Scuba dive at the traditional and famous Black Rock in Maui

Black Rock is located on the northwest shore of Maui. It is a famous Hawaiian dive site that offers a unique underwater experience. 

Black Rock is particularly appealing for its accessibility, making it a favorite among both beginner and intermediate divers. With its rich marine life, including the resident Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, smaller white-tip reef sharks, and a coral reef that teems with diverse fish species. 

Black Rock_Maui

Black Rock Dive Site Brief

  • Maximum Depth: 30 feet (9 meters)
  • Visibility: 65+ feet (20+ meters)
  • Dive Time: 50–60 minutes
  • Required Certification Level: Open Water Diver
  • Current: Medium to strong
  • Type/Category of Dive Site: Reef and wall dive

About Black Rock dive site in Maui

Black Rock is also known as Pu’u Keka’a. It is located on the western shore of Maui, Hawaii, particularly in the Ka’anapali Beach area. 

Black Rock’s location at Ka’anapali Beach means it’s not just a dive site but also part of a larger resort area, with hotels, restaurants, and other amenities nearby. This makes it a convenient location for travelers looking to combine snorkeling or scuba diving in Maui with a comfortable vacation experience.

The rock itself is a significant cultural and historical landmark for Hawaiians, often associated with the belief that it’s the point where spirits leap into the afterlife.

At Black Rock, divers can explore a vibrant underwater world marked by a combination of a wall dive and a reef. The site is known for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a variety of fish species. Night dives unveil a different aspect of Black Rock, revealing nocturnal marine life like eels, lobsters, crabs, and occasionally reef sharks. 

The presence of strong currents also adds an element of drift diving for those seeking a bit of adventure.

The dive plan for Black Rock in Maui

For a dive plan at Black Rock, start by entering the water from the beach near the Sheraton Maui. The rock is visible from the surface, but normally, divers begin the dive exploring the coral reef close to shore. Here, you’ll likely encounter Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a variety of tropical fish. 

As you move along the wall, keep an eye out for the colorful coral formations. Make sure to take your time and look under the rocks. 

We found two baby white tip sharks (normally your guide knows the spots as the sharks usually rest at the same spot.)

baby white-tip reef shark at black rock in maui

However, a better spot to dive with white-tip reef sharks is Mala Wharf – often these two dive sites are combined in a two-tank dive. At least, that’s what we did.

When the currents are stronger, this dive is usually a drift dive. However, as it is a shore dive, you need to make your way back to the entry point.

Even with the currents, that dive is not challenging, and you can enjoy up to 60 minutes underwater. The depth is very shallow, with a maximum of about 30 feet (9 meters).

Night divers should focus on spotting nocturnal marine life such as eels, lobsters, and crabs.

Special note for the Black Rock dive site

One special note about diving at Black Rock is the opportunity to witness the ceremonial cliff diving on evenings at sunset. This tradition, rooted in Hawaiian culture, adds a unique cultural experience to your dive trip. Additionally, due to its popularity and accessibility, Black Rock can become quite busy, so consider diving early in the morning or later in the afternoon for a more serene experience.

FAQs about scuba diving at Black Rock

Do I need to be certified to dive at Black Rock? 

Divers need to obtain the Open Water certification to scuba dive at Black Rock in Maui, Hawaii.

What is the best time to dive at Black Rock? 

Black Rock in Maui can be dived all year round. The best time of the day is early morning or late afternoon. During that time, divers avoid crowds and enjoy a more serene diving experience. Another great time is just after sunset.

Is night diving available at Black Rock? 

Black Rock in Maui, Hawaii is a famous dive site for night diving. Its easy access from the shore makes it popular for operators to conduct night dives here. 

Can you snorkel Black Rock in Maui?

Black Rock in Maui is a great location for snorkeling and scuba diving alike. Of course, I might be biased, but scuba diving offers so much more – for example, you could find baby sharks resting under rocks.

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