Aloha kakou! This is Moloka‘i.

The fifth largest island of Hawaii


Moloka'i, is 61 km long and 16 km wide, which makes a total area of 673 kmÂČ.

A roundtrip of the island is about 75 kilometres. This trip is possible within a day. If you prefer to drive with a mountain bike or explore on foot, you should be very fit or divide the trip into segments.

The shape of the island is often compared to a shoe or a fish, although we think the fish fits a little better! From the west shore of Moloka'i's you can see the lights of Honoluluthe main city of the neighbouring city O'ahu The other neighbouring islands, Lana'i. and Maui are always visible from the south coast.

Molokai's stunning coastline
Molokai's stunning coastline

On Moloka'i, a legend says that you will find the birthplace of the Hula goddess Laka.In her honour, the residents celebrate the Ka Hula Piko Festivalevery year. They are celebrating the birth of hula, the traditional Hawaiian dance that tells a story in its movements.

On the northeastern coast, the highest cliffs are located and on the South coast the most extended coral reef in the world.In addition to that, Papohaku Beach,one of the largest white sandy beaches on the whole of Hawaiiis located there as well. Moloka'i, is often called the most "Hawaiian" island because much of it is still untouched and there is not as much tourism here as in the rest of the Hawaiian archipelago.

On the island, there are neither very high buildings nor traffic lights and only a few hotels. However, the pacific island paradise enchants its visitors with plenty of Aloha Spirit.

Most of the residents are of Hawaiian descent and live in peace and serenity. On Moloka'i, you can really escape the hustle and bustle and stress of everyday life. You feel completely transported back in time there.

Where in the world are there still road regulations without a single traffic light? Everything seems to run slower and more relaxed here, there are only small villages, no big cities and a beautiful landscape with fabulous cliffs.

The beauty of untamed nature has been left as it is and the population radiates a comforting and very happy atmosphere of peace and balance. Moloka'i, feels like a trip back in time to the good old days for many vacationers.

Those looking for active nightlife will hardly find it on Moloka'i, Nevertheless, there are a few bars that regularly offer live Hawaiian music, such as the Paddlers’ Inn or the Hiro’s Ohana Grill in Kanaukakai in the South of the island. This is where islanders and visitors meet. 

You can reach Moloka'i, by plane that arrives at the Moloka‘i Airport (MKK) in Ho’olehua, or you can travel with the Moloka'i-Maui ferry.It operates twice daily between Moloka'i and the neighbouring island Maui. It leaves from the Lahaina-Harbour as well as from Kaunakakai on Moloka'i,. The trip by ferry from Lahaina in Maui takes about 90 minutes. Island hopping is thus quite easy. 

The nickname of the Pacific island is "The Friendly Island". Why? Visit Moloka'i, and find out yourself or contact us 🙂

The history of Molokai

St. Joseph's Church - Zufluchtsort fĂŒr damalige Leprakranke
St. Joseph's Church - refuge for lepers of that time

Moloka'i, was created by two volcanoes - East Moloka'i and the smaller one West Moloka'i.The highest point, Mauna Kamakouis located at an altitude of 1,510 meters and is situated on East Moloka‘i. In the year 650, the island was settled for the first time by inhabitants of the Marquesas islands.

Later, immigrants from Tahiti and other countries in the South Pacific arrived. Even though James Cook Moloka'i already in 1778, George Dixon was the first European sailor to step foot on the island in 1786. Kamehameha I. Moloka'i in a brutal battle. Later, the islanders had to work hard for the king, cutting sandalwood forests and transporting the wood on ships.

In the late 19th century, King Kamehameha I. build a vacation domicile on "The Friendly Island" and had more than 1,000 coconut palms planted in the Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove . The Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park is located across from the Church Row and is one of the most famous monuments of the paradise. Access to the beach is not possible since the coconut trees are privately owned. From Mauna Loa Highway you still have a lovely view. 

In 1866, the village Kalawao on the isolated peninsula Kalaupapa turned into a quarantine station for leprosy. Leprosy was considered highly contagious and incurable and the fear of the disease was great. To contain it, it was decided to isolate infected people from the rest of the world in a kind of leprosy station.

