Overview of Halona Blow Hole

Halona Blow Hole

Hawaiian Islands


At first glance, Halona Blow Hole appears to be an easy, protected site for both snorkelers and divers. However, a list of SCUBA fatalities since 1971 shows that more fatalities by far occur at Halona Blow Hole than any other dive site in the state. First off, the sea cliffs that make this stretch of shoreline so great for diving also precludes any easy exit sites. This, coupled with the strong current, slippery rocks, waves on the ledges, and lack of lifeguards makes this coast one of the most hazardous on the island. Be especially careful on this stretch of coast! The nearest facilities are at Sandy Beach to the North, so take plenty of water.

Directions: Halona Blow Hole, on the South Eastern shore, can be found at a large touristy turn out between Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach Park.


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05/11/2014 David haygh (Avg: 3.81 Review) - This site is a fickle one. Conditions must be just right in order for beginners to consider diving it. Today was one of those days. Your site survey should take into account the amount of choppy water on the horizon (white caps), the surface surge (wave action on shore), and the tide level. This site is best at high an low tide, gets dicey in between. Easy entry once on the shore, to the left there are a lot of cool rock formations to left, it gets to about 30ft, to the right of the entrance is a gigantic sheer cliff that bottoms out at 50ft, very cool... Just please be mindful of the currents and plan for this accordingly...

01/20/2014 Dai Mar (Avg: 3.45 Review) - Waimea Bay had 25' waves but as we passed the blowhole it was flat calm, no wind, no waves. So we ran and got some tanks the next morning and had a wonderful, easy dive here. The walk down is a bit tricky with big tanks so go slow. The beach entry was very easy and we made sure to go at low tide so the current was slack. We saw a couple turtles near the entry/exit, and some nudibranchs under one of the rock formations about 40' down. Our big finds were two frogfish, one black and one small yellow. Both were off to the right between 30-40ft. Find out more and see pictures from my Halona Blowhole dive on my photo blog: www.daimarsadventures.blogspot.com

01/22/2013 Joshua NIX (Avg: 3.86 Review) - I go to this site a lot because of the variety of wildlife and rock formations. Anyways I have been on very rough days, and it still wasn't that bad. Just make sure you stay far enough away from the walls to keep the current from slamming you into it, and the rest of the dive is great. My favorite thing to do is hang an immediate left and follow the coast until you find a rather large cave. It is great for gathering those large hard-to-find shells, and watching the local reef sharks eating fish. If you're brave, you can go to the back of the cave, and there are plenty of lobster. It is fairly safe, just drag a large rock in there with you, because if there is a large wave, the extra weight will keep you from hitting anything, or if it gets really bad, just stand up, and push in all four directions, that will keep you in place for long enough to let you escape with ease. Otherwise I have found plenty of eagle rays, and a couple of Harlequin shrimp, when diving the left side. Just go between those two large boulders and start pulling stuff out. Great dive, highly recommended, if the surf is right.

10/16/2011 Rob at Mililani (Avg: 3.44 Review) - This was my first dive after my open water class (I went with an instructor). Viz was almost non-existent until you made it past the surf, then it was about 25 feet. Early into the dive we saw a monk seal that made the dive right there. It was a good time but I'm reluctant to go back without an instructor at my current ability.

12/01/2010 Barry W. Stieglitz (Avg: 2.77 Review) - October 2, 2010. A difficult swim through 2' surf got us over the low visibility entry area and into decent viz (60'). Circling out and to the right brought us to an amazing underwater canyon between the actual shoreline and a standing wall at just over 50' depth. Looking upward, a huge school of hundreds of goatfish filled the canyon, wall to wall. Unfortunately, the bottom of the canyon seems to be the lawn chair graveyard, where lawn chairs go to die...have to start working on bringing that trash out. Other notable wildlife included zebra moray and honu.

05/18/2009 CHMTKlein (Avg: 3.70 Review) - Dove the blowhole tonight (7:30 PM) based on wind and surf report from surfnewsnetwork.com. Upon mounting the lanai - large flat lava platform on the northwest (left side) of Eternity Beach, the wind shifted from the west to the northeast - directly into the channel. I was prepared to call the dive before it began. However, my dive buddies were up to the challenge and we hit it. Saw many sizeable goatfish and lobsters. Additionally, we had ground support in the parking lot above. Upon surfacing and identifying my dive flag (with blink strobe on top), our ground support flashed a light down from the parking lot to confirm our location. Surge was very strong, and I strongly discourage diving this site at night unless you've done it (at least) a couple times in the daylight.

