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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay is a protected nature preserve and Marine Life Conservation District. The bay is home to over 400 species of marine life and a nesting ground for the green sea turtles known in Hawaii as “Honu”. The bay was originally used as a royal retreat for King Kamehameha and Queen Ka'ahumanu, who would host visitors and sponsor games there. Many popular movies and shows have also filmed scenes at this beautiful preserve including, Blue Hawaii, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Hawaii 5-O and Magnum P.I.

Hanauma Bay Sea Turtle

This beautiful area became so popular that in the late 1980's and early 1990's approximately 13,000 people a day were visiting the area. This caused a huge problem as people were walking on the coral and the bay developed a sheen of suntan lotion that killed the coral closest to the shore. Today more steps are taken to protect this amazing area. When the parking lot is full all other vehicles are turned away, also the bay is closed to tourists on Tuesdays to allow the fish time to feed without interruption from swimmers. The Marine Education center was opened in 2004 and visitors must watch a short film about conservation of the bays natural resources.

Aerial View of Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bays most popular activity is snorkeling, the snorkeling is great for beginners and is just as enjoyable to experienced snorkelers as well. There is at least one company who rents snorkeling equipment to visitors and is a great way to experience the spectacular marine life swimming just under you in the bay. I would suggest bringing an underwater camera and capturing the beautiful nature scenes in this popular destination.

Oahu Tours to visit Hanauma Bay: