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Oahu East Side Dive Sites

Hawaii Kai and Maunalua Bay boast the largest number of dive sites, and there are many operators that work exclusively out of this side of Oahu. Great scuba diving all year, but if there are strong trade winds we'll change to another side of the island.

Corsair Wreck and China Wall Drift

PADI Scuba Waikiki - Corsair WreckThe Corsair is one of the deepest regularly visited wrecks on Oahu at 110ft. Besides the obvious attraction of visiting a sunken W.W.II era plane, the dive site has the added bonus of being the only Oahu site where one can visit a field of garden eels. China Wall is the part of Koko Head adjacent to Maunalua Bay and provides a nice 35-50ft wall for diving. This site is also known as Spitting Caves as the surface rock formations sometimes send the ocean swells high into the air. Many underwater caves and ledges can be explored during this dive, giving a pretty good chance of spotting a sleeping white tip reef shark. Turtles and less commonly eagle rays are seen cruising the wall as well. Many of Hawaii's eel species are seen here as well.

Baby Barge and Fantasy Reef

PADI Scuba Waikiki - Baby BargeThe baby barge lies upright in 60ft of water, with the coral encrusted deck at about 45ft. To the port side of the barge runs a 10-20ft ledge dropping down to the deepest point of the dive, 85ft. This ledge has a few small caves in which there are almost always a few resting green sea turtles. To the west the ledge rises until and finally mostly dissipates 50 yards at white tip cave. This is a popular resting place for white-tip reef sharks and is the highest percentage chance of seeing a shark on the island, about 85%. Galapagos sharks are also spotted occasionally at this dive site. For the more experienced visitors there are also a large pile of I shaped 10' cement blocks about 200' to the south in which are found many large eels. The barge itself holds a large amount of fish, but be careful on the cutouts on the side, the surge can give you a real blast! Fantasy Reef is a shallower reef dive in 45' of water, often done as a drift dive. This expansive network off raised reef fragments has many overhangs and a few swim throughs.

Angler's Reef and Koko Craters

Anglers Reef is described above. This combination of dives is typically used when one diver in the group is doing a two-taPADI Scuba Waikiki - Fantasy Reefnk resort course, i.e. not certified and diving one-on-one with instructor. Koko Craters are just that, a series of circular ledges that lie in about 35ft of water. Turtles and reef fish abound here, as well as the elusive Potter's angelfish. This makes a relaxed easy diving day with good bottom times.

Palea Point and Witches Brew Drift

Pale'a Point and Witches Brew both lie around KoKo head and face the trade winds that come into Hawaii. Because of their location, these spots are rarely dove unless there are "Kona" winds blowing from the south. If this is happening while you are here, an excited divemaster will probably call asking your permission to change the dive site to here. These excellent reefs allow diving at all depth as they lie at a slope. We start deep and work our way up the beautiful coral formations, trying to spot the extremely rare Dragon eel, most commonly sighted here.

LST wreck and Tire Reef Drift followed by Sea Cave

The LST is an upside down marine landing craft in 70ft of water. The sunny side bottom of the vessel holds a nice coral field while the darker underside holds schools of night fish waiting for the sun to do down. After exploring this vessel for 10-15 minutes the dive guide usually moves the group off the site to see one of Hawaii's rare treats, black coral. The second part of the dive is a drift that covers a large area of Maunalua Bay. Many ledges and artificial reefs span the area that is a Galapagos shark cruising ground. The reef is named for the cement blocks with 12 tires each cemented in, a questionable old-timer disposal practice that none the less forms reef habitat these days. The Sea Cave dive is a large opening in China Wall that starts with the exploration of the cave (there is a fresh air pocket at surfac), followed by drift along the wall with the prevailing current. As you can see below, many turtles rest in the cave, along with an occasional white tip found lounging in the back. A very easy, relaxing 40-50ft dive.


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