Moloka'i is 38 miles long and 10 miles wide. Consisting essentially of two distinct geographic zones, including the Eastern more mountaineous area, and its often remote and secluded beach areas, and the Western area which is lower includes more arid plains and coastal regions. Although Moloka'i is not a large island, you may need a vehicle to access the beaches you wish to see in person. The beaches here demonstrate a full range of water sports possibilities including swimmining, snorkeling, scuba, surfing and more.
Moloka'i's Amazing History and Development
Moloka'i will forever be remembered as the home of Father Damien de Vesteur and the Leprosy colony that inhabited the beautiful and rugged northern shores of Moloka'i in the latter 1800's. His compassion and Aloha Nui Loa example, has long been remembered, and he died from contracting leprosy here in 1889.
The colony lingered on for a while here, and now the cliffs above his colony are visited and enjoyed by countless thousands seeking the natural vista and perspective of this remarkable area in Hawai'i. The world's record height Moloka'i cliffs at there highest, tower over 3000' above the crashing northshore surf, and are as lovely as anything you can see anywhere on the earth you can see with your own two eyes.
Although Moloka'i residents have attempted to increase tourism to the Island, it still remains a very easy place to find solitude or an unexplored beach with no other people around. The lack of rainfall on the western plain in Moloka'i helps sustain crystal clear waters, and some super beach locations and fun diiscovery.
Vacation planning on Moloka'i is sligtly more expensive than the neighboring Hawaiian Islands due to the smaller crowds that visit. If you book early, and shop carefully though, you can save a bundle and you will be pleased with the reception you receive from the gracious people of Moloka'i.
Moloka'i Western Region
The low western half is very dry and the soil is heavily denuded due to grazing by goats and poor land management practices. It lacks significant ground cover and virtually the entire section is covered in non-native kiawe (Prosopis pallida) trees. One of the few natural areas remaining almost intact are the coastal dunes of Moʻomomi, which are part of a Nature Conservancy preserve.
Moloka'i Eastern Region
The eastern half of the island is a high plateau rising up to an elevation of 4,900 ft (1,500 m) on Kamakou peak and includes the 2,774 acres (11.23 km2; 4.334 sq mi) Molokai Forest Reserve. The eastern half is covered with lush wet forests that get over 300 in (7,600 mm) of rain per year. The high elevation forests are populated by native ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees and an extremely diverse endemic flora and fauna in the understory. Much of the summit area is protected by the Nature Conservancy's Kamakou and Pelekunu valley preserves. Below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), the vegetation is dominated by exotic flora, including strawberry guava, eucalyptus, and cypress. Introduced axis deer (Axis axis) and feral pigs (Sus scrofa) roam native forests, destroying native plants, expanding exotic plants through disturbance and distribution of their seeds, and threatening endemic insects. Near the summit of Kamakou is the unique Pepeʻopae bog, where dwarf ʻōhiʻa and other plants cover the soggy ground.
Moloka'i North Shore Region
Excellent large surf conditions in the winter months, and considerably milder summer months where scuba and snorkeling is poular.
Moloka'i South Shore Region
Known for year round excellent swimming, snorkeling and Scuba Diving opportunities. Excellent views of Lana'i and Maui Kaanapali Area).
• See the Super Beaches Moloka'i Itinerary Map