ACTIVITIES- Diving and Snorkelling

Shore diving or snorkelling on Pauko’s fringing reef is excellent with huge caverns, caves and lava tubes. There is a large diversity of reef fish species, turtles and corals along the shoreline, which offers some of the best diving on the island. You often see sharks, manta rays and Humpback whales between November – April. There are also a number of small beaches and lava tidepools where you can see some of the smaller marine creatures. The waters around Puako are extremely clear due to the fresh water run off and strong coastal currents. Much of Puako’s shoreline is protected, allowing marine life to thrive.

There are a number of shoreline access points with parking along the main road where you can access the reef for diving or snorkelling. These are easily found by following the utility pole numbers along Puako’s main road. The following are access points for good reef sites:

- Boat Ramp
- Utility Pole 115- short walk
- Utility Pole 120- short walk, easy entry
- Utility Pole 127- short walk, rocky entry
- Utility Pole 137- short walk, rocky entry
- Utility Pole 143- see Puako Village end dive site below.  

You can either rent dive gear and jump in at any of the shoreline access points, or contact one of the dive companies such as Kohala Divers or Blue Wilderness in Waimea.

The following 2 sites have been described on
Puako Church dive site
Puako Village end dive site

Beware the currents and waves along Puako’s shoreline- they can be unpredictable and change rapidly. Also, winds can increase rapidly with no warning. If you are diving without a dive company make sure you check the conditions beforehand. There is a public phone at Utility Pole 103/104.  

Please refer to Guidelines for proper practices and behaviour when diving or snorkelling.

Photographs: Robert Shallenberger, Zach Caldwell, Samantha Birch and Andrew Walsh.