Papalua Beach

Hawaiian Islands


Submitted By:
Turtle Reef Divers, Lahaina

Submitter Comments:
Beginner and Intermediate Diving. Average depth is 35 to 45 feet, maximum depth is about 125 feet. This area is located at the East end of Papalua beach (near the highway tunnel). Entrance is on the beach right where the shoreline changes to rocks. There is wonderful coral here, some of the best in the area. There are also lots of turtles. There isn't a big variety of reef fish, and the fish are timid and won't let you approach them. There are some restrooms (actually port-a-johns) and a phone. There are also a few picnic tables and some of the area is shaded by trees. The nearest food and drink is either Ma'alaea Harbor or Olowalu General Store. There are no life guards at this location. Snorkeling is great, scuba diving is excellent, and when the surf is up, this is a great place to surf .The calm water area on the east is called "Coral Gardens" and is great for snorkeling and diving. The area on the west is called "Thousand Peaks", a good place for surfing. Thousand Peaks has hundreds of large coral heads ranging from 5 feet to 30 feet from the surface. Whale watching at this beach during the humpback whale season, December thru April is great.

 Papalua beach is located between Olowalu and the tunnel on the main highway. Travel from Lahaina along the Honoapiilani past Olowalu, mile marker 14, and right before the tunnel pull off the highway and park anywhere you can along here.


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03/21/2009 D & C Daughenbaugh (Avg: 2.96 Review) - We really didn't enjoy this dive much at all. It was quite disappointing because the vis was horrible and we really just didn't see anything that interesting. It required a very long swim out to where there was any significant depth or life, and even then we really just didn't see anything that interesting. We would not recommend this site.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Special thanks to David Daughenbaugh!
Overview of Papalua.
Submitted by David Daughenbaugh


Diver Averages for  Papalua Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.00
Bottom Conditions:  2.00
Reef Conditions:  3.00
Animal Life:  3.00
Plant Life:  3.00
Facilities:  1.00
Solitude 4.00
Roads:  4.00
*Site Average:  2.96

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  1.00
Beginner Scuba:  1.00
Intermediate Scuba:  1.00
Advanced Scuba:  1.00
Night diving Scuba:  1.00

Number of reviews for this site: 1


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