Ahihi Kinau Snorkeling

by Grant
Ahihi Kinau Snorkeling

Protecting our marine life for future generations

Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is located on the southern coast of Maui just past Makena.  It’s a marine life conservation district, so no fishing of any kind is allowed.

One of the things I like most about snorkeling Ahihi Kinau is that the coast line is mostly made up of lava rock intermixed with coral.  Lava rock is a major plus when it comes to snorkeling.  The abrupt contours of the sea floor make perfect homes and hiding places for aquatic life to flourish.

You won’t have to swim far to find the fish either.  Many of Ahihi Kinau’s most beautiful marine life make their homes in the shallows.  The water starts at about knee deep gradually getting deeper so there’s a variety of depths for all skill levels.

The water will be clearest in the morning before the afternoon wind picks up. 

Ahihi Kinau marine life

Here’s just some of the fish I’ve seen while snorkeling at Ahihi Kinau Reserve: butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, moorish idol, tang, wrasse, squirrel fish, perch, chub, trigger fish, the former Hawaii State Fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, goat fish, snapper, hawk fish, jacks, needle fish, turtles, crustaceans, and invertebrates.

Ahihi Kinau beach facilities

There are no showers and no lifeguard is on duty.  There are also no stores nearby so remember to bring your own drinks and food.

There is a $5 non-resident fee per vehicle. The charge is used for upkeep, maintenance, infrastructure costs, and reserve protection projects.

Go early before the parking lot fills up. There is no parking outside the marked stalls in the parking lot. Any cars parking on the shoulder of the road will be ticketed and towed.

How do I find Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve?

Driving time to Ahihi Kinau from Kahului Airport is approximately 35 minutes.

A Hawaii local-to-locals perspective

If you want a Hawaii local-to-locals insider view of life in the islands, take a look at the O Ka ʻĀina blog.

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