06/21/2008 Bobby from Honolulu (Avg: 3.39 Review) - Well rewarding spot for free divers/Spear fisherman. Entry is extremely rough some days. If your not scuba diving, keep your head above the water and stick to what you think is the middle of the inlet. Lots of white wash. There are several large Parrot Fish that live just north of the blow hole itself, and on occasion I have seen some Huge Ulua swim through. Turtles are there on every dive I have ever done.

12/01/2007 Brian C (Avg: 3.31 Review) - This site is classed as an intermediate to advanced site, although a fit beginner with experienced divers on a calm day could do it easily. It is a bit of a climb down to the beach but is not really as bad at it looks from the top or bottom and all the steps are small, just watch out for the sand. There was a lot of life and the rock formations are interesting. There was also good variety. Throughout the dive there was surge that had to be contended with, but it was not all that bad. Got some good pictures of turtles in the surf zone coming in. I agree that it is best to come in as far as possible underwater.

08/12/2007 Jacob Woolcutt (Avg: 2.84 Review) - This was a fun dive, though a little difficult to get out due to surf and current. The tight keyhole and rocks/reef causes a lot of disorienting foam until you get out past the mouth, so best to stay as close to head-to-toe with your dive partners as you can until it clears up. A fair amount of fish inhabit the colorful reef in this area. Well worth a shore dive if you have the time!

10/13/2006 KB (Avg: 3.42 Review) - The hike down and swim out past the current can be exhausting but it is well worth it. This is one of my favorite spots; it's very secluded with lots to see. However, make sure there isn't any surf or it could get VERY Dangerous. Also watch your vehicles in the parking lot because they do tend to get broken into.

05/26/2006 Anonymous (Avg: 3.13 Review) - It's a nice dive when there is no or little wave action.

03/26/2005 Justin Gordon (Avg: 3.28 Review) - I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. This is a relatively easy dive site. All you have to do is not go if the surf is high and allow enough air to swim most of the way back to shore underwater. I find it best to surface swim out of the keyhole, then drop down. If you head along the cliffs to the right you'll find everything you would want in a dive. There's a canyon which is straight out from (fishermen's point). The canyon is full of life. I've shot 5+ lb pupio, a 10 lb Kahala, many large Uku, and a 3.5 foot barracuda in the canyon. The fishermen on shore chum that spot, so all manner of fish are attracted there. My dive buddies and I even have seen our friend, the 5 foot white tip from Lanai Lookout, over there hunting. Don't worry, he's friendly and stays out of your way. If you know where to look you can pull some good bugs out of here. This is just an all around a good dive. However, vis is bad after heavy rain or trade swells.

01/30/2005 Ben in Honolulu (Avg: 2.39 Review) - This was my first shore dive (Jan 05). The hike to the beach entry point was intimidating. One slip and that would have been it for the dive. This dive is not for the "out of shape". Conditions were a bit rough...but the entry from the beach was fairly easy. An "OK" dive....but not sure it was worth the climb to and from the entry.

08/08/2004 Seth Bareiss (Avg: 2.58 Review) - Monstrous currents can develop from near-zero starting conditions, in the course of a single dive. As a dive master trainee, I was purple with embarrassment for being stuck at the surface with an unfightable West-bound current and a diver who couldn't equalize her ears. I'd planned to get out at Lanai Lookout, but a HELICOPTER called in by a local fisherman got there first. To the east is Sandy Beach, the place where most cervical vertebrae fractures occur in Hawaii (off-road biking, body boarding, wakeboarding). The walk down from the parking area is intimidating if your legs are weak. Usually turtles are there, in shallows quite close to the beach. Visibility is poor near shore, due to wave action, but typical (30 to 40 feet) for Hawaii shore dives, further out. Car break-ins are common here and at nearby Lanai Lookout. It's a dive that can be moderately rewarding on a good day, and your worst nightmare on a bad day. No phones nearby, unless you're willing to walk to Sandy Beach. Not every dive in Hawaii is a winner: This one's like a dollar on top of a mountain-- a small reward for big effort and big risk, unless conditions are juuust right...or you like helicopter rides.

02/18/2004 Robert A Rivard Jr. (Avg: 3.11 Review) - Great dive when North Shore is breaking big, lots to see drops down to about 45 feet out and to the right, large ledges and a few cave to stick you head into. Vis gets pretty bad after heavy rain. Watch out for the current towards Sandy Beach.

02/04/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 3.62 Review) - Great dive for beginners especially going out with some experienced guys. Relatively easy although can be a bit to get out, but once you get out it is smooth diving. During the day saw a snow flake moray on the sand, lots of turtles even in the cove, and lots of reef fish.

