North of Honolulu in Waimea on Oahu, the snorkeling at Waimea Bay Beach Park is popular with local snorkelers during the calm summer months. While it is known for huge waves in the winter, the summer brings low surf ideal for snorkeling. It is part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District.
The Waimea River enters the right side of the bay, so the best snorkeling in Waimea Bay can usually be found on the left side. The visibility is usually average during the summer and the depths range from 10 to 20 feet.
To reach the Waimea Bay Beach Park snorkeling from Hale'Iwa, head north on Highway 83. To reach the best snorkeling on Oahu by air, you will need to fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) which is located just on the west side of Honolulu. There are direct flights into Honolulu from the US, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Tahiti, Japan and Fiji. In addition, there are inter-island flights to all the main Hawaiian Islands. There is good snorkeling on Oahu year-round. But, the conditions very around the island depending upon time of year due to winds and currents. The north shore snorkeling dives are best from June through September and are usually closed out the rest of the year due to high surf. The south shore dive sites are best from November through May. The main exception is Hanauma Bay, which tends to be good year-round since it is very protected.
Overall, Waimea Bay Beach Park is the 19th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 23 snorkeling dives in Oahu.