Big Island: Diving with Marine Life

Hawaii City of Refuge

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Diving

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Year Round

Family Friendly

Really easy entry for a dive. There are tons of fish in under ten feet of water

The city of refuge takes its name from the safe haven where defeated warriors and sacred lawbreakers would find sanctuary. The direction the bay faces protects it from most swells that hit the big island, making the calm water a great place to dive! The water stays shallow, around 10 feet deep before you get too far out and there's an abundance of sunlight, making visibility high if you're looking to snorkel. In the center of the bay, the depth drops to around 100 feet. The depth makes it a great place for both skin diving and scuba. This is where a lot of locals will head out to practice holding their breath and reach greater depths. Take a deep breath and dive down and see about every Hawaiian fish imaginable.

There isn't much around this beach, because it's on protected land, so be sure to pick up water, food, and maybe a couple beers and keep them in a cooler. Please don't feed, touch or alter the animal/ marine life's behavior in any way. To learn more, click here and here.

Pack List

  • Mask
  • Fins
  • Snorkel (optional)
  • Tank (optional)
  • Weight belt (optional)
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Overall rating: 

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Please don't chase or touch dolphins. I see so many videos and pictures of people swimming after dolphins trying to get as close as possible. I honestly used to want to do the same thing until I realized I was actually disturbing them. Dolphins often sleep during the day, and yes even while they're swimming they can still be sleeping. Dolphins sleep in a way that allows for a some levels of consciousness so they may come up to breathe and look out for predators. When you go chasing after dolphins, you are disturbing their sleep which is a federal and state violation. It's equivalent to someone coming into your room while you're sleeping and causing a commotion. DLNR recommends you stay at least 150ft away from all marine mammals. I know most people have no intention of harming any wildlife but please be more conscious of how you might be affecting these animals, many of whom are endangered in Hawaii.

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

excellent views on the drive here if coming from the north; winding downhill roads through lush vegetation give way to views of the coast and the coastal flat lands. we came during the evening of a cloudy day and were still able to see a multitude of marine life in the water, just past the boat ramp. you would be remorseful if you come without goggles and a snorkel. would recommend water shoes if you don't have fins, urchins are rampant. brace yourself for up-close swims alongside sea turtles! gopro cameras offer the possibility of excellent shots also ;)

4 months ago
4 months ago

do this. you won't regret it.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Lots of good cave diving, and there's a chance you'll see a few reef sharks. Also check out the place of refuge park next to the bay and go on a little self-guided history tour.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

The Outbound CollectiveAdmin

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