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Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Ponce Inlet, Florida
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138 posts
193 reviews
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Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Hello wonderful trip advisors. Just a quick question - I am planning on a morning snorkeling trip to Olowalu on an upcoming vacation. I have been reading a lot of interesting stories on the Papalaua Wayside Park coral garden. Would you suggest one over the other? As an aside - I am also plannng to hit a lot of the other great snorkel sites too - I just have not snorkeled the Olowalu area and wanted to check it out. Thanks in advance!

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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42,977 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

I have only gone to Papalaua by boat, don't know much about from off shore but the coral gardens are wonderful. I don't like Olowalu due to the shallowness of the water. You need to be familiar with the channels in and out of there for a good experience. I wouldn't go to either if it has rained in the last day or two.

S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
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9,911 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Ditto MsFuzz..

If you do go to Olowalu beware do not get struck in the sand and the trees drop sharp thorns..wear your slippahs.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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45,487 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Aloha,

It would be a long haul to get to "Coral Gardens" from the shore. I wouldn't rec it unless you are a strong swimmer. Depending on the swells, it could also be more surf conditions than snorkel-there's not much to block the swell from coming straight in.

Olowalu can be tricky, as Fuzz mentioned. They have some signage up there that will help you though.

Ponce Inlet, Florida
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138 posts
193 reviews
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4. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Gesh! Glad I asked. The articles made it seem like an easy snorkel from shore. I thought it was funny that I had not read much about it on here. Thanks for the info!

Ponce Inlet, Florida
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138 posts
193 reviews
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5. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Gesh! Glad I asked. The articles made it seem like an easy snorkel from shore. I thought it was funny that I had not read much about it on here. Thanks for the info!

Vancouver, Canada
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77 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

A week ago Snorkel Bob's told us that Olawalu is posted with shark warnings. I don't know how current that is though, so I'd recommend double checking that.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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45,487 posts
18 reviews
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7. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

Aloha,

There has been a shark warning sign at Olowalu for about 10 years............when it doesn't get stolen by somebody for a souvenir. Yes, there have been a couple of attacks there over the years...........no, it's not common, nor has it been close to shore. IIRC, the last one was at least 7 or 8 years ago, it's been so long I really can't remember!

8. Re: Olowalu or Papalaua Wayside Park

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