Hawaii is one of the most popular scuba diving spots in the world and Oahu in particular is home to some amazing dive sites that will suit scuba enthusiasts of any level of experience. Whether you are interested in share dives along the reef or deeper wreck dives where larger marine life such as sharks and octopi can be seen you are sure to find it in Oahu. Let’s take a look at some of the best dive sites that Oahu has to offer.
The Oahu Wrecks
In terms of scuba diving, one of the major attractions in Oahu is the various wreck sites. The three main wrecks that most divers are eager to check out include Sea Tiger, Corsair and the YO-257. Out of the three, the YO-257 is often considered to be the best wreck dive in Hawaii. It is ideally placed just off the coast at the Diamondhead State Park making it a fairly busy site. It was originally a Navy refuelling vessel which served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It was intentionally sunk in 1989 as part of submarine tours in the area and is now an exciting dive site which is home to tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks and Hawaiian green sea turtles.
The Corsair wreck offers something a little bit different in that it is an aircraft wreck rather than a boat. It is very much an advanced dive thanks to the strong currents. However, for those with the required experience it is an ideal spot to see Octopi, eels, puffer fish and squirrel fish. Occasionally a shark or giant stingray will happen by, but this is a rare treat.
The Sea Tiger wreck was seized after being caught smuggling Chinese immigrants into Hawaii and was intentionally sun in the late nineties by Voyager Submarines. With the former owners out of business the only visitors these days are the scuba divers.
For divers who are more interested in reefs, Hanauma Bay offers one of many great dive sites in Oahu. The bay is very popular and so it can get pretty crowded, but the fish in the area are very used to divers and will swim right up to your face. It is a shore dive, so you simply wade in from the shore which makes it perfect for beginners. There are well over 50 different species living in the by and many have compared the experience to swimming inside a massive aquarium.
The more adventurous out there will definitely want to check out Shark’s Cove. Despite the scary sounding name there have not actually been any reports of shark sightings in the cove itself! It does however feature a natural lava grotto with waterfalls which form a huge pool that is popular with snorkellers. For more experienced divers there are also plenty of deep sea caves to explore.
Imagine a magical underwater version of the Grand Canyon and you will have a pretty good idea about what to expect from Kahuna Canyon. Inside the canyon you are likely to encounter all manner of creatures including Octopi, Crabs, Spiny Lobsters, Unicorn Tangs, Parrotfish and more. If you are lucky you might even catch a glimpse of a shark in the distance outside the canyon, although they don’t venture inside.