Just a short twenty-minute flight from Honolulu, the island of Moloka`i is a sharp contrast to the bustling streets, city lights and busy attractions of Honolulu. Like a time machine, Moloka`i, known as Hawaii's friendly island, takes visitors back in time to a day when the islands were empty, peaceful and undeveloped. While Maui and the glowing city lights of Honolulu can be seen from the coast of Moloka`i, it feels far away as the peace and serenity of Moloka`i's untouched valleys and beaches dominates everything else.
Mo`aula Falls in Halawa — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
After landing at the Moloka`i Airport, take the rental car straight to Halawa Valley for an hour or so spent on the beach and by the river. The views along the winding drive down look to a cascading double waterfall and deep valleys along the ocean. After enjoying the peace of the valley, head back east for lunