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Pu'uhonua O' Honaunau or Place of Refuge is an old religious Hawaiian fishing community with excellent diving opportunities.

Name Dive Site:Place of Refuge
Depth: 9-118ft (3-36m)
Inserted/Added by: dick_the_diver

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Place of Refuge along the Kona Coast is possibly the most beautiful, diverse, easily accessible, interesting dive location we have on the Island of Hawaii. It is at Honaunau Bay, just north of the National Historic Park, Pu'uhonua O' Honaunau or Place of Refuge, sometimes incorrectly referred to as, 'City of Refuge'.

Because of the abundance of colorful reef marine life, this is an excellent place to snorkel as well as scuba. The clarity of the water here is conducive to exciting sightings of various marine-life species. There are two fine routes for scuba divers to take from the entry point - so bring two tanks. One is straight out towards the open ocean, the second along the rocky shore in a northerly direction. If you are going straight out, watch and listen closely for the many fishing boats that use this bay as a launch site (a cautionary dive flag float is recommended). The straight out route will take you across many coral heads and sandy channels holding a multitude of invertebrates and reef fish. A gradual slope will drop off to about 30'-35' until, in the center of the bay, you'll reach a living coral reef that is punctuated with countless pukas (holes) that hold numerous eels, crabs and shells of many descriptions. If you opt for the northerly shore route from the entry area you'll find many caves and indentations as you explore the underwater terrain. The lava wall is literally filled with hiding places for Kona's famous ula or Spiney Lobster and although they are being overharvested you just may catch a glimpse of one or two.

This whole area is an ancient Hawaiian fishing/religious ceremonial area, so treat it with respect. You can access it from a very nice picnic spot under some kiawe trees, reached by turning right just before the parking area once you enter the park. Common reef fish include several species of Tang, Moorish Idols, Horned Helmet Shells, Crown of Thorn starfish, triton trumpet fish, leopard rays and schools of opelo and its chasing skipjacks.

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