Commercial activities to resume at Hanauma Bay on Jan. 4, 2023 : Maui Now

Hanauma Bay. PC: City and County of Honolulu – Department of Parks and Recreation (File)

Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve will again allow licensed motor vehicle carriers (commonly referred to as tour vehicles) and licensed scuba/snorkel guides into the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve starting next year.

Beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2023, licensed motor vehicle carriers with Public Utilities Commission certification will be permitted access to commercial vehicle parking at Hanauma Bay. Commercial use is limited to 15 minutes, and tourists and photographers are restricted to the upper floors of the nature reserve. They can’t go down to the beach area.

All vehicles utilizing commercial lots must submit an entry fee based on vehicle capacity. These charges do not apply to taxis unless the vehicle is also operated as a licensed motor carrier. The fee structure is as follows.

  • $10 – 1-7 seater vehicle
  • $20 – 8-25 passenger vehicle
  • $40 – vehicle accommodating 26 or more passengers
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For first-time returns for licensed motor carriers, we are open Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30am to 1:30pm. These times are subject to change.

Parking in the visitor lot remains the same at $1 for locals and $3 for non-residents, both refunded if the visitor leaves within 15 minutes.

Licensed guides operating scuba/snorkel tours will be allowed back to Hanauma Bay in February of this year, with monthly and daily permits available. Annual permits will resume in 2024.

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The monthly permit application deadline is the The day of the previous month of the request, unless that day is a weekend or holiday. For example, the January deadline is the Five monthly permits can be issued at a time.

For daily scuba/snorkel permits, January 27th is the first application date. Because these applications are accepted one week before his. At one time he can issue permits for four days.

Commercial activity within Hanauma Bay was restricted to the city’s concessionaire after the nature reserve reopened in December 2020. In March 2020, the pandemic began a nearly nine-month shutdown.

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All money raised by admission and parking fees goes directly to the operation of the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. For more information about the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, visit the official website at

A historically significant site for Native Hawaiian paddlers and a favorite fishing spot for some Hawaiian royalty, Hanauma Bay was designated the state’s first marine sanctuary in 1967.

Its popularity increased in the 1970s and 1980s, peaking at an estimated 10,000 daily visitor attendance. A management plan implemented in 1990 helped reduce this human impact by reducing visits, improving facilities, banning fish feeding, and educating Bay visitors. In 2019, his average daily attendance was about 3,000, and about 845,000 tourists and residents visited the nature reserve that year. Today, as the city continues to strive to balance the recreational and cultural needs of its communities with its mission of educating and preserving this natural treasure, the average daily attendance is more than that amount. It’s about half.

Additionally, the Honolulu Parks and Recreation Department is currently considering revisions to existing regulations governing commercial activity in urban parks across Oahu. DPR said he expects these rules to be ready for public debate by spring 2023.

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