While most of ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Nature Reserve remains closed until 2016, visitors are allowed access to Moanakala. The area may also be known as “The Dumps”, named after a former dump site in the area, Moanakala is hailed as one of the premiere snorkeling destinations on Maui. After parking, you know you’ll have arrived with the delightful sight of a black rock beach.
With unique marine life, Moanakala truly has some of the best snorkeling on the entire island. Touting a wide variety of fish, including schools of yellow tang, colorful parrotfish and the occasional honu, Moanakala is definitely not to be missed.
Stay advised, there are no lifeguards on duty here, so families with children and absolute beginners might want to skip this one. For safety reasons, an intermediate to advanced level of swimming and snorkeling expertise is generally advised. As always, be mindful of the surf conditions throughout the day, especially noting wind and any changes in the weather.
Get your GoPro ready, it’s adventure time, so get ready to follow the fish. Oh, and as a side note, when it comes to coral, take a cue from Hanauma Bay’s public service announcement and remember, “Don’t step on me!”