Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

This year’s Summer Spotlight takes us to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. This delightful preserve is a beautiful and captivating tropical paradise and a safe haven for marine wildlife. 


Aquatic Diversity

This stunning aquatic haven is home to a coral reef with eels, crabs, octopus, and over four hundred varieties of tropical fish.


Meet the Honus

One of the most interesting visitors to Hanauma Bay is the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), known in the Hawaiian language as honu.

To the native Hawaiians, the Kānaka Maoli, honu are sacred creatures that embody good luck, protection, spiritual energy, and a long life. During the summer honu are often seen swimming with people, but it is important to avoid disturbing them. Visitors to the bay should maintain a distance of ten feet from honus and avoid touching them (it is illegal).

Adult honu can grow to be five feet long and over four hundred pounds. They are migratory turtles that don’t typically nest at the preserve but use the bay as feeding grounds. Those that are fortunate enough to reach maturity can live to ninety years old in the wild. 

Threatened and Endangered

Honus are classified as endangered in parts of the world and considered threatened in others. There are so many threats to these graceful turtles that life can be difficult. Any given day could bring danger from boat strikes, egg harvesting, entanglement in fishing nets, hunting, loss of habitat, nesting disturbances, poaching, and/or pollution.

The honus breeding cycle makes it difficult for them to rebound from population drops. It can take decades for a honu to reach sexual maturity, and females only mate every two to four years. Mother turtles return to the beaches where they hatched to mate and lay their eggs. They carefully bury their clutches in the sand and leave the young to fend for themselves.

Juvenile honus are carnivorous, but they become omnivorous as they mature. Adults are often observed swimming in the tranquil bay and grazing on seagrass beds.

Hours and Contact Information


Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

100 Hanauma Bay Rd
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
Phone: (808) 768-6861
Open Wednesdays through Sundays
Must enter from 6:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  
All visitors must leave by 4 p.m.

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Nature and the Environment

NatAtEnv was formed by BioTriad Environmental, Inc. to provide entertaining informative media while keeping the wonders of nature in the public eye.


Season’s Spotlight

Season’s Spotlight focuses on the seasonal changes of the most beautiful natural places on the planet. Come tour a world in transition for winter ice crystals, spring migrations, summer splashes, and the colors of autumn.