Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
November 9, 2004
From journal Heavenly Kauai Vacations
September 16, 2004
This is a great beach to hang out on. Good wide beach for walking and the sand is very pebbly. It has great beach rocks, I just started collecting them after hanging out on this beach.
Now the snorkeling! This was on of the best snorkeling spots we had visited on the island. Huge Unicorn fish! Great coral. The water goes from about 5 feet deep to over 50 feet deep. You will see a lot of scuba divers out here. Swim out to the deeper water and swim on the edge and see great coral, deep tunnels (this is where the beach gets its name) and all kinds of fish from small to large!
From journal Return to Kauai
by Kauai Boy
July 6, 2004
As recently as 10 years ago, on any given summer day there would be no more than a couple of other people on this beach aside from our group. Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find parking even alongside the highway anywhere near this place. However, the unusual "double reef" system and elaborate underwater tunnel system makes this beach one of my favorites.
WHERE IT IS: A long haul from my home in Wailua, Tunnels Beach is near the "end of the road" in the small North Shore community of Haena, just before Haena Beach Park and the Dry Cave.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Kapaa, head north – ALL THE WAY north about 30 miles. It’s actually a pretty scenic and enjoyable ride, even for us locals. Passing Hanalei town, the road becomes quite windy and slow. Driving high along the cliffs of Lumahai on a narrow two-lane road can be a bit nerve-racking, but your almost there! Across the two single-lane wooden bridges in Wainiha followed by a short mile through Haena and you there--look for the line of parked cars along the highway, park, then follow the crowd.
WHEN TO GO THERE: As always, the North Shore is no place to be in the Winter – unless you’re staying on the beach a safe distance from the water. Flat season (primetime for diving) begins late spring and lasts through early to mid fall.
WHAT TO DO THERE: Though it’s getting almost intolerably crowded, the inner reef is an excellent scuba-diving site for the beginner. Along the edge of the reef you can dive in, out, and through an elaborate tunnel system with sites that literally take your breath away. If you’re lucky, you’ll run across one of the resident gray reef, white tip, or black tip sharks. No worries – as long as you keep your distance, most of these guys are more afraid of you than you of them. Also, though it is too crowded nowadays, Tunnels used to be our favorite spear-fishing and netting site.
From journal My Favorite Kauai Beaches
June 29, 2004
We saw trigger fish, trumpet fish, zebra colored fish, and even fish with rainbow colors. We identified brain coral, and shelf coral. The water was calm and the reef was not too crowded. Once in a while you can get "tossed" in the current so stay away from snorkling on "top" of the huge lava rocks. Both my wife and I were scratched in this manner on our knees! Try to follow the "tunnels" through the rocks and out toward the reef drop off edges to see the more exotic species.
One drawback is parking. Get there early to get a parking spot!
From journal Kauai - Dream of a Lifetime
west creek, New Jersey
April 25, 2004
From journal Kauai paradise
January 26, 2003
What makes Tunnels a special place is that is has not just one but two reef formations, the inner one nestled inside a larger horseshoe-shaped outer reef. The inner reef, which stretches all the way up to the shore, is thus enclosed in a lagoon of fairly calm water. The fingers of the reef run perpendicular to the shore, forming multiple channels or "tunnels" which comprise a veritable underwater wonderland.
I’ll never forget the morning we saw large schools of tang, surgeonfish, wrasse, and butterfly fish swirling in eddies through the underwater canyons, or the time we came upon a large group of green sea turtles grazing on the far edge of the inner reef. The comings and goings of reef fish are inexplicable, but it’s rare that there aren’t a considerable number of fish at Tunnels, and there are also usually sea turtles here, too.
Like all tropical beaches, the clarity of the water/visibility is largely determined by the wave action. We’ve found that conditions are generally calmer earlier in the day and markedly better in the summer than the winter on the North Shore. But not always. We had several blissfully calm days this last trip, over Christmas, and were wise enough to get in several snorkeling "fixes" at Tunnels before high surf characteristically recurred.
The tides are the other factor to consider. Consult a tide chart in the local paper, for tides can make or break a trip to Tunnels. At low tide, it can be tricky to navigate over the exposed coral, as there’s little clearance. We’ve done it, but inexperienced snorkelers might find it rather claustrophobic and perhaps painful if they scrape themselves on coral. High tide raises the water level a mere two feet, but this then provides ample clearance for cruising over the reef.
Parking can be problematic. There is a narrow lane leading directly down to Tunnels that is invariably crammed with tightly packed cars by midday. We prefer to park at nearby Ha’ena Beach (an excellent swimming beach) and just stroll the pleasant quarter mile down the beach to Tunnels.
My favorite snorkel here involves entering at the far right end of the beach (facing the water) and letting the gentle leftward current carry me down along the fringes of the inner reef. It’s easy to imagine, if only for an hour or two, that this underwater realm is the real world and that everything else is a delusion.
From journal Hanalei, Hana Hou!
Sayville, New York
May 1, 2001
From journal Honeymoon On Kauai
Bay Area, California
November 22, 2000
From journal Relaxing, unspoiled Kauai