all but inaccessible by the County Government. To dive the East side of the Bay, there is a semi-treacherous trail covered in slippery pine needles starting at the East end of the chain link fence along the road side parking area. At the bottom of the trail there is an outcropping running North into the bay. Make your stride entry near the end. Make this dive with the sand to your right on the way out and left on the way back. Lots of crevasses offer hiding places to tons of turtles. Hawaiian sea turtles are on the protected species list, so DO NOT TOUCH. The sand harbors lots of Kona Crabs, but you can't catch them here. This is a good dive any time the winds are light and the North swell is small to nothing. These conditions are most often found in Summer but I've been there in winter for some of the best dives of the season. Nearest facilities are a short drive southeast at D.T. Fleming beach park.
The Honokohau and Honolua ahupua`a Hawaiian land division was acquired by Henry Perrine Baldwin in 1889 (Son of Dr. Dwight Baldwin 4th Missionary Company). There he established the Honolua Cattle Ranch. One assumes the name "Slaughterhouse" at Mokule`ia Bay was acquired at that time. Others believe it to have been coined by Surfers who are also accredited for the names like "Windmills", "S Turns " (west side), "Jaws" and "Pipe Line" on the North shore. Under the direction of ranch Manager David T. Fleming, land use was switched from raising cattle to pineapple in 1924, and in 1978 the Honolua and Mokule`ia Bays were declared marine-life sanctuaries meaning no fish feeding and nothing may be taken from the bay as a souvenir alive or dead. So, take only pictures, leave only bubbles.

06/19/2006 Chris 6 (Avg: 3.97 Review) - Great dive site. One of the best my wife and I did. I got lots of pictures on this reef. Lots to see. You can swim in little caverns in the reef as there's nothing over head. The hike down the stairs then over the rocks is challenging with all the equipment, but well worth it. Not a lot of people here. A++ This will be one of my first dives when I return.

05/15/2005 Alex (Avg: 4.07 Review) - Very good!

03/26/2005 Gary Harmon (Avg: 3.49 Review) - This is a great site to snorkel. Saw lots of fish. Snorkel out to the right side. This bay is sometimes called Slaughterhouse. Lots of stairs down to the beach. Love2Snorkel

03/07/2005 Anonymous (Avg: 3.58 Review) - Hiking the stairs is a challenge, but saves long surface swim from Honoloa to dive the point.

01/07/2005 Mike at Newport (Avg: 3.38 Review) - I dove solo here several time in August of 2004. A great place to dive if you are alone because you don't have to go very deep to have a lot of fun. When I dive alone, I don't enjoy going much deeper that about 30' and was delighted to find wonderful reefs and a fair amount of colorful life. The lava flows create a dramatic and beautiful place to explore. Each time I went there the beach was packed, but I was the only diver in the area. It is a very popular snorkeling area (for good reason) but divers can pretty much have it to themselves.

09/05/2001 Mike Roberts (Avg: 3.70 Review) - Also known as Slaughterhouse to surfers, this is a nice dive in the Summer when there's no good surf. This is a long walk down (and back up later!) a long flight of cement stairs so bring an energy bar or 2. You'll want to arrive early so you can park next to the stairs or your walk will be even further. Best diving is to the left (South side) of the bay. Inside the bay is Marine Reserve and not too good for diving but outside is great! The bottom is made up of long gullies of lava flow running from shore out to sea. It's fun to explore them with all their little holes and caves. I have seen a higher concentration of turtles here than any place on Maui. You will also encounter lot's of eels, lobsters, and large cowerie shells. If you must take lobster, please be sure they are in season, have no eggs, and you find another way to exit with them without going back thru the reserve area or you may get busted! Other than the walking and swimming distance, this is an easy sandy entrance with a pretty little beach for anyone not diving with you. For snorkeling, I would suggest going around the point to the right (North) where you will be in Honolua Reserve (also listed on this site). Lot's people are on this beach and in the surf but you will probably be diving alone.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA0201


Parking at Mokule'ia 

Parking is where you can find it along the side of the road. Drop your equipment off at the stairway if you can't find a close parking space.

Right Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA0202


Right Entry at Mokule'ia 

This is a view from the trail head. The best diving would be off to the left.

Left Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA0203


Left Entry at Mokule'ia 

This is your entry, with an excellent dive location at the point just in the distance.




Overview at Mokule'ia 

A view of the point from just South of the beach. This view is accessible via a small dirt trail from the parking area.




Aerial at Mokule'ia 
(click photo for details)

There's a lot to explore in the shallows and at the edge of the shelf.

Last Verification: September, 2000  


Diver Averages for  Mokule'ia  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.00
Bottom Conditions:  4.10
Reef Conditions:  4.10
Animal Life:  4.20
Plant Life:  2.80
Facilities:  1.70
Solitude 3.00
Roads:  3.70
*Site Average:  3.64

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  4.00
Beginner Scuba:  4.00
Intermediate Scuba:  4.10
Advanced Scuba:  3.80
Night diving Scuba:  3.10

Number of reviews for this site: 10


  Search  About You  |  About Us  |  Contact ShoreDiving.com


Copyright 2000-2020 ShoreDiving.com, LLC. tm All rights reserved.
Please read and understand the
Disclaimer concerning information contained in this site.