Snorkeling at Pupukea Beach Park
Here’s a hot tip. Hanauma Bay isn’t the only primo snorkeling spot on Oahu. Try Pupukea Beach Park. This 80-acre beach park, on the North Shore, is a Marine Life Conservation District teeming with fish, coral and shells. And compared to Hanauma Bay, Pupukea is usually uncrowded.
The beach park, also known as Shark’s Cove, is the site of a reef where a large variety of marine life can be seen in their natural environment. The rocks here form many tide pools, so it’s like swimming in an aquarium. Summer’s the time to go. In the winter, the waves roll in, the currents form, the reef disappears and it’s dangerous to go in the water.
Don’t be put off by the name of this place. Though sharks occasionally drop in, their appearance is infrequent. You’re more likely to see turtles and friendly reef life. A word of caution though: Wear shoes at all times. The coral and rock formations are sharp.
During the calm summer months, Pupukea is a popular dive site. It is located near Waimea off Kamehameha Highway. There is a small parking lot, restrooms and showers but no lifeguards. There are strict rules about taking marine life, sand, coral, shells, and rocks.
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