On the east end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Halawa Beach Park is known for average quality coral and marine life. The Halawa Beach Park consists of two adjacent coves: Kawilli Beach to the south and Kama’alaea Beach to the north. The water is calmer during the summer months. Since Halawa stream flows into Kama’aleaea Beach, it tends to have poorer water clarity. Thi...
On the east end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Halawa Beach Park is known for average quality coral and marine life. The Halawa Beach Park consists of two adjacent coves: Kawilli Beach to the south and Kama’alaea Beach to the north. The water is calmer during the summer months. Since Halawa stream flows into Kama’aleaea Beach, it tends to have poorer water clarity. This super scenic park usually has surf that is too rough for snorkeling, but if you happen to hit it right, it can be calm. Definitely hit-or-miss. Due to the run off from this huge valley, you’ll definitely want to come afer several drier days.
Halawa Beach Park is located at the very end of Highway 450 on the east coast of Molokai. It is about 28 miles from Kaunakakai on a well paved, but narrow, road. The last services are at milepost 16.
While Molokai does have several good shore-accessed snorkeling spots, the best Molokai snorkeling is found off-shore along the 25 mile fringing reef. This coral reef crests about a half-mile off the southern and eastern coastline; the northwest wavefronts are too powerful for fringing reefs along the northern and western coastline. There are extremely healthy corals and excellent water clarity just outside the crest. The reef consists of green lobe coral, antler coral, cauliflower coral, finger coral and blue rice coral. From the Kaunakakai Harbor on the south coast, there is a snorkel boat tour that regularly heads out to one of 25+ dive sites on the fringing reef, usually in the morning when the winds are calms. It is a 20-35 minute boat ride out to the snorkel spots where the mooring is in 8-12 foot deep water. The water clarity ranges from 50 to 150 feet and the water temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees. The best time of year is from May through September. During Molokai snorkeling, you may encounter spinner dolphins, green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, octopus, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, surgeonfish, triggerfish and the occasional monk seal.
To reach the snorkeling on Molokai, you’ll need to arrive on island by an interisland flight from Oahu or Maui provided by Hawaiian Airlines. There are several flights per day. While there used to be a ferry boat service from Lanai and Maui, it was discontinued in October 2016. It is best to rent a car to explore the various snorkeling spots, but keep in mind there is only one national rental car agency at the airport and one locally run rental car company. When planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, be aware that the State Of Hawaii has banned all sunscreens that oxybenzone, which has been proven to kill coral reefs.
Overall, Halawa Beach is the 9th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Molokai.
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