Whether it be a boat dive or a shore dive, there are countless dives sites located throughout the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Out of them, we’ve chosen some of the best sites for our customers. If there is a particular part of the island you’d like to experience or add to your dive log while scuba diving in Oahu, please let us know; we are great at making special arrangements for our guests. Even though most of our dives sites are predetermined to maximize your safety and enjoyment we do make exceptions. So leave it up to Oceanus Divers to make your Hawaii underwater experience fantastic! We promise you’ll have a great time.
The North Shore’s Shore Dives
Located at the northern part of Pupukea Beach Park, Shark’s Cove is a marine life sanctuary that got its name from a popular folk story that avers when seen from the sky, the cove’s outline looks like a shark. Geographically, it is a pocket shaped beach which makes it a perfect home for all sorts of marine life. With an abundance of sea-life organisms, Shark’s Cove is a fantastic dive and snorkeling site. In fact, it is perhaps the most frequented snorkeling and scuba diving location in all of the Northshore. So much in fact that finding a parking space in the afternoons can prove difficult; so it is best to show up in the morning to avoid congestion. Besides parking, the cove is home to Sea turtles, Morays, lobsters, Day Octopus, Eagle Rays, Pennant Bannerfishes, Bullethead Parrotfish, Black Spotted Pufferfish, Threadfin Butterfish, and numerous species that can be seen in as little as 3 to 5 feet. The average depth for this dive is 30 to 40 feet. There are many lava tube swim-throughs, a few caverns, and many narrow canyons for divers to enjoy.
THREE TABLES BEACH
Located at the southern part of Pupukea Beach Park, Three Tables is named after three lava pillars with flat tops that are visible from shore. Very different from Shark’s Cove in that the beach is mostly soft sand, not lava rock and sand. The entry is super easy from the beach. Enter the water from the most southern location and swim through the rocky like jetties where it drops off to about 30 feet. The more one swims west, the deeper it becomes. Parrotfish, schools of Convict Tang fish, Stingrays, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Sea turtles, Morays, and Saddled Snake Eels can be found here. Three Tables is the gateway to Turtle Carwash and Cathedrals dive sites.
TURTLE CAR WASH
The “Car Wash” as it is called is exactly just that. It’s about a 40feet deep dive located west of Three Tables Beach Park. Due to turtle migratory patterns and the lava topography of the area, this location is a haven for Sea turtles and is literally a cleaning station for them. Large groups of reef fishes can be seen crowding Sea turtles taking turns. Along with the Sea turtles found here, there are many nursing Reef Sharks and sea organisms as well. There is a lot to see, and it is difficult to not become excited upon arriving at the scene here.
Imagine swimming through a large lava-tube to a spot that resembles a cathedral underwater, that is, a place where fluorescent light shines down from the surface as you gaze upward. It is a majestic sight indeed, and the beauty of it will fill you with an awe-inspiring feeling as if this place was made by god just for you. The visibility here is about 40 to 100 feet/ 13-35 m, and the depth is about 60 feet.
Leeward Side/Westside Boat Dives
A great dive site for both beginner and experienced divers. Topographically made up of collapsed lava tubes, the Makaha Caverns consist of a few exciting swim-throughs where blue ambient light can be seen in exits as well as tThrough sky-lighted holes in ceilings. Here divers will find sea turtles and white tip reef sharks resting in the dark. An exciting scene indeed, the likelihood of swimming through the cavern with reef-sharks circling around you is quite high. Aside from this, there is a lot to see here. There are a few narrow canyons. The depth over the canyons is about 33feet, and the depth outside of the canyon reef is about 45-50 feet. Aside from sharks and turtles, there is a plethora of fish, crustacean, and Octopus. Be sure to stay close to your Oceanus Divers’ tour guide for it is easy to get lost here if you are not familiar with the terrain.
Sunk on purpose as a scuba diving attraction and artificial reef in 1982, the M/V Mahi was originally the USS Scrimmage, a U.S. Navy mine sweeper completed in 1943. During WWII she took part in several sea battles to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese. After being sunk, M/V Mahi fell victim to two large storms that ripped its hull in two. Now she is home to several fish species to include Blackfin Barracuda, Moray, Octopus, Blueline Snapper, Achilles Tang, Unicorn Fish, Eagle Rays, and many more. If you are lucky, you might see a Humpedbacked Whale. The average depth for this dive is 95 feet. Although the shipwreck layout itself is comprehensive upon descent, be sure to stay with a buddy at all times and to stay in sight of your Oceanus Divers tour guide because occasionally there are strong currents in this area.
South Side/Waikiki Boat Dives
SEA TIGER SHIPWRECK
Perhaps the deepest wreck dive in Oahu, Hawaii, this dive is ideal for scuba divers seeking their advanced scuba diver certification as well ideal for divers seeking to add deeper dives to their dive log. The ship was originally a Chinese merchant vessel called the Yun Fong Seon No. 303. After being having been confiscated from several owners by the U.S. Coast Guard over the years, eventually it became the target as a scuba diver attraction and was sunk. At 189 feet long, the ships rear bridge area is approximately 70 feet, the rear deck is 80 feet, and the bow rests at 122ft. Morays, large Sea Turtles, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Pyramid Butterflyshish, and the illusive Nudibranch can be found here.
A really popular wreck dive in Waikiki. Resting upright, the former U.S. Navy Oiler has a lot to offer. The seafloor where it rests is about 100 feet deep, and the top deck of the ship is about 85 feet deep, depending on where you are. The ship is covered in corals. There are many cutouts in which divers can swim from port (left) side to the starboard (right) side or vis a vis to experience a little bit of tech diving. Large Sea Turtles can be found resting inside the rooms of the ship as well. And occasionally one can see a white tourist submarine pass by. All this makes diving the YO-257 a fun wreck dive.
SAN PEDRO SHIPWRECK
Resting at about 80 feet deep and 100 feet away from the YO-257, the San Pedro was once a Korean merchant fishing vessel. Though penetrating the ship is somewhat easy, several parts of the main deck have collapsed in making it risky buisness. Inside there are many sharp edges, so be careful if you decide to penetrate. On a good day when the current is not so bad, you can swim from the YO-257 to the San Pedro or vis a vis. Like at most wrecks in Hawaii, Giant Sea Turtles, Reef Sharks, and other reef fish have made the San Pedro their home.
A fantastic, elongated reef created by corals over the centuries. The Nautilus Reef has many ledges where Reef Sharks can be found resting underneath them during the day. Also, there are many tropical fishes, turtles and other marine life living here, most notably the Giant Moray and Day Octopus. The Nautilus Reef dive is about 30 to 40 feet deep and is usually the second boat dive after an initial deep dive.
Once an old sewer pipeline about 30 years ago, the Kewalo Pipeline runs for about 300 yards offshore to a depth of 60 feet. It is near to Horseshoe Reef, yet has more to offer in terms of organisms due to having been made out of metal. As a result, much sea life is drawn to this area making it a scuba diving rich environment. Tropical fishes, Morays, octopuses, Sea Turtles, fluorescent corals, Triton’s Trumpet and Cassis Cornuta Conche Seasnells are frequently found living in this area. Though the Kewalo Pipeline can be dove from shore, it is usually the second dive following a deeper dive on either the YO-257 or the Sea Tiger.
Located at about 25 to 40 feet of seawater, Horseshoe Reef is usually the second boat dive after the YO-257 or the Sea Tiger boat dives. The reef is H-shaped, leading one believe that it got its name perhaps because the reef looks like a horseshoe when viewed from either side. The sea-life here consists of Pincushion Starfishes, Antler Corals, Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, Dragon Morays, octopuses, the Trumpet fish, etc. It a perfect dive for all dive levels.