Overview of Kea'au Beach

Kea'au Beach

Hawaiian Islands


Kea'au Beach is for advanced divers only because of the difficult entry along the lava ledge. This dive should only be attempted in the calmest seas. Consult your local dive shop to get the current conditions.

Directions: On the Farrington Highway on the West Shore.

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06/04/2018 Bryce (Avg: 2.89 Review) - Mainly submitting a review because its been quite a few years since anyone has done so. This is the second year we scouted out this site to attempt a dive using the entry instructions given here. You really have to hit this area at the right time and even if you do, I'm guessing you have to either take your chances entering or exiting because I doubt both would be ideal. My dive buddy and I really wanted to try something new on this side of the island so we chose to enter from the beach approximately 1/4 mile north of this point. We parked at that end of the lot, also. Definitely would NOT leave any valuables in your car at this location. The entry was fine although we had some surf. We swam out about 300-400 yards and began surface swimming south toward the bathroom facility near the recommended entry point. At some point we decided to just go under to see what was there. Bottom was at approximately 15 feet with significant surge and about 30 feet visibility. We continued south over unremarkable terrain. Saw some fish and a turtle. After 20-30 minutes of swimming, we hit what I'm guessing was the area we should have entered. Bottom dropped to about 40 feet or so and there was definitely some structure. Had we had more air/time it looked like it might have been worth exploring more but unfortunately we had to turn back. The return was equally unremarkable. Exit was a little more interesting than entry. We had to time the sets going in so we could get out with getting tossed by waves, which we managed to do successfully. If I were to do this dive again I would either a) do a longer surface swim (which would suck because the current tends to push NE direction--basically the exact opposite of what you have to do!) or b) try to find those perfect conditions to enter as the site recommends. A local dive shop employee said such days are EXTREMELY rare. I won't hold my breath!

10/17/2011 Patrick Mullins (Avg: 4.14 Review) - Dive was Amazing, Entered just water side of the Showers/Restrooms. The entrance and exit is a little hairy but doable. Bottom is 15ft reef for about 300yds and then you hit a shelf that drops to 60-70ft the bottom of the shelf is riddled with shallow caves and some amazing swimthroughs. The whole reef is swarming with fish of all types. In one of the caves there was a Moray eel that was at least 6ft and definitely the largest I have seen.

10/02/2007 The Dude (Avg: 3.79 Review) - This site is awesome! But, there are several things that you must realize BEFORE you get yourself into this dive. First is the parking lot….. Yeah, probably goes without saying that your car is DEFINITELY not safe here. My rusty 1972 Nova made it through the dive fine, but at the same time, it was unlocked with nothing in it and I didn't care if it was stolen or not. Second, the necessity of small surf cannot be over emphasized. We went here on a day when it was 1-2 and although I made it in and out okay, my buddy got knocked over by a big wave and he actually hit a rock. If you get hit by a big wave on the way in or out, there is nothing behind you but rock. He wound up okay, but it was testament to the fact that the surf needs to be 0-1 foot (Hawaiian). Straight out from the bathroom, you'll see a nice little cove where you'll exit. We entered from there too. Never tried the giant stride although that sounds much better. If you go in bigger surf than 0-1 feet, prepare for a dangerous entry / exit. It can be done, but I feel more comfortable at the exit cove of Lanai Lookout than here with big swells coming in. The current can get pretty strong out there, too. That all said, follow the shallower uneventful water straight out from the bathroom. When you see it drop off, and you'll know when it drops off, dive and start going from canyon to canyon for some amazing underwater formations. Bring a flashlight! If you are at the big arch referred to in the previous reviews, go out to the tip of the right wall and head right (when looking out to sea) and explore each canyon you get to. They just get cooler and cooler, although the initial dark/huge archway is pretty amazing, too. When we got to 800 pounds, the canyon that we were in had the coolest archway I've seen on Oahu. It is like a spider web or a honey comb over head. Really freaking cool. Make you sure you swim over it, too, to see all the coral on top. Can't wait to do it as a night dive. I can see how this dive could easily be one of the best night diving spots on Oahu. I know Ocean Concepts dives here. Didn't see all the pelagics that everyone's talking about but I did see a spear fisher.....coincidence? Anyways, even if you don't see a big fish, there are turtles and just the features here are worth the dive....enjoy!

03/07/2002 Robert Lower (Avg: 3.38 Review) - I knew that the name of the ledge we would be swimming out to was called Kea'au Corner, but man did it feel like the Kea'au Rip! This spot, which I have done once during the day by beach and once at night by boat is one amazing dive that with proper dive planning can be one of the top multiple archway/cave dive on Oahu. The shore entry is a little tricky, about 50 yards left of and straight out from the shower area you will giant stride from an urchin laden rock ledge. Make sure the surf is small if you plan on getting back in. Surface swim directly straight out about 200 yards or until you find a lava tube that goes straight down and is surrounded by tons of reef fish (about 35-40 feet deep) It will turn into a very heart stimulating deep overhang/cavern that regularly houses Jacks, Bigeye soldierfish, and peacock grouper amongst other creatures. The cavern will reopen at a depth of about 50-65ft. where you can find several more small caves with tons of shells and sleeping turtles inside. Make sure to swim left, against the current, along the bottom of the wall. There will be lots to see and I have even seen a school of about 20 Heller's Barracuda the last time I dove here (3/4/02). After you have reached the second big archway (which reminds me of a miniature version of Palau's famous Blue Hole), swim up and let the current push you back over the top of the wall (30-40ft.)until you reach the original lava tube from the beginning, and then swim straight in to shore, which should line you up directly with the entry point. Depending on your air consumption rate, a surface swim in may be necessary. Make sure to start the dive during the peak low tide for optimal drift conditions coming back in.

01/23/2002 Frank DeCarvalho (Avg: 2.94 Review) - Keaau Beach Park is another excellent dive site located off the beaten path. Despite the difficult entry and exit, this site is unmatched for night diving. Giant parrotfish or "Uhu" are abundant. Their vibrant colors and uncommonly large size make this dive a must for the photographer. About 400 meters from shore there is a large drop-off known as "Keaau Corner." You can swim to the drop-off, but it is long and may prove tiring. Near the drop-off there is a large Canyon that leads back into the reef. At night you may suspect you are entering a cave, but it is actually a huge archway. Many large pelagic fish venture close to shore and divers may spot a school of amberjacks or the occasional and beautiful Rainbow Runner. Count off the road lights to mark your exit location before making your descent.

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Site Photos

(what is GPS?)
(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: OA0901


Overview at Kea'au Beach 

Parking and facilities are great.


 Map     Sat
GPS: OA0902


Entry at Kea'au Beach 

Close to the restrooms, you'll find a narrow cut through the lava leading to a shelf. The day of this picture was not a good day to dive this site!




Aerial at Kea'au Beach 
(click photo for details)

If you can make your entry, you'll find good diving along the entire shelf. Watch the current, and get a good fix on your exit point!

Last Verification: September, 2000  


Diver Averages for  Kea'au Beach  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  2.40
Bottom Conditions:  3.00
Reef Conditions:  3.60
Animal Life:  3.80
Plant Life:  2.20
Facilities:  4.60
Solitude 5.00
Roads:  4.40
*Site Average:  3.43

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  1.80
Beginner Scuba:  2.00
Intermediate Scuba:  3.60
Advanced Scuba:  4.40
Night diving Scuba:  3.40

Number of reviews for this site: 5


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