Kalaupapa Beach
Papohaku Beach

Molokai "Hawaiian by Nature"


Molokai “Hawaiian by nature,“ the island of Molokai remains true to its island roots. There are no traffic lights—just aloha—in the harbor town of Kaunakakai, where fisherman haul in their daily catch and farmers showcase fresh-picked produce from neighboring fields. Quiet your spirit and you’ll feel the mana (power) that protects the island, from an area near Maunaloa said to be the birthplace of hula to the indescribable beauty of Halawa Valley. Or, descend 1,700 feet on a surefooted mule to the remote settlement of Kalaupapa and change your perspective forever.

Imagine the Hawaii of the past. Unspoiled country and untouched beaches. No skyscrapers or stoplights. The chance to truly live as the locals do. That’s Molokai today.

Hawaii’s fifth-largest island, Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point. Molokai is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world along its northeast coast (3,600-3,900 feet) and Hawaii’s longest continuous fringing reef (28 miles) off Molokai’s southern coast. On foot, by bike or by 4-wheel drive, this is an island of outdoor adventure. Take the road less traveled and get red dirt in your shoes whether you’re hiking along the 1,700 foot cliffs leading to Kalaupapa National Historical Park or discovering Papohaku Beach, one of Hawaii’s biggest white sand beaches.

With a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry, Molokai is place where Hawaiian culture thrives. The people of Molokai continue to preserve their rural lifestyle thanks to their love of the land, or aloha aina, and you can feel this aloha from small town Kaunakakai to sacred Halawa Valley. Hawaii’s past comes alive on Molokai.



Lanai Travel Planner in the Maui 2018

Molokai Planner

Molokai Video

Molokai Video

Molokai Map

Molokai Map


Molokai Island Highlights

Ali‘i Fishponds
Moloka‘i has many well
preserved examples of
fishponds, the oldest dating
back to the early 13th century.
You’ll find the most extensive
examples of their ingenuity
along Moloka‘i’s southern shore. Two of the fishponds have been designated National Historical Landmarks, Keawanui and ‘Ualapu‘e.

Camping on Molokai
For camping information and
permits for Papohaku Beach
Park and One Ali‘i Beach Park,
contact: City & County Parks
Department, 808-553-3204.
For Pala‘au State Park, contact:
Maui Division of State Parks at

Church Row
Alongside Route 460—about
three miles southwest of the
airport—is a row of churches,
all of different denominations.
Examine their unique
architecture, which dates back
to the late 18th century.

Fishing Molokai
Cast off from Kaunakakai pier,
the longest wharf in Hawai‘i.
Experienced fishermen will love
the thrills of deep-sea, biggame
fishing in Moloka‘i’s fertile
waters, but first-timers will also
be in for some fun as Moloka‘i
boat captains help you with

Halawa Valley
Hikers are astounded by
Halawa’s rich flora and beautiful
vistas. At the end of the trail is
the impressive, double-tiered 
250-foot Mo‘oula Falls, a perfect place to rest and have lunch. The hike is fairly vigorous and the only way to explore the area is with a guide, as the trail crosses private property.

Ironwood Hills Golf Club
Unique nine-hole course in
Kualapu‘u offers play set
amidst the Island’s rugged,
natural beauty.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park
This peaceful national park is
a place of preservation and
education, and is accessible by
air, foot or mule by reservations
only. You’ll be greeted by a
tour guide and learn about the
history of this remarkable town.
You’ll also learn about Saint
Damien, the Belgian priest
who courageously served the
colony. Guided tours Monday to
Saturday (closed Sunday).

Kamakou Preserve
Kamakou Preserve is a 3,000-
acre mountain forest that’s
home to endangered native
plants and rare birds. See more
than 200 rare plants that can
only be found in Kamakou. For
more information, contact the
Nature Conservancy at

Kamehameha V House
On the western side of the
Kaunakakai Wharf are the
stone foundations of the
Kamehameha V house,
known as Malamalama.

Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park
The Hawaiian coconut grove
here was planted in the
1860s during the reign of King
Kamehameha V. This is an
amazing spot for a spectacular
sunset view.

Kaunakakai’s long wharf forms
the Island’s main harbor,
where you’ll find charter boats
for fishing, snorkeling and
whale watching. Kaunakakai
has a little bit of everything,
including groceries, hardware,
a pharmacy, a gourmet wine
and spirits shop, an art gallery,
a gift shop and the Kanemitsu
Bakery, whose bread is worldfamous.

Papohaku Beach Park
Want some space for your
beach towel? Moloka‘i’s
Papohaku Beach is one of
Hawai‘i’s largest white-sand
beaches, so there’s plenty of
room to spread out and enjoy
the ambience. You’ll also find a
grassy park for picnicking and
Saint Damien
In 1873, Saint Damien
dedicated himself to the
Hansen’s disease (leprosy)
patients who were quarantined
for life in Kalaupapa. He helped
build houses, an orphanage
and church while organizing
religious associations, a
children’s band and choir.
Saint Damien’s influence is felt
throughout Moloka‘i where he
built several churches. Two
of these churches remain, St.
Joseph of Kamalo and Our Lady
of Seven Sorrows of Kalua‘aha,
which hosts weekly Sunday

Shoreline Whale Watching
The shallow waters of the
Au‘au Channel between
Moloka‘i, Maui and Lana‘i
offer some of the best whale
watching in the world. You can
charter sightseeing boats out of
Kaunakakai Harbor. On land,
keep your eyes open on the
beaches along Moloka‘i’s
south shore.

• Kalaupapa Overlook (north)
• Kaunakakai (south)
• Kumimi Beach (east)
• Papohaku Beach (west)

You can also spot whales on
the ferry between Kaunakakai
Harbor and Lahaina Harbor
in Maui during whale season
(December through May). Ferry
service on the Moloka‘i Princess
crosses the channel twice a day,
once in the morning, once in
the late afternoon. Travel time is
approximately 90 minutes.

Snorkeling & Diving
Moloka‘i’s southern shore
is home to Hawai‘i’s longest
continuous fringing reef. Full of
natural coral and reef fish, this is
a fantastic place for snorkeling
and scuba diving when the
waters are calm. Arrangements
can be made through the
activities desk in Kaunakakai.

 Hawaii Tourism Authority
©  Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)