North Shore, Kauai
Haena Beach Park
Discover Haena Beach Park (Tunnels Beach)
A favorite place for both visitors and locals, this beach is a true gem to the island of Kaua’i. You will arrive at Haena Beach park and find a parking lot, a grassy area with some shade trees, bathrooms, a lifeguard stand, and showers. Immediately off of the parking lot is Haena beach, also known to locals as Pukas. If you walk down onto the sand you’ll look to the right and see a long stretch of beach that has a long reef close to shore, creating small pockets of shallow swimming areas and perfect snorkeling spots. The area to the right of the beach park is Tunnels Beach, many people will choose to walk down the beach and sit beneath the bunches of trees that provide shade.
When you walk the beach you’ll have a view of Mount Makana, which is also known as Bali Hai, featured in the famous movie South Pacific. Walking the beach at Tunnels is a special experience and often you’ll find many beautiful picture opportunities.
Tunnels Beach is abundant with tropical fish, the occasional turtle, and recently the coral reefs have begun to return to life with colorful coral heads. Please, do not walk on or touch the reef, any human touch kills the precious coral that keeps Hawaii’s reefs alive! Snorkeling is best in the center of the beach where you’ll find a crescent-shaped reef. Tunnels beach snorkeling is some of the most exciting North Shore Kauai snorkeling! However, it can be extremely dangerous to swim and snorkel here in certain conditions, especially in the wintertime. Heed caution and check with local ocean safety authorities before entering the waters, there are riptides that can occur on the outside of the reef. In the wintertime, Pukas can have an incredibly strong shore pound that can carry the unassuming swimmer out past the reefs. Do not swim here in the wintertime and always check with lifeguards before entering the water if you have doubts.
Another popular attraction can be found opposite the Haena Beach Park parking, the Maniniholo dry cave sits beneath the steep Mount Makana and is very interesting for the curious visitor to check out!
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