Overview of Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach
Hawaiian Islands


Site Review by
 Chris Larkby
Date: 06/19/2018


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Chris Larkby Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   Hilton Head Island Reef:    4.00
State:   SC Animal:    4.00
Country:   United States Plant:    4.00
Diving:   40 years Facilities:    5.00
 Dives:   100 Solitude   2.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    4.25
Snorkeled Wailea Beach June 19, 2018 from 1:15-3 pm at high tide. 5 mph wind, 2.2 ft. high waves. Parking was free, safe, and plentiful at Public Beach Parking, Wailea Beach Path, Kihei, HI 96753. We followed the path to the beach, headed south to the obvious rock peninsula that sticks out directly in front of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and left our belongings in a small cave right by the water. As usual, the waves churned up the sand near the shore so we walked into the water fifty feet or so before putting our faces in the water. As we swam along the peninsula it became obvious to me that I was looking at the skeleton of what must have once been a stupendous, world-class snorkeling reef. It sorta looked a little bit silted over. And it's in a location where for half a century probably everyone slathered on the sunscreen before getting in the water. There were areas where it sorta looked like something may have been snapped off -- fan coral? Staghorn coral? It's not in great shape but for something in Maui you can access from shore it's pretty fantastic. There were still plenty of brain coral and the rocks still had lots of urchin-like creatures affixed to them in every nook and cranny. The red ones with the blunt spines were abundant and their color really livened up the place. The rocks had some green algae growing on them that attracted the star of the show -- the green sea turtle(s). Here's what we saw: Too numerous to count: Black Durgeon, sea urchin, green sea urchin, pencil sea urchin (red color, highly striking), Fewer than five spotted: green sea turtles, Moorish Idol (has long, string-like top fin), needlefish, yellowstripe goat fish, parrot fish (beautiful rainbow of colors, though mostly blue), yellow tang (striking!), Trumpetfish (very unusual shape). I saw one stunning fish I am unable to identify: half a foot long with navy blue lips. What we did not see: schools of fish, sharks, seals, sea cucumbers, rays, flounder, starfish, clams, oysters, crabs. Didn't even see crabs on the rocks at the waterline. This was the best snorkel spot of the trip so far. I would go back.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    5.00
Beginner:    3.00
Intermediate:    3.00
Advanced:    3.00
Night diving:    3.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2018
Visibility:    5.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    5.00

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