Slaughterhouse Beach & Honolua Bay

Slaughterhouse Beach & Honolua Bay information

The narrow Kalaepiha Point separates Slaughterhouse Beach and Honolua Bay . Together they form the Honolua–Mokuleʻia Bay Marine Life Conservation District, which is famed for its snorkeling and surfing.

Honolua Bay is a surfer’s dream. It faces northwest and when it catches the winter swells it has some of the gnarliest surfing in the world. In summer snorkeling is excellent in both bays, thanks in part to prohibitions on fishing in the preserve. Honolua Bay is the favorite, with thriving reefs and abundant coral along its rocky edges.

Spinner dolphins sometimes hang near the mouth of the bays, swimming just beyond snorkelers. When it’s calm, you can snorkel around Kalaepiha Point from one bay to the other, but forget it after heavy rains: Honolua Stream empties into Honolua Bay and the runoff clouds the water.

The land fronting Honolua Bay has long been owned by Maui Land & Pineapple. The company has allowed recreational access to the bay for no fee. A few families have the right to live on this land, but they cannot charge an access fee or restrict visiting hours. In 2013, with community support, the state set aside funds to purchase 280 acres beside the bay to protect them from development .

Once you reach the bay, read the signage about protecting the coral then enter via the rocky coastline. Sunscreen, for example, should be avoided in order to safeguard the coral. Do not enter the water via the concrete boat ramp, which is very slippery and potentially hazardous.

When the waters are calm the bays offer superb kayaking. Slaughterhouse Beach is also a top-rated bodysurfing spot during the summer. Its attractive white-sand crescent is good for sunbathing and beachcombing – look for glittering green olivine crystals in the rocks at the southern end of the beach.

Just north of the 32-mile marker, there’s public parking and a concrete stairway leading down the cliffs to Slaughterhouse Beach. After passing Slaughterhouse Beach, look ahead for a large parking area on the left. Here you’ll find a nice view of Honolua Bay below. A half-mile past the 32-mile marker there’s room for about six cars to park adjacent to the path down to Honolua Bay, or continue around a couple of bends and park beside the port-o-johns. From here, follow the gravel path through the jungle-like flora to the bay.