Tunnels is one of Hawaii's most beautiful beaches, offering great snorkeling during the summer months when the ocean is calm. Snorkeling during winter months is also possible depending on ocean conditions. The following chart shows our approximation of the number of good snorkeling days each month.
The main access for Tunnels is via Haena Beach Park
, 700 yards up the beach. There are a couple difficult to find access roads
closer but parking is limited.
Snorkeling at Tunnels Beach
Tunnels beach is prone to strong currents. The typical current flow is through the gap between the inner and outer reef in the direction of Haena beach park. Fortunately life guards at Haena beach keep an eye on snorkelers. In the aerial photograph below, the snorkeling area is located at the section of reef directly next to the beach (near the center of the image). The outer reef section, as seen in the aerial photo, is more dangerous and not recommended. In fact, the snorkeling in the outer reef area is no better than the reef at the shore.
The proper Hawaiian name for the reef here is Makua. The name "tunnels" was popularized by divers. Beyond the outer reef is a surf break for advanced surfers..