Maunalua Bay is a bay in the southeast of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii. The bay extends about 6.3 miles (8.5 kilometers) from the southern tip of Diamond Head, the Black Point, also called Kupikipikio, in the west to Portlock Point, also known as Kwaihoa Point, in the east.
On the land side, just to the east of Diamond Head is the upmarket suburb of Kahala. Following are several affluent hillside suburbs like Loa Ridge, a gated community occupies an entire slope. In the east is the suburb of Hawaii Kai, built by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser after World War II. Hawaii Kai has a marina, shopping centers, including a Costco branch, and numerous restaurants such as the well-known Roy's and an offshoot of the Hawaiian brewery Kona Brewing Co.. On the headland leading to Koko Head is the suburb of Portlock, which belongs to Hawaii Kai.
The name Maunalua (from Mauna = mountain and elua = two, in the language of the Polynesian natives) refers to the designation of the area around Hawaii Kai in the period of Polynesian settlement. The mountains, located inland from Portlock Point, are the 645 feet (196 meters) high Koko Head and about 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) east thereof, close to Hanauma Bay the Koko Crater, the walls of which rise up to 1207 foot (368 meters).
According to legend, Maunalua was one of the first settlements, when around the 12th century the first people of Polynesia settled in Hawaii. They originally lived there from fishing and the cultivation of sweet potatoes.
Maunalua Bay Beach Park
The beach park was developed by Henry J. Kaiser during the development of Hawaii Kai Marina. Historically, the beach consisted of 535,000 square feet (49,703 sq. m) of coral that was dredged and removed creating a watercraft channel. Kaiser donated it to the City and County of Honolulu in 1960. Public access to the bay is easily made through the city and county beach park off of Kalanianaole Highway across from Hawaii Kai Drive.
Despite the tide height this bay and reef are always accessible to watercraft, standup paddlers and snorkelers. At low tide people can walk out on the sandbar, exploring the nearby reef. It is not uncommon to find moon jellies that got caught on the sand bar before the tide lowered.
Another scenic spot for tourists near Maunalua Bay, is Hanauma Bay, known for having clear waters and many native fishes, ideal for snorkeling and sightseeing.
Diamond Head with Kahala to the right, and the suburb Kaimuki (top)
Facing Koko Head
Facing Diamond Head
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