North of Honolulu and Waimea on Oahu, the snorkeling at Three Tables is known for its flat coral formations extending out from the sandy beach. It is part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District.
Many consider Three Tables to have the best coral on the northshore. The depth of the coral formations is roughly 10 feet deep. While snorkeling Three Tables, you may encounter cornet fish, eels, damselfish, moorish idols, goat fish, and tangs.
The Three Tables snorkeling area requires very calm seas, such as 1 to 2 foot wave forecast. Otherwise, the waves break over the tables and the visibility is extremely poor.
The calmest waters can be found during the summer months. While you may notice many snorkelers entering from the left side of the beach, it is known to have strong currents. With that said, some feel the best snorkeling at Three Tables is on the left side. If you are less confident, you may want to start on the right.
To reach the Three Tables snorkeling from Waimea Bay, head north on Highway 93 for 0.5 miles. There is a turn out for about twenty cars. In addition, there is a parking area just south from the Foodland grocery store. There is a beach path connecting nearby parking areas. This dive site is located close to the snorkeling at Sharks Cove. 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, Three Tables is the 16th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 23 snorkeling dives in Oahu.