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Oahu's Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to get up-close to an incredibly varied marine ecosystem. Snorkelers can expect to see the strikingly patterned butterfly fish and swim with majestic green sea turtles, to name just two of the more than 400 marine species to be found here. What's more, the preserve is also home to myriad beautiful and intricate coral formations.
When you arrive at Hanauma Bay your first stop will be the Marine Education Centre. This sensitively designed structure mimics the shape of a volcanic cave. Here you'll learn about the biology and habitat of the area, and the preserve's mission to protect it, before you enter the bay itself. Admire the centre's bright murals and discover the science behind the area's geographical and coral formations. Watch a short film on the biodiversity of the area before you test your knowledge at the interactive fish identification stations.
Then it's time to try your hand at identifying different species in the wild. Grab a laminated fish identification chart from reception and head to the beach.
Marvel at the striking shape of Hanauma Bay, its coastline curving dramatically around sparkling waters. Formerly a volcanic crater, over time the ocean eroded the south-eastern side and forced its way in. This created a sheltered bay rich in nutrients: the ideal environment for a thriving marine ecology. When you're ready, don your mask and snorkel, step into the crystal clear ocean and enjoy the incredible array of natural wonders on display.
If you're coming to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve from Waikiki, you'll need to head east along the Kalanianaole Highway for 16 kilometres. You can hire snorkelling gear from the rental shop near the Marine Education Centre if you don't have your own. Visitors are welcome to bring food and drink into the preserve, and there's also a snack bar on site.
It's a short walk from the Marine Education Centre to the beach, but you can catch the tram for a small fee if you prefer. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is open every day except Tuesdays.
Located in Hawaii Kai, this holiday home is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Koko Head and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Located in Hawaii Kai, this holiday home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Kawaikui Beach Park and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Hawaii Kai, this golf holiday home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Kawaikui Beach Park and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in Hawaii Kai, this golf villa is within 3 miles (5 km) of Koko Head, Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Sea Life Park are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Located in Hawaii Kai, this villa is 2 mi (3.1 km) from Kawaikui Beach Park and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).