Attractions and Activities
Interesting and beautiful natural environments are standard on all islands in Hawaii, and Molokai is no exception. High cliffs, deep valleys, rain forest, dunes, waterfalls, and long beaches aren't hard to find here.
The beautiful Halawa Valley is located down a winding road at the east end of Route 450. There's a beach and two major waterfalls: Moa'ula and Hipuapua. Beware that parts of the valley are private land. Some of the adventure companies listed below can escort you at least to Moa'ula.
Mo'omomi Preserve protects the interesting dune ecosystem on the island's north coast. The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii offers a monthly guided hike through the area. email@example.com
The Kamakou Preserve protects a rain forest habitat with a good number of native species in the highest terrain of the island. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary to travel the road along the ridgetop of eastern Molokai. There are views down the island's northeast coast and an interesting pit in the shape of a ship's hold where sandalwood cutters used to measure their timbers. This is another area where the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii conducts a monthly guided hike. firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Moku Ho'oniki island is located off Molokai's southeast shore. Like another island off Maui's coast, Kahoolawe, Moku Ho'oniki was used as a bombing range during World War II.
Purdy's Nut Farm: Visit a macadamia nut farm! Open to visitors Monday through Friday from 9:30 A.M.–2 P.M. 567-6601
Moloka'i Plumerias: This nursery raises more of the beautiful plumeria flowers than anyone else in Hawaii. A nice tour can be arranged on weekdays by calling 553-3391.
Of Historical and Cultural Interest
From fishponds and old agricultural terraces to old churches and sugar mills, remnants of Molokai's ancient and more recent history can be found here and there. Here are a few suggested sites.
A trip heading east down the Kamehameha V Highway (Route 450) toward Halawa Valley will go past a large number of the ancient fishponds for which Molokai is especially noted. The big Ali'i Pond is found on the coast just east of Kaunakakai.
Historical Hikes West Moloka'i offer a variety of hikes to sites of historical, cultural, and natural interest. The hikes range in length and difficulty from easy to advanced. They are based out of the town of Maunaloa. www.molokaialoha.com
The Kalaupapa National Historical Park is the site of the famous leper colony. It is visible from Pala'au State Park at the end of Hwy. 470, but the only way to visit is by escorted tour, conducted by Damien Tours (www.muleride.com
Moloka'i Museum and Cultural Center and R.W. Meyer Sugar Mill Museum are located off Route 470. The museum features a restored sugar mill and exhibits illustrating plantation life. The museum and center are open every day but Sunday from 10 A.M.–2 P.M. Adult admission is $2. 567-6436
There are several interesting churches of varying age on Molokai:
Kalua'aha Church is on the site of the 1844 first missionary outpost. Its ruins can be seen near mile marker 14 on Route 450.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church was built by Father Damien in 1874. It's close to the Kalua'aha Church.
St. Joseph's Church was built by Father Damien in 1876. It's located near mile marker 11 on Route 450.
There are also a number of churches in current use to be found along “Church Row” in Kaunakakai.
When Father Damien died in 1889, he was buried at Kalaupapa, but in 1936 his body was returned to his home country of Belgium. His right hand was later returned to his beloved island home. When Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1995, the good father became just one step away from being declared a saint, a title that most would agree is richly deserved.