Kailua Pier

Shore Diving and Snorkeling Site

Kailua Pier

Kailua Pier is located in central downtown Kona. It is flanked on one side by the King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriot Hotel with the Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark, and on the other by Ali'i Drive, which winds its way through historic downtown Kona. The pier itself is used to launch boats, unload/load cruise ship passengers (more on that later), and it is also the start and finish point for the Ironman Triathalon World Championship each October.

 Dive Site Maps:


Mahukona Dive Site Map, Big Island Hawaii 

Site Briefing: 

  • Accessibility:  The pier itself is permit only parking. There is however a small loading area adjacent to the restroom and shower facilities where you can unload your gear. After this you can find parking either across the street or behind Ali'i Drive, and then walk back. Important to note that Jack's Diving Locker does have a permit to park on the pier and we do offer this as a guided shore dive.

  • Nearby Facilities:  There are restrooms and showers located on the pier next to the King Kam beach. You will also find food and drink vendors within the hotel area. Jack's Diving Locker's main shop is located only about a half mile down Ali'i drive.

  • Features:  If you head right, there is a nice coral slope that transitions to sand in about 30 to 35 feet of waterIf you head out over the sand there is a small coral reef island (Treasure Island), about 20 yards from the reefHead along reef/sand heading north and there’s a slight/gradual slopeLook for Eagle Rays over the sand and Turtles in the shallowsOne of the few shore dives where you can find Teardrop Butterflyfish. Look for the often-seen large Bait ball (1,000s of fish) made up of akule (Bigeye Scad).

  • Entry/Exit:  Gear-up in the loading area and walk over to the stairs located between the showers and the hotel beach. Surface swim to the last buoy and drop down in large sand patch at 15-20 feet of depth. Stay to the right of the boat channel markers while swimming out. This is an active boat channel.

  • Depths:  0-50’:  Beautiful reef following the sand that lies in the bay.

  • Special Concerns:

    • Boat Traffic: Stay on swim side (north-side) of the lane marker. There is an active boat channel on the south-side.  Divers have been hit on the head by Canoe paddlers.

    • Cruise Ships: On Wednesdays and Saturdays cruise ships load and unload their passengers from the pier. Depending on the time this greatly increases the amount of foot and car traffic in the area.

    • Entry and Exit:  Just to the north of the pier is the Thurston Estate. It is a large villa compound with its own private lagoon. Do not try to surface and exit here, you will be escorted off the property by security.


Site Photos:

  • Coming soon

General Info:

  • Check the weather, surf, and tide reports:  Plan ahead for safety

  • Know your limits: Diving and snorkeling from shore means you have minimal help if something goes wrong.  Know your limits, and consider taking a snorkel lesson, a scuba refresher, or book a guided trip to increase you experience before considering diving and snorkeling from shore.

  • Use a Dive Flag:  These are required by law for both scuba and snorkeling and we have them available for rent.

  • Rent gearWe have a full line of rental snorkel and scuba gear, and air and nitrox tank fills.

  • Check Your Gear and Bring Spares:  Whether you rent or own your own gear, inspect it thoroughly before heading to the dive site.  Many are in remote locations, so save yourself the long trip if you forget something.  Jack's Diving Locker is the best dive shop on the island to help restock your save-a-dive kit with spare o-rings, mouthpieces, and tools.

  • Use the Buddy System:  Dive and Snorkel with someone capable of assisting you in an emergency

  • Be Reef Friendly:  Please use reef safe sunscreens, don't stand on the reef, don't touch marine life, and don't feed the fish.

  • Be Respectful of Our Community:  Act with aloha, pick up litter if you find it, and be helpful to others.