Overview of Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach

Hawaiian Islands


Ulua Beach is a well-groomed family beach, perfect for beginning snorkelers and divers. Water, showers, and restrooms are provided, like most public beaches on the island.

Directions: At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn right on Wailea Alanui. In .4 miles, turn left into the public access.


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03/25/2019 Eric from Eagle (Avg: 3.00 Review) - Short review: I have completed quite a few dives so this dive was pretty uneventful. One of our kids was doing his open water here, so my wife, son, and I did this. Facilities are perfect, entry is easy, but underwater life is pretty uneventful. Turtles, frog fish, lots of trumpet. Great dive for those new to diving. Tip: We rented tanks/weights from B&B Scuba (Brad) in north Kihei. A bit dry, but very nice, knowledgeable, and supportive. 10 tanks plus weight and a BC only came to $100.

01/03/2017 Hector Hernandez Aviles (Avg: 4.18 Review) - This was a good dive. At about 270 degrees for 15 minutes out you will find the reef which you can enjoy. The most exciting sighting was a few eels who were not happy to see us. I was glad to be lucky enough to dive here for my seventh dive.

07/30/2016 Alan (Avg: 3.88 Review) - This is a fantastic reef for macro life and smaller reef fish however you need to go to the 2nd reef. Just swim along the right side until the reef begins to curve north then the 2nd reef juts out from there. The viz. gets much better and the diversity increases greatly on the 2nd reef. We always see at least 7/8 nudibranchs, frogfish and have seen massive conger eels sleeping in the coral as well as other lesser seen species such as Triton's trumpet, 7-11 crabs, and small Kellog's scorpionfish. Swim slowly, look carefully among the coral and you'll be rewarded!

03/17/2014 TimP (Avg: 3.83 Review) - Not bad. A lot of dive schools here kicking up sand. Was murky on the lee of the 1st reef. Follow the reef around until you see the second reef, visibility was much better. The beach gets pretty crowded late morning (11:00).

01/19/2013 Anonymous (Avg: 3.66 Review) - We dove here 1-17-2013, referred by Ed Robinson Dive shop, great dive operation, visibility was poor there was a south swell and it was quite murky, we swam out to the second reef, nice dive but not my favorite.

07/14/2012 Elliott (Avg: 4.26 Review) - I snorkeled this reef July 2012 3 times as well as dived the reef twice. Best one I found for ease of access and marine life. lots of turtles, lots of eels if you look for them, lots of fish. Eagle ray came by while I was diving 30ft at the end of the reef and the sand. I went with wife and friends who are beginner snorkelers and didn't go out as far, they loved it. Saw lots of turtles and fish. Hence the number of times we were back there. I didn't see any white tips, but was looking for them.

01/05/2012 Anonymous (Avg: 3.18 Review) - Just got some new gear and decided to try it out at Ulua. This has a very easy beach entry, parking is readily available if you get there early. Showers and restrooms are available which is nice for rinsing off your gear after the dive. Reef life depends on time of year and water conditions. Have seen this with an abundant amount of marine life and other times with very little. Usually there are Sergeant Majors, convict tang, pinktail triggerfish, wrasses, turtles, trumpetfish, coronetfish, smaller bluefin trevally, and smaller parrotfish. On occasion we have seen large parrotfish, large Ulua (trevally or skipjacks), milkfish, frogfish, spotted rays, and whitetip reef sharks. Depth is fairly shallow for scuba (max was about 40'). Good place for underwater photography when fish are abundant. Better for snorkeling than scuba, but great for beginner divers.

10/21/2011 Edward J. Palumbo (Avg: 4.65 Review) - This site was highly recommended for snorkeling, scuba and underwater photography by a reputable dive shop in Kihei, and for sound reasons. It was easy to locate, parking is better than adequate, and it's a fine site to bring the family. Restrooms and showers are close to the beach access, and you can conveniently offload scuba gear from your vehicle on a paved roadway that circles the restrooms. Access to the beach is uncomplicated. The surf was little more than a ripple, so there was no need to battle any breaking waves for entry. For three consecutive days, visibility was approximately 45 feet, with some silt and particulate disturbed by an offshore storm and the divers that preceded me. I'm told 70 ft viz is not uncommon. I would recommend getting here at 0730; though not typically crowded, the site is popular with dive shops for certifying divers. The reef to the right of the beach is a gift to underwater photographers, with colorful marine life competing for attention, such as yellow tang, convict fish, Moorish idols, trumpet fish, parrot fish, and many others. My air lasted quite a while and, at dive's end, I noted I'd gone no deeper than 28 feet. I was like a child in a candy shop, aiming my housed Canon point-and-shoot in every direction as fast as I could trigger the shutter. I enthusiastically recommend this site for snorkelers and divers.

03/19/2011 Diverdude (Avg: 4.08 Review) - Our first Maui Dive on vacation. It was a great first dive. Parking was terrible. I ended up waiting in line with other cars for about 20 minutes while my family waited at the drop off with the gear. Lots of snorkelers around us. The reef is easy to navigate around and saw two sea turtles. The one was right where we put our flag and it was great to watch it ascend to the top -take 3 gulps of air and go back down to its sleeping space. Visibility was 40-60', easy surf to swim in and enjoyable for beginner divers. Advanced would be disappointed. Lots of scuba schools use this park.

02/03/2010 Lynne Flaherty (Avg: 3.24 Review) - We've dived this site a bunch, and have generally found it a very pleasant dive, although it's shallow enough that if the surf is up at all, the visibility can be very poor. But yesterday, we dove out to the far end of the second reef and ran into some offshore current that was strong enough to make it a struggle to get back to shore at all, and we were unable to exit at Ulua but had to do the more exposed exit at Mokapu. Just a warning that there can be significant current here!

11/09/2009 Larry Hayes (Avg: 3.13 Review) - (No Comment)

01/26/2009 Richard from Winnipeg (Avg: 3.00 Review) - Easy beach entry, reef right off shore with 2 reefs split by large sand patch. We didn't make it to the deeper reef due to poor visibility. Saw lots of turtles, lots of smaller tropicals and some awesome large frog fish.

10/15/2008 William Terrill (Avg: 3.85 Review) - Dove this on an afternoon with SE swells. That made this a little dicey for snorkeling. Visibility was down but still fairly good. Found abundant fish and ran across a turtle feeding in shallows.

05/16/2008 B Kuhn (Avg: 3.98 Review) - Ulua Beach 39ft. Easy beach dive with washroom and showers. This is a large beach area with several dive shops offering classes here. Arrive before 8am or the parking may be full. This is an excellent dive with easy entries and a few large turtles and an easy reef system to follow. Best to dive early in the morning before the waves pick up. Visibility of 20 ű 75ft. Three stars.

04/28/2007 RussianMob (Avg: 3.01 Review) - This site is good early in the morning, but parking might be a problem if you arrive too late (after 10 AM). There're lots of people snorkeling, but also plenty of scuba if you get tired of watching the reef .

01/04/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 4.12 Review) - Dove Ulua three times during winter 2006. It was my first dive on Maui, to get a feel for everything. For a night dive, I took out my buddy's dad and bro for their first dive on Maui. Great parking; I suggest pulling up to the small turn around, unloading, and then parking. There is a nice outdoor shower, restrooms, and a fun beach. All of these features = lots of people. The only hazard might be snorkelers and other divers. There are two reefs, so definitely continue straight out and dive on the second one. I feel there was more life, and it made for a more interesting dive. At night, we saw a puffer fish, and various other fun stuff. Lots of moorish idols, butterflyfish, and needlefish. Saw a couple of turtles, although I think I saw a turtle at every shore dive on Maui. Easy site to navigate, thus a good one for an initial night dive on the island and for beginners.

12/25/2006 Chris in Woodstock (Avg: 4.05 Review) - I dove two tanks at this beach. Unfortunately, the surf was up a little due to some southerly winds so visibility was less than average (which is still way better than the quarries and lakes where I'm used to diving). There was a little surge but nothing unmanageable. Even with the less-than-optimal weather, I still really enjoyed diving this site. Even though we had to enter through some surf, entry/exit was relatively easy on the beach. There are two reefs off of this beach, an inner and outer reef, separated by about 100-200ft. Of sandy bottom. Visibility was limited at the first reef so my buddy and I continued to the second reef where we saw a variety of fish and eels. We even saw a difficult-to-spot leaf fish swaying in the surge. Midway through our dive we saw three HUGE green sea turtles, two of which were mating! There were also fish cleaning their shells. As we headed back to the beach, the water was somewhat silty. Just as we were passing the inner reef, I saw the silhouette of a 6-8 ft Manta Ray glide past us about 25 feet away. Though the conditions weren't great the day I dove, I could definitely be convinced to come back to this site for further exploration.

08/23/2006 Jerry GoDiveMaui.Com (Avg: 3.40 Review) - The most popular refresher and training dive beach on South Maui, Ulua has good facilities (parking can be difficult later in the morning), and an extensive reef that can be reached with little or no surface swimming. We rarely, if ever, see sharks at this beach but occasionally Manta and Spotted Eagle Rays cruse by. Turtles are common as are eels, octopus, and a large variety reef fish including Trigger fish (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a), Butterfly fish, Moorish Idols, many species of wrasse, Puffers and the occasional Frog Fish and scorpion fish. For those certified divers with conservative air consumption, there are satellite reefs with Bicolor Anthias and cleaner shrimp at a depth of 50 feet.

10/13/2005 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 4.03 Review) - Great site for divers of all levels (although advanced divers may get a little bored). This is easy to navigate as you simply follow the reef on the right. This reef goes out forever, and stays shallow enough to snorkel for many hundreds of yards. Saw an octopus and lots of neat fish, eels, even a few crabs.

09/08/2005 Jim Ferguson (Avg: 4.92 Review) - A great beach to take your much-less-experienced buddy. Very easy entry, and great fish life; however, flora is a bit beat up. Not isolated, but not over crowded, and night dives are predictably safe. Do this as a first dive on the island, and you'll be off to a great start.

03/27/2005 Gary Harmon (Avg: 3.03 Review) - Swim around to the point to the right. If you are an experienced snorkeler swim out a bit father than most. Fun spot. Love2snorkel

10/18/2004 Dan and Kelley Holtman (Avg: 3.64 Review) - Oct. 9,2004 42'FSW/80-81*F/50'vis. Surface swim past first reef, past about 40' of sand to second reef. We towed our flag this time and explored second reef. We were treated to 6 turtles, ZEBRA & STOUT MORAYS swimming, speckled scorpion fish hiding in the antler coral and many reef fish. On the sand we saw Blackside & Peacock Razorfish that would dive into the sand if we got too close and a pair of Redspotted Sandperch. An easy dive with no navigational skills required.

09/20/2004 Mark in Alaska (Avg: 3.89 Review) - Very nice place to do a night dive. We did two night dives here. Entry is very easy, and navigating the reef is easy, as well. We had a lot of fun here.

02/16/2004 Diane Meyers (Avg: 4.03 Review) - This is our favorite beach. This year the visibility was a bit poor because of higher than normal surf. But it was still lovely, and very safe. I don't dive, but have been snorkeling for almost 25 years.

12/28/2003 Binyamin and Shulamit Koretz (Avg: 3.96 Review) - Feb 2003. It was raining in the morning and the surf was up. A local dive instructor pointed us to the calmer entry beyond the reef (to the right), and we dived all the way around and came out to the left (closer to the bathhouse). We exited in bright clear sunshine, which was kind of weird because we remembered thick clouds and rain. So-so reef in terms of diversity, a turtle or two, nothing special.

07/17/2003 John Triano (Avg: 4.21 Review) - Great Beach and reef for snorkel…..but you must get there early. Best time is 7:30am to 12 noon. There is no wind and no waves. Super calm water. Depth 1-45 feet on reef. By 1pm the winds have kicked in and you will not enjoy it as much. Great visibility….great sea life, little vegetation.

06/12/2003 Al Mialkovsky (Avg: 4.17 Review) - One of the easiest shore dives on Maui. Unless the summer swell is pumping this site should allow you to enter without any problems. Most dive the reefs to the right, but there are some interesting points on the left side also. This morning it was very crowded with students. I suggest that if you want to sort of ease your way into diving on Maui that this is a good place to start, especially if you haven't done much diving recently. I was very surprised to see 4 kids that are of about 10 years of age all taking classes from different instructors this morning. They are getting younger aren't they. But this beach is about as safe as they get, when the surf is down.

06/10/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 3.13 Review) - Thanks! We had a beautiful day. The beach has shade trees and everybody can snorkel. Ease of entry and approach to the reef was great.

05/02/2003 Jeff Brown (Avg: 3.31 Review) - This area is used by local dive shops for training of new scuba divers (rebreathers as well). Easy access - drop off your gear at end of road and park in parking lots. Easy walk from concrete staging area to water. Never been hit by a wave here yet. Watch surf reports - if Sound swells are running - vis will be poor.

07/28/2002 Bill Stohler (Avg: 2.86 Review) - This is THE training site for Maui's South shore dive companies. The parking lot fills up before 8 AM on the weekends, and the lower lot is even full past 7 PM! Very easy entry. Reef begins at the shoreline. The inner reef is excellent for beginners, but the outer reef is a bit more extensive. Very shallow, easy dive. For advanced divers, it makes a better night dive.

03/25/2002 Brian Wiederspan (Avg: 2.97 Review) - Great night dive spot! An easy entry, good amount of parking, showers and restrooms...A nice relaxing spot for a dive. Lot's of life including manta rays, octopus, lobsters, etc. This is a great dive spot for newer divers and a lot of open water classes are done here. This is a good night dive for intermediate or even advanced diver as well.

01/25/2002 John Bruels (Avg: 3.44 Review) - Dove here twice during my visit to Maui, once during the day, once at night. Ease of entry and simple topography makes for a great beginner dive and excellent night dive. Saw turtles, octopus and two eagle rays. Fun encounter with a hungry moray, fed a couple of bivalves found near his hole.

12/14/2001 ROD (Avg: 3.28 Review) - Great Site! There are 2 reefs. One closer to the shore and the second just beyond it in no more than 40ft. The Second has the best visibility. You really need to swim out about 200 yards (Reef 2) to get the 100' water visibility.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1401


Entrance at Ulua Beach 

The entrance is hidden, so drive slowly.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1402


Parking at Ulua Beach 

Parking is ample, and there is a drop-off close to the beach to stage your equipment.


 Map     Sat
GPS: MA1403


Entry at Ulua Beach 

Entry is an easy walk into the water.

Last Verification: September, 2000  


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

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.52
Bottom Conditions:  3.61
Reef Conditions:  3.55
Animal Life:  3.76
Plant Life:  3.03
Facilities:  4.15
Solitude 2.73
Roads:  4.42
*Site Average:  3.68

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.97
Beginner Scuba:  4.30
Intermediate Scuba:  3.61
Advanced Scuba:  2.85
Night diving Scuba:  3.73

Number of reviews for this site: 33


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