Unlike Ma‘alaea or Kihei, which only serve as departure points for diving elsewhere, Wailea offers shore dives with shallow depths perfect for novices. The entry points in Wailea are sandy and easy. Of all the beaches in Wailea, the best for a morning shore dive is the point at Ulua Beach.
This is where most dive operators bring students during their certification courses, as the maximum depth is about 35 feet. There is ample parking at the bottom of Ulua Beach Road, and the concrete walkway down to the shoreline is convenient for hauling tanks and gear. Although the dive wraps around the point toward Mokapu Beach, it’s best to enter and exit the water from the Ulua side since it’s more protected from wind and waves. Expect to see a number of Hawaiian green sea turtles along with healthy coral formations, endemic reef fish, and perhaps a rare spotted eagle ray or spiny lobster.
This is a great place for seeing turtles on days with clear visibility.Although most dive operations operate off Ulua Beach, if you’re renting your own gear, you can dive at Wailea Point. Entry for the dive is off the south side of Wailea Beach. This is a great place for seeing turtles on days with clear visibility (which are more common in winter than summer). The nearest public access and parking lot are on the south end of the Four Seasons resort.
The only dive shop in Wailea is Maui Dive Shop (3750 Wailea Alanui Rd., 808/875-9904, 8am-9pm daily) within the Shops at Wailea. You can pick up dive-related accessories and inquire about current conditions. If you’re in need of gear and tank rental, you’re better off visiting one of the larger outlets in Kihei.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.