Are you looking for a dive spot near Kona town that isn’t Old Airport or Kailua Bay? Your’e in the right place! Shore diving the Big Island can be tricky. With lot’s of rocky lava coastline there are few good places to enter for a shore dive. Mile marker 4 happens to be one of the few although the entry is not excellent, just passable.
Starting from Kona Honu Divers dive shop mile marker 4 dive site is a 14 minute drive. You’ll travel directly through the heart fo town to get here. Basically you need to stay along Ali’i Drive and just keep heading south until to pass Magic Sands Beach Park. The next stop is mile marker 4 and it’s pretty obvious because of the mile marker sign on the side of the road.
Mile Marker 4 Beach
The beach itself is a nice little cove. You can hang out under the trees for shade but there is no sand to speak of. It’s nice for it’s seclusion but as soon as one homeless person shows up it can begin to feel a bit crowded as locals come with their dogs etc.
. . . But if you forget to bring rinse water you can stroll down the road a few hundred feet and voila! Magic Sands beach has public showers and restrooms. This is also a great place for the family to hang out while you dive with a nice white sandy beach and Magic’s beach club just next door for an apres dive lunch. There’s also a volleyball court and great body boarding here. There’s also a lifeguard station to watch over your family while they play in the water.
To get into the water you will step down on to a rocky beach with lots of smooth rocks ranging in size from a tennis ball to larger. The footing is not great so it’s probably best to wear booties. Scuba diving Hawaii Island is usually best from a boat. Try to check the weather and be sure the swell will cooperate. Look for anything 3 feet or less in the SW-NW swell direction. These are the directions the beach is facing. As you submerge you may be greeted by the resident school of yellow tangs that hangs out in just a few feet of water on the north end of the cove. As you put on your fins and swim out you will find there are some large boulders and rocks so carful as you swim out. This is why it’s best not to dive this site when the swell is big.
The Site Underwater
Shore diving mile marker 4 you will find immediately there are lots of reef fish including that yellow tang school. You can kick straight out and you will find the reef gently slopes down. There is a bit of reef that rises up and get’s shallow so watch out for that when the tide is low and the swell is up because it will sneak up on you. As the reef drops it becomes sandy with lots of reef channels and reef sections. It’s common to see eels and lots of fish schools. Last time we dove this site a diver returning said they saw a manta ray. We saw a turtle and lots of big pufferfish.
If you turn left you will find a sand canyon at around 25-30 feet with a cavern that leads toward shore with 2 skylights. The cavern is fairly spacious easily fitting more than one diver side-by-side and it’s good for photography. It’s also pretty easily accessable for freedivers and extreme snorkelers because of how shallow it is. It’s almost the perfect depth. Along the canyon will be an arch over the top. These features are what make scuba diving Hawaii so much fun because we have lot’s of them! At the entrance to the canyon you will often see a school of Tahitian snappers called To’au. The snappers were introduced to the islands and are considered invasive.On the reef alongside the canyon you may find a spotted moray or a viper moray. These wicked looking fish have some of the gnarliest teeth in the animal kingdom!
If you decide to head straight out keep in mind your depth and bring a compass as it is one of the few spots when shore diving the Big Island where it’s challenging to navigate. The reef continues and becomes more sandy and slopes gently a long ways out. There is some nice cauliflower coral that is healthy and a god representation of the species. It’s always nice to see and you may look inside and find critters hiding in there. The damselfish that school around outside are endemic to Hawaii and are a great example of why scuba diving Hawaii is so good!
Why Dive Here?
This site is good for people who are staying in Kona town if they don’t want to drive up to Puako or they have dived all of the other sites. The cave is neat and similar to something you might see in Puako without having to drive there. It’s also great for the schools of fish and the abundance of cryptic reef critters hiding in the reef.
Where to Rent Scuba Gear
If you need to rent some gear or get some tanks to make this dive happen swing by Kona Honu Divers. If you’re serious about shore diving the Big Island they have the best prices and the nicest shore diving rental gear in town. You can rent by the day or week. You can also get freediving fin rental and freediving gear rentals. Shore diving the Big Island doesn’t have to be complicated if you know where to go and you have the right gear. If you are looking for shore diving information don’t hesitate to contact us! You can swing by the shop or call us at (808)324-4668. (Viagra) If you’d like to learn more about shore dive sites here on the Big Island check out our shore diving page.