Hawaii’s Oahu have many fascinating scuba diving locations and perhaps the most popular dive site in Oahu is the Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay was formed by the erosion of one side of a volcano crater and is very well protected from the trade winds and surf making it a fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling site in Oahu.
Hanauma Bay’s crystal clear water and diverse coral reef are good introductions to Hawaiian marine environments and its waters are seldom considered to be dangerous to scuba divers.
After the Hanauma Bay are the sea cliffs of Koko Head where scuba diving is done almost exclusively from liveaboard diving boats out of Hawaii Kai. The deep blue color of the water here contrasted beautifully with the mesmerizing white water cascading down the dark brown hilly cliffs.
As you round out Koko Head, you will come into contact with the gusty trade winds. However, the wind will subside when you cruise into Maunalua Bay.
The waters of Maunalua Bay are a lot calmer than the windward side of Oahu. There is even a WW2 fighter plane wreck for those who love wreck diving, an artificial reef of hundreds of concrete modules and even sunken barges. The bay ends at Diamond Head, the final windbreak before the calm waters of Waikiki. There are also some good scuba diving locations off Waikiki on some outer ledges and artificial reefs.
On Maunalua Bay is the Fantasy Reef. Erosion has created many places for the fish to play hide-and-seek. Although live coral coverage is not that high in Fantasy Reef, the corals are healthy and undamaged and thus can be considered as one of the better scuba diving spots in Oahu. Marine life is plentiful here with eels, barracudas, octopus, turtles and sharks are often seen.
There are supposedly 4 barges sunk in Maunalua for the purpose of creating artificial reefs and the largest of these is the Kahala Barge which is 165 feet in length.
However coral growth here is sparse, however, the wreck is choked with soldier fish which make their characteristic grunting sound when disturbed by scuba divers. Many eels and large crabs can also be found here. There are also many sea turtles and white tip sharks making this artificial reef their home.
A mile off Portlock, about a hundred feet deep is a plane wreck. This is a great wreck diving location in Oahu. The cockpit is the abode of 2 thigh sized thick yellow margin moray eels.
Here, scuba divers will see brilliant red encrusted sponges and bi color anthias harems hovering above picking off planktons. Nearby is a colony of fascinating dancing garden eels and big horned helmet shells. Water visibility in this area is superb. If you are in Hawaii for a spot of scuba diving, try these scuba diving sites at Oahu South Shore.