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2 Tank Ni’ihau (Forbidden Island)

Certified Divers Only - 6 passengers MAX!

  • Most Popular!
Certified Diver
Ride Along

Dive crystal clear desolate waters with stunning topography and large marine life. Big sharks, monk seals, rays, and large predatory fish are common sightings out here! Dive experience 15 or more dives. Free gear rental!

Why Dive Ni’ihau with Explore Kaua’i Scuba?

  • Closest harbor to Ni’ihau
  • Fast boat, 1 hour crossing (literally cut your travel time in half)
  • 6 divers or less (personalized attention)
  • Seasoned crew, operated by owners (Nick and Jessie)
  • We will have you home well before dinner

Our 2 tank Ni’ihau tour is by far our favorite tour. Visibility is usually 100’s of feet and you are likely to have up close encounters with the critically endangered and endemic Hawaiian Monk Seal! You can get close up encounters with multiple species of large sharks (sandbar, white tip reef, galapagos, grey, tiger). Also, bait balls getting hit by tunas and jacks is another common thing to see. We have the closest harbor and fastest travel time to Ni’ihau. Prepare yourself for a long day and bumpy ride. We will provide breakfast, lunch, water, fresh fruit and snacks.

On this tour we meet at 6:30 am at Kikiaoloa small boat harbor in Kekaha. It takes about an hour to cross to Ni’ihau and on the way there it is our favorite time to look for rare toothed whales like pilot and false killer whales. When we get to Ni’ihau a lot of people are surprised that we actually do most of our diving around Lehua Crater, an extinct tuff cone volcano and now a seabird sanctuary that is home to at least 16 different species of seabirds. We always try to dive Vertical Awarness first because this is one of the best sites Ni’ihau has to offer. It is a pinnacle that runs from 300 ft at the bottom to 45 at the top! Sharks, rays (manta, eagle), bait balls, and seals frequent the area. In between dives we serve lunch and do a tour of Lehua Crater pointing out all our favorite seabirds and showing off the beautiful “Keyhole”. We usually look for dolphins and manta rays as we do a mini tour around the Lehua crater. The 2nd dive is usually a wall dive (if current we drift) filled with beautiful schools of fish, sharks and seals! The ride home is anywhere from one hour to an hour and 45 minutes depending on weather.

We dive Ni’ihau year round. September through May it becomes more difficult to get the right conditions to dive it. If you book this tour be advised it may get rerouted to mana crack or south side local boat diving.


Frequently Asked Ni’ihau Questions

  • Do you have a head on board? Yes!
  • Is there shade? Yes we have a forward cab for shade and to avoid ocean spray
  • Can we do 3 tanks? Yes, if you book a private charter only (4 max)
  • Can we go on Ni’ihau or Lehua? No, it is forbidden, but we can explore below!
  • How rough will the boat ride be? On the way home it can be extremely rough, on a normal day it is not uncommon for the seas to be 8 plus feet! If you get seasick easily this may not be the tour for you. High recommendation to take your seasick medication the night before and the day off!