01/07/2003 Steve Porter (Avg: 3.23 Review) - Well now me and my trusty side kick and great helper in my quest for underwater photography supremacy, Jeff (the Montanian), dove this at night 01/06/03 at about 1830 (that's 6:30 pm!), set up a marker on shore (glow stick on a stick) and went out to do some scoping for later pics. Man!?!>!>!>?!?! It was quiet abundant with fish. And vis was phenomenal!!!! Saw an array of fish -- should have brought the spear but!!! Like said we, were on a mission, Ellwood. The swim in was about 5 minutes. We surfaced a little too far to the South so we had about a 15 min swim home; Recommend bringing a flag and mounting it with a light of sorts cause the mouth of the lagoon is disorienting at night and does become single dimensional. I'd recommend this dive to anyone with at least a few night dives under their BC, and really good at navigation! When we went down the surface was flat. We came up in some rough water but…I still really enjoyed it overall. Want to join us this weekend? Laytah, the Bostonian, grandizer52@yahoo.com

12/31/2002 Jim Philson (Avg: 3.50 Review) - From Here to eternity! I've been diving this site for over ten years. We used to spear fish here and we were always successful. Nice for lobster when the conditions are right. We pulled a couple of 3+ pounders out of here more than once. Be careful when the waves are big. It resembles a washing machine. If you go out of the inlet to the left or right you will find plenty of fish and turtles.

07/28/2002 Bill Stohler (Avg: 2.94 Review) - This is one of my favorite winter sites on Oahu, but if the surf's at all up at the adjacent Sandy Beach, don't even waste your time driving there. We call the beach 'Here to Eternity', for the movie filmed partially there. There's a really nice wall (and ridge) to the right, with some fairly extensive reef following the coastline towards Hanauma Bay. To the left is shallower, and not recommended if there's any surf at all. If exploring left, use extreme caution if there are ANY waves, and DO NOT enter the cave beneath the blowhole. Many have died topside at the blowhole. On even a mild day, the cave is surgey, with strong pressure changes that you can feel throughout your body (and of course, ears). Strong current offshore has swept at least two people out to sea! Not for beginners.

01/10/2002 Rick Wyatt (Avg: 3.10 Review) - Great dive when conditions are right. Luckily hit this site at the right time. Snorkeled out to mouth of cove, descended and then headed straight out and then circled to right. Canyons of coral make for interesting sights. Be careful of long shore currents even when surf is low. Don't even try it when surf is high.

07/26/2001 Luke VanValkenburg (Avg: 3.02 Review) - When the surf is high on the north shore. This is usually a good place to go. Not for beginner divers. Waves and current rush into that little cove from two different angles and make it very impossible to get back in without hitting the rocks if there is any surf at all. Dive only in ideal conditions. The step, rocky, and loose trial down to the beach can be hazardous with gear on. Be careful and dive with someone who knows the area for your first time. When you make it out the little cove, you want to dive along the step mountain on the right. and head towards the Hanama bay. Or dive to the left via the aerial picture. Be careful…

05/12/2001 Scubadude (Avg: 2.77 Review) - I don't dive this site often, as it most likely has moderate to large surf coming in the cove. I only consider it diveable a few times a year, when the trade winds die off or change direction. Once you make the hike to the bottom, it's a decent, if not spectacular dive. Not a lot of corals, as the site is washed with waves a lot. Not for the faint-hearted diver!

Anonymous (Avg: 4.31 Review) - (no comment)


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: OA1801


Entrance at Halona Blow Hole 

The entrance is well-marked with plenty of parking.

Trail Head

 Map     Sat
GPS: OA1802


Trail Head at Halona Blow Hole 

The trail head is off to your right. You may gear up at the car, but be careful on the way down, due to the slippery dirt trail.


 Map     Sat
GPS: OA1803


Entry at Halona Blow Hole 

Once you've made it down the hill, the entry will be a snap off the sandy beach.


 Map     Sat
GPS: OA1804


Overview at Halona Blow Hole 

There is plenty to see here close to shore. Concentrate your dive within the cove area. Note that Sandy Beach Park is off to the left in the distance.




Aerial at Halona Blow Hole 
(click photo for details)

If you are more advanced, venture out to the edge of the cove to explore the rocky ledges and lava flows. Consult with your local dive shop to learn more about the seasonal currents.

Last Verification: September, 2000  


Diver Averages for  Halona Blow Hole  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  2.35
Bottom Conditions:  3.78
Reef Conditions:  3.61
Animal Life:  4.00
Plant Life:  2.70
Facilities:  1.39
Solitude 3.26
Roads:  4.09
*Site Average:  3.26

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.00
Beginner Scuba:  2.52
Intermediate Scuba:  3.48
Advanced Scuba:  4.13
Night diving Scuba:  3.35

Number of reviews for this site: 23


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