Olowalu Shoreline

Long, narrow beach with shallow offshore reef. This is a good destination for snorkeling.

Rating: ★★★★½

In a nutshell: Long, narrow beach with shallow offshore reef. This is a good destination for snorkeling.
Minuses: Kiawe thorns & beach is marginal.
Sound-bite: “Don’t step on the reef!”

Olowalu Beach

Photo Credit: MTSphoto licensed under Creative Commons

This article is scheduled for further development. There are multiple beaches in this area, and this is a more general summary.

Summary:
This is a go-to for snorkeling, possibly beginner surfing and boogie boarding – but be careful with the very shallow reef! Other uses are marginal and there are no facilities here.

Beach is narrow and there is shade, but the shade comes from kiawe, so watch for thorns where you walk and sit! The reef comes right up to the shoreline, and the bottom remains shallow well out into the ocean. Be careful to walk on one of the sandy underwater paths, and not on reef. The snorkeling is better the further out you go where dramatic columns of reef ascend from the sandy sea floor almost to the surface of the water.


Video credit: filmed by my buddy Everett Peacock

Oh, and if you’re looking for shark encounters, you may just have one here – reef sharks are a fairly common sight under the ledges where the reef meets deeper ocean further out.

Key Info:
Mile Marker: #14 (Hwy 30 aka Honoapiilani Hwy)
GPS Coordinates: 20.810129,-156.611824
Facilities: None.
Get directions


View Shoreline: Ma’alaea to Lahaina in a larger map

  1. Tried snorkeling here at the mile marker 14 turnout. Went out about 100 meters and the water was too murky to see anything until about 5 ft away. This along with the fact that reef sharks are known to hang out here made my family’s trip short here. Maybe it gets better the farther out you go but I wasn’t willing to try given the fact that there are many other snorkeling areas with clear water.

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