Ke'ei Beach

Honaunau-Napoopoo, Big Island, HI
map
Entry Map
directions
Directions
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Photos
Difficulty
Not ranked yet
Viz (last reported 66534h ago)
Max Depth
40ft (unconfirmed)

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Ke'ei Beach

We never tire of visiting Ke'ei. The quiet village, the wonderful ocean views, and the excellent diving make for a pleasant afternoon. On this dive, you may be greeted by garden eels, and a rare daylight sighting of a manta ray. The people of Ke'ei have always been nice to us, so be respectful of their property and privacy so we may continue to be welcomed. Parking is the right, and the dive entry is from the small boat ramp on the left. Kick out until you're in about 20 feet of water, drop down, and continue out until you see the sandy bottom, home to the garden eels. Directions: Less than a quarter mile South from Kahauloa Bay, take your first right just before refuse transfer station to your left.
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Ke'ei Beach Tide Chart and Surf Report (Beta)

Thursday
1:31 AM / 1.676ft
Thursday
7:39 AM / -0.013ft
Thursday
2:20 PM / 2.062ft
Thursday
8:29 PM / 0.442ft
Friday
1:55 AM / 1.539ft

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Kona Shore Divers - Our goal is to give you the opportunity to share and explore the underwater world in and around the near shore waters of Kailua-Kona. We focus on small group sizes and strive to offer the best personalized service we can to our guests. From the first timer to the old timer come with us and see what the Kona Shore has to offer! Book Now
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Zentacle
Zentacle
Sep 21, 2021, 1:05 AM
scuba
Park next to the tables. The dive entry is to your left. The road is quite bumpy, but you should be able to traverse it in a passenger vehicle. Go toward the beach and bear left, following the water until you come to some picnic tables. There is plenty to explore here. Take your time and enjoy! Parking and facilities are great. Close to the restrooms, you'll find a narrow cut through the lava leading to a shelf. The day of this picture was not a good day to dive this site! If you can make your entry, you'll find good diving along the entire shelf. Watch the current, and get a good fix on your exit point! Here is the edge of the Old Wharf, with the dive entry at the end of the concrete pier. This is where you'll be diving, to the right of the entry point. Parking is easy, with the dive entry to the left. You can tell the diving will be spectacular!
Ann Geiger
Ann Geiger
Mar 20, 2014, 12:00 AM
scuba
Loved the remoteness of this site. No one there at all at beginning of first dive. People came and went after that, but it often felt like we had the place to ourselves. Never saw other divers. Boat ramp entry/exit area makes it easy to get in and out with minimal surf issues. Had no issues carrying camera in. Unfortunately our underwater experience left a lot to be desired. The reef to the south is reasonably healthy but to the north is quite damaged, possibly from the tsunami of 2011. The fish are quite scarce, small, and shy. If you go, swim in a direct line out from the entrance, underwater when you can, and you'll hit the top of a wall that goes down to 90ish feet (we stayed around 50). The last bit of road is heavily rutted and quite rough. While 4 wheel drive is not necessary, it is imperative that you have a vehicle with some clearance. Overall, we would only go back if there was some indication that the reef and fish had recovered.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jim Olinger
Jim Olinger
Jun 6, 2013, 12:00 AM
scuba
I did this dive in Oct. 2011 and just never got around to reviewing it. It's a great site and has a more unusual coral type than most other sites I have seen on the Big Island. I don't have any notes on details, but I'm guessing it's some sort of 'Sheet or Scroll' species of coral and I remember diving along a sloping wall of it for quite a distance at about 20 meters depth to the north of the entry point. The day we were there, the surfers were having some real fun which spells 'challenge' for shore divers on entry and exit. I guess what brought me back to review this site was the fact that it lies on the southern part of Kealakuaekua Bay where the Captain Cook Monument is. I know for a fact that humpback whales hang out near the Captain Cook Monument in January. Good luck and enjoy!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Honu Diver
Honu Diver
Jan 29, 2011, 12:00 AM
scuba
Another Great site! Road is a little rough for most. Snorkeling is good to the left in the shallows and diving is good in both directions. Large fish can be seen patrolling the edge of the deep. Structure to the north holds a lot of life to see. This is also great night dive. One will need several tanks to see it all. If your feeling really good, dawn your gear and hike around the beach at the end of the road and enter out on the point and swim back north, you won't be disappointed!! I had a Monk Seal swim in and check me out here, later I saw him soaking up rays on the lava. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day hear relaxing in the real Hawaii.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
freedivehi@gmail.com
freedivehi@gmail.com
Feb 2, 2010, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is an excellent dive. There is a shallow reef with interesting relief.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jul 22, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
Went to Ke'ei this past weekend. The road there is a bit bumpy but go slow and pretty much and car can make it. It is private land so be nice and friendly to all the locals there. The coves offer fantastic snorkeling with decent drop-offs if you enjoy deep freediving. Plentiful aquatic life with lots of eels visible. Actually saw a Yellow margin there that was 6+ ft in length and about a foot in diameter. Definitely the largest eel I have ever seen in Hawaii and it was not far off shore.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
E Booze
E Booze
Jul 17, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pristine dive. Found an easy entry exit site (tiny slot of the beach) behind a rock wall that the local use a kayak launch. The underwater conditions are lovely & untouched with great visibility. It is now one of our favorite spots. The nasty road keeps out all but the determined divers. We were the only divers each day we visited. The area is rustic with a few picnic tables but no facilities. Please show respect for the area as people are living along here. So mind your manners. When the surf is high in North Kona this place is perfect. When you first get in head down to 80 90 feet to check out the Garden Eels. The work your way up to the reef. There is a lot to see in the 30-20 ft range.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Brian Xavier
Brian Xavier
Jan 6, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
Ke'ei is a cool place to dive. The road to Ke'ei turns right before the dump, and it is rough, so go slow. Once there, there are not many people. Me and my buddy dive off of the right set of rocks and used the step, much like Honaunau. Bail off and start diving. Lots of reef formations with big holes. Some other people I talked to after diving said it gets deep here- up to 120, but I only went to 50 feet. Great bottom with lots of fish life. Would not advise diving on a large swell day, as the entry/exit could be very challenging.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jim M
Jim M
Aug 28, 2006, 12:00 AM
scuba
We were told about this dive site by one of the dive masters from Kona Honu Divers … which is a great operation here in Kona. Made it down the lava road with the Jeep just fine and found the parking by the picnic tables. This is Old Hawaii at its finest. We made our entry through a sandy patch where kids were playing in the water by the tarp-covered outrigger and it was easy to gear-up, kick a short distance then drop down to begin our dive north. We went out about 20 yards then followed the contour of the wall. There are many varieties of coral and, although the surf was up and visibility was down to about 50 feet, we found some great lava tubes, a deep cave/cavern which we did not have time to explore, and even had to avoid the locals as they jumped off the edge of lava and down into the water right next to us. All in all, we enjoyed this dive site and would love to come back on a day with less surf and surge to really explore. We recommend it to all levels of divers and, like earlier reviews, it's a good idea to show that respect to the locals, drive slow and smile.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Allan Van Ness
Allan Van Ness
Dec 22, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
I just wanted to write about this site, because it was one of the best! Good stuff to see. We saw the garden eels, a manta ray, and a small leafy fish (not sure what it was). Very pleasant dive in a quiet village -- this to me is what Hawaii is all about.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
David Zimmerman
David Zimmerman
Aug 27, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
My 14 year daughter and now Master Diver and I love this site. The entry by the picnic table is very easy: Just suit up walk into the water and your off to one of the best dives on the Big Island. Just make certain that you do not run over one of the locals dogs as they own the right of way and will not move.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Janna Nichols
Janna Nichols
May 21, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
The road leading to Ke'ei leaves something to be desired, but our little rental car managed to make its way over the bumps to the end of the village. Park near the picnic tables, and SMILE at the residents. We were extremely careful to keep our voices down, not use compressed air to blow off our dust caps, etc. Please act as a gracious guest in this little village! Lazy dogs came to lie in the shade our car made. The easiest entry is through an old canoe ramp, behind a little rock wall. Just walk down the ramp and swim out a ways, drop down and enjoy and incredible dive. We went down to 100 feet or so to see the garden eels. They were right on the crest of the drop-off. Not a lot of them, but also some other unusual fish found at that depth. Spent most of our time up in the 50 foot depth though after the brief garden eel visit.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Rick Inman
Rick Inman
Mar 19, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Great site! Made 2 dives here. Lots of fun structures, lava tubes, caverns, pukas. Clear, clean water with 100'+ vis. Started the dive straight out to 100' to lay on the bottom until the Garden Eels came back up. Very cool. Best stuff seemed to me to be out and south around the surf break. One turtle sited in 2 dives. One of the best things about this site was the quite village, the lazy dogs, the local families. This is the real Hawaii, not tourist-ville. Only saw one other set of divers here all day. No facilities so come prepared. Be quite, clean and respectful, and take it slow on the road.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Bill Stohler
Bill Stohler
Jun 27, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
Ke`ei is an old Hawaiian village located about half-way between Kealakakua Bay (where Captain Cook landed in Hawaii) and Honaunau (Place of Refuge). Life is slow here. The houses are old and run-down; the dogs lie around and hardly notice you. Everything has a feeling of peace about it. Remnants of old outrigger canoes sit amidst ruins of houses long gone. Just offshore, the sea is filled with amazing coral reefs, large numbers of tropical fish, and even a healthy forest of garden eels. Finding the village might be a little tricky, but it's well worth it!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Kim
Kim
Aug 6, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Wonderful dive site - the garden eels are always fun to watch and then you can head back up to go thru swim throughs and explore caves. After entering at the boat ramp - go to the right (where your car is parked). We did two tanks here a couple of different days and then ate our lunch at the picnic tables. It's a must dive site on our list for next year ...
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jim Goodenough
Jim Goodenough
Sep 10, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
A beautiful and remote site with no other people around. Makes dealing with emergencies something to think about. I have not seen the boat launch mentioned in another review, but the lava tubes and garden eels were nice.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jon Knight
Jon Knight
Aug 23, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
I just got certified a few months ago, and have done a few other shore dives since, and I love this site. Easy entry and exit. Lots of animals and great bottom conditions. We've dived this location twice now and plan on going back for more.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Nydia White
Nydia White
Jul 16, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Probably my favorite site on the Big Island. Don't let the road scare you. We made it with our rental. A jeep or SUV will make it easily, but any compact will do okay. Just go slowly. Please respect the residents in this area. You are basically diving in their backyard. Keep the noise down and clean up after yourself. Use the primitive boat launch next to the stone wall as your entry/exit. It's easy to find coming back. This is a large site and will take several dives to even begin to see the whole thing. A good place for a two tank day. Good channels to explore and some neat lava tubes and chimneys. Keep an eye out for pelagics.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Allyn Burgmann & Cass Brady
Allyn Burgmann & Cass Brady
May 14, 2001, 12:00 AM
scuba
Pristine finger coral forest, untouched by multitudes of careless divers or snorkelers. Garden Eels easy to find at 100 feet. Our entry was farther down the beach according to the beach diving book. Best cheap dive on the Big Island.
Originally posted on shorediving.com