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Molokai, Hawaii

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This is one of the least-developed islands. Often called "The Friendly Island", it's the real Hawaii, the old Hawaii. If you want breathtaking beauty, rainforests and deserted beaches, this is the place! If you’re looking for glitz and glamour you'll need to look elsewhere.

Kaunakakai, a sleepy little town, is the unofficial capital of Molokai. No building can be higher than a palm tree and there are no traffic lights. Its long wharf is where you can hire charter boats for fishing, snorkelling, whale watching as well as touring the canyons and steep cliffs. The commercial strip is a single block of tin-roofed buildings knocked together in the 1930s, but you will find everything there you need.

After sampling one of the local delicacies, a hot dog with the lot, Jason checked out his accommodation.

House rental

Aloha Ho'okipa Vacation House is the one to rent on Molokai. The comfortable beach house has three bedrooms, a bathroom, living room and complete kitchen and dining room. From the back veranda, you’ll find views of three islands, and between late December to late April you can see whales migrating.

It's on a very private white sandy beach on Molokai's east end and it has an ancient fish pond. Shallow water for around 100m takes you to great snorkelling and fishing and surfing can be found nearby.

There are lots of properties for rent. Check the website at

Halawa Valley

In 650 AD, Hawaii's original Polynesian settlers established themselves. For more than 1000 years, they grew taro, and the ruins of about 20 temples can be found in the valley, including two that were dedicated to human sacrifice.

The valley was abandoned after two tsunamis hit and 13m-high tidal waves destroyed everything. Very few people live there today but it is used for hiking and camping, swimming, surfing and fishing.

Halawa Falls Cultural Hikes

Josh and Darling Phillips have chosen to live in the valley with no running water, no electricity and no telephone reception. During their hikes, you see temples and historic sites and you can enjoy a swim at Moaula Falls. Beware: it's not like the warm waters of Waikiki. It's freezing!

An interesting legend is that a large lizard named Mo'o lives in the water and before you can swim, you have to drop a leaf on the surface. If it sinks, it means Mo'o doesn't want you in there. If it floats, in you go.

Next up: Kauai

Read ninemsn Travel's Insider's Guide to Hawaii


The Hawaiian island of Molokai.


Hawaiian Airlines has special Take a Mate fares to Honolulu. That's two tickets for the price of one.

Fares from:

  • Sydney $1352
  • Melbourne and Brisbane $1712
  • Adelaide $2032
  • Perth $2352

For sale and ticketing until August 17, 2009, for departures until September 24, 2009, between October 7, and December 16, 2009, and January 13 to March 31, 2010.

Terms and conditions apply. Connections to other islands are available.

Aloha beach house costs $240 a day or $1305 for a week. It accommodates up to six people and children are welcome. A five-day minimum stay is expected and a maximum of three weeks. There is a cleaning fee of $180.

Prices correct at August 13, 2009.

For further information

Hawaiian Airlines
Ph: 1300 669 106

Molokai House Rental

Halawa Falls Cultural Hikes
Ph: +1 808 213 5246

Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months validity after the departure date, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. From January 2009, Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at

Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz. Outlets take two-parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.

Time zone: Hawaii is GMT -10.

Currency: The American dollar.

International dialling code: +1.

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