Scuba Diving Kauai, Hawaii
When considering Hawaii as a diving destination there are several different options and possibilities. Oahu is by far the most visited island of the chain with over 4.7 million visitors annually. Maui is the next most popular with around 2.4 million visitors per year. The Big Island of Kona captures around 1.6 million visitors per year and is home to the famous Night Manta Dive. Coming in fourth of the islands with around 1.3 million tourists per year is the island of Kauai which is known as the Garden Island.
While Kauai may be known as the Garden Island for its abundance of greenery above the water, it certainly doesn’t disappoint the avid diver. The scuba diving of Kauai is incredibly diverse. There is literally something for everyone. There are calm and protected areas which are great for shore diving, beginners, or any diver looking for a relaxing dive and to see some great marine life. There are also caves, caverns, walls, and some drift diving for divers who are more experienced and looking to see more of what Kauai has to offer.
The diving conditions of Kauai
The diving conditions in Kauai are influenced somewhat by the time of year, however, the only really bad diving you will find is immediately following a storm. As far as temperature goes, the waters will range from 71-73 in the winter to 80-83 in the summer months. Visibility is generally in the range of 60-80 feet with the winter months providing slightly better visibility than during the summer months. Immediately following storms the visibility at certain dive sites can drop substantially.
What Marine Life Will You See
Hawaii is home to an incredible range of marine life and Kauai is no exception. In Kauai you will find lots of sea turtles, rays, eels, and tons of small fish. In addition to this you will have the chance to see several species of dolphin, whales, sharks, manta rays, and even the Hawaiian monk seal. This seal is found nowhere else in the world and is most commonly seen while diving the island of Niihau.
Niihau is a small island off the coast of Kauai which is an incredible destination for divers. There are no dive shops on Niihau so you must find a dive shop in Kauai to arrange this trip. Trips don’t run year round, as the crossing between the islands can be quite rough through the winter months. For that reason, you will only be able to dive Niihau from late spring to early autumn.
With that said, it certainly makes for a great day. Niihau is generally seen as a location best suited for experienced and advanced divers as some of the dives will be in 100+ feet of water and you will be dealing with some currents as well. The diving will feature some dramatic wall dives where you will likely get to see the Hawaiian Monk Seal, some sharks, dolphins and other great marine life.