Kalaupapa was difficult to access which made it ideal since there were no escape possibilities. The area is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides and over land, you would have to climb over the massive rock formation which is a good 600 meters high. Therefore, the peninsula also has a very sad past.Old buildings from that time still remind us of the former leprosy colonies. A few people still live in the historic village Kalawaowith its tragic past.

The Belgian missionary Pater Damian de Veuster, also called Father Damien, used to take care of the from the rest of Moloka'is hard-to-reach area to help the leprosy-infected outcasts in Kalawao. The missionary was sainted in 2009 and to this day, he is still remembered and honoured by the locals on Moloka'i .

Surfing is a national sport on Hawaii and Moloka'i  has an important historical background, as the surfing legend Eddie Aikau,the first lifeguard on O’ahus Noth Shore and legendary Big Wave Surfer, disappeared during a sailing trip on the west coast of Moloka'i,Right between the Diamond Head (O'ahu's highest volcano) and Ho‘okipa,a popular surf spot on Maui, north coast, the second strongest current in the world is located: the Moloka’i Express. The ship capsized in the Express. Eddie wanted to get help and paddled away with his surfboard. He was seen throwing away his life jacket after some time, as it hindered him from paddling. Eddie has never been seen again and the crew of the boat was rescued. The demise of the surfing legend Aikau remains unexplained to this day.

Moloka'i, is in comparison to O'ahu and the other islands not popular for surfing, however, you can still surf here. 

The west coast of Moloka'i, is best for surfing in winter but only for experienced surfers. There is the Kepuhi Beach for example. The beaches around the Hale O Lono Harbour are also popular spots to catch a few waves. For surfing beginners, the Waialua Beach on Moloka'i's east coast is the only recommended beach.

Beaches and parks on Molokai

As the probably most pristine and untouched island of Hawaii, Moloka'i, has a lot to offer in terms of parks and beaches. Here is just a small selection:

  • Halawa Valley waterfall
    Halawa Valley waterfall

    The Kalaupapa Lookout and the Pala'au State Park offer breathtaking views over the north coast of Moloka'iHere, you can see high cliffs and the peninsula Kalaupapa no matter from which place.

  • It is generally believed that Polynesians settled in Halawa Valley as early as 650 AD. Here, you can embark on a breathtaking hike in one of the oldest areas of Hawaii. Halawa Valley is located about an hour and a half from Molokai Airport. On the way, you pass many beaches and fishing ponds.

  • Kalaupapa National Historical Park is one of the most remote areas of Hawaii. However, you can't go to Kalaupapa by car - you can reach this beautiful peninsula only by plane, on a hike or by mule.

  • Papohaku Beach is the longest white sand beach in all of Hawaii. It is three miles long, which earned it its nickname "Three Mile Beach." Papohaku is often deserted, and there is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. If you look across the Kaiwi Channel, you can catch a glimpse of Oahu.

  • Kapukahehu Beach is a crescent-shaped beach in a small bay. This beach is particularly popular with both residents and tourists and safe swimming is almost always possible here.

  • Pohaku Mauliuli Beach is a wonderful place for a trip in summer because, during this time, swimming is the safest. Keawe trees provide pleasant shade on hot days.

  • One Ali'i Park offers a long, shallow beach with soft sand. This beach is especially suitable for small children and is equipped with showers, a pavilion and fresh water.

  • Kakahai'a Beach Park offers an inviting picnic area and swimming is available year-round. Kumimi or Murphy Beach is the most popular place for snorkelling on Molokai. The sand has a beautiful golden colour and the calm water invites you for a swim. Sandy Beach has very fine white sand and the beach itself is crescent-shaped.

Sightseeing and shopping on Molokai

The Moloka‘i Museum and Cultural Center in Kualapu‘u offers information about Moloka'i The Molokai Museum and Cultural Center in Kualapuu offers information about Molokai and the history of leprosy. More information about hikes, tours and rides with mules can be obtained here.

Coconut palm on Molokai
Coconut palm on Molokai

The Phallic Rock (Ka ule o Nanahoa)in the Pala'au State Park is located at the foot of the Nananhoa Hill.The Phallic Rock is a rock almost two meters high in the shape of a phallus. For many generations, women have offered sacrifices to this rock to pray for fertility.

A beautiful forest of ironwood trees surrounds this area, giving it an aura of peace and serenity. The already mentioned Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park is located in Kaunakakai.

Here, you'll find the Coconut Grovewhich was planted in the 1860s by King Kamehameha and is still home to many coconut palms today. This area is wonderful for viewing one of the last coconut groves in Hawaii at sunset.

On Moloka'i, in the centrally located city Kaunakakai there are no traffic lights, which takes visitors back to a time that is simpler and has not changed much since the early 20th century. In this charming city, known for its Paniolos, the Hawaiian cowboys, is the location of the main port of Moloka'i.

If you walk on the pier of the Kaunakakai Harbor, you can watch the local fishermen fishing for their dinner. The main street of Kaunakakaithe Ala Malama Avenue,was named after the holiday home of King Kamehameha V .

Here, you can find a lot of shops and boutiques such as Imamura’s Store, Pascua’s General Store or Kalele Bookstorewhere there is free coffee, information for tourists and WiFi. Every Saturday, there is a market where you can spend the whole day.

Activities on Molokai

Molokai is great for whale watching
Molokai is great for whale watching

Although many beautiful beaches and bays invite you to relax, the island also has a lot to offer for those travellers who wish to be active during their stay on Moloka'i If you want to play golf on the friendly island, you should visit the Ironwood Hills Golf Course. It is very relaxed here and no one pays attention to how many strokes it takes to hole the ball. Ironwood Hills Golf Course is located far above sea level which allows you to see lanai from some holes. Along with surfing, golf is a popular sport among Hawaiians. However, this golf course is the only one on the island. In terms of golf, the neighbouring islands Maui, Lana'i. and O'ahu offer a larger choice of different golf courses.

Between December and Mai, many humpback whales migrate around the waters of Hawaii. They swim 3000 miles from Alaska to Hawaii to birth and raise their offspring. If you travel to Moloka'iduring this time, you can be accompanied by experts to beaches from where you can watch the whales best. If you are on one of the islands in winter, you should not miss whale watching. 

On Purdy’s Nut Farm in Ho’olehua, you can learn how macadamia nuts grow and crack and enjoy a few nuts yourself. The coffee of Hawaii Coffee Plantage,which is more than 2000 m large, offers tours and is definitely worth a visit. You can also look at the Hoolehua Post Office - it costs only the postage home!

Food and catering on Molokai

Enjoy exotic fruits on Molokai
Enjoy exotic fruits on Molokai

Like on the rest of the Hawaiian islands, you will also find a diversity of typical Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes on Moloka'i .

In the famous Kanemitsu’s Bakery, many locals and visitors queue up to buy freshly baked bread every day. For all travellers on Moloka'i it is a must to try bread spread with jam, butter, cream cheese or cinnamon in this bakery.

The Moloka‘i Pizza CafĂ© is also worth a visit. There is fresh pizza, sandwiches and a wide selection of traditional Hawaiian dishes. In the Hula Shores, a restaurant that belongs to the Aqua Hotel Moloka‘i, Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes are served open air.

The Hula Shores is the only restaurant on Moloka'iwhere freshly tapped beer is available.

Statistics and interesting facts about Molokai

Miles of hikes invite you to hike
Miles of hikes invite you to hike

The average number of visitors to Moloka'i are roughly 1000 travellers per day.

The average temperature is 23.8 degrees. There is a water reservoir that contains 5.3 million litres and is considered the largest reservoir of its kind in the world.

Moloka'i, is located roughly 137 meters above sea level and its highest point is the Mauna Kamakou with 1510 meters in height. Moloka'i, is the 5th largest island on Hawaii and the 27th largest island in the USA. About 7345 people live in an area of 673.45 kmÂČ.

The people of Molokai

The roughly 8000 inhabitants Molokai embody the Aloha Spirit with their serenity and calm charisma daily. Moloka'i has the largest percentage of Native Hawaiian and Polynesian people on any island in Hawaii. The majority of the population on Molokai lives from tourism or growing fruit and vegetables.

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