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No reservation required for kama‘āina entry into Hanauma Bay beginning July

No reservation required for kama‘āina entry into Hanauma Bay beginning July

Increased staffing allowing for reservation-free, kama‘āina access during all open hours

O‘AHU – Beginning Saturday, July 1, 2023 Hawai‘i residents (kama‘āina) can enjoy free, no-reservation-required access into the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (HBAY) during regular hours of operation at this popular natural attraction.

Previously, kama‘āina were allowed entry into HBAY without a reservation until 9 a.m., then were either required to get a walk-in ticket or reserve online using the system. Now all Hawai‘i residents with valid photo identification (such as a HI driver’s license or school ID) can enter the nature preserve from 6:45 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, without a reservation or walk-in ticket. HBAY closes at 4 p.m., with the beach cleared a half hour prior, and is closed all day Mondays and Tuesdays.

“We were pleased to see the recent attendance numbers for Hanauma Bay showing an uptick in kama‘āina visiting the preserve,” said Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Director Laura H. Thielen. “Since the launch of the online reservation system in April 2021 we have tried different methods of attracting locals back to Hanauma Bay, including testing out this no-reservation idea in summer 2021. While the idea was popular, we still needed additional staffing to accommodate the increase in visitors not using the online system. Now that we have these folks hired, we hope this policy can remain permanent.”

Fees and reservations for non-Hawai‘i residents remain unchanged. Active duty-military still get in for free (with proper ID), but need a reservation.

While an additional influx of kama‘āina visiting the nature preserve is expected, parking within Hanauma Bay remains limited to approximately 280 public stalls. All visitors, regardless of residency, are required to watch the education and safety video prior to descending to the nature preserve’s beach. For more information about the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and how to visit the location, visit the official website at

A historically significant location for Native Hawaiians paddlers, and a favorite fishing location for some Hawaiian Royalty, Hanauma Bay was designated the state’s first Marine Life Conservation District in 1967.

Its popularity grew in the 1970’s and 1980’s when visitor attendance peaked at an estimated 10,000 people a day. A management plan implemented in 1990 helped to mitigate this human impact by: reducing visitation, improving facilities, banning the feeding of fish, and educating bay visitors. In 2019, average daily attendance was almost 3,000 people, with nearly 845,000 tourists and residents visiting the nature preserve that year. Today, average daily attendance is roughly half of that amount as the City continues to work towards balancing the recreational and cultural needs of the community with the education and preservation mandates of this natural treasure.

To request auxiliary aids or services, accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email at least three business days before the scheduled event. Please note that we may not be able to fulfill requests without sufficient advance notice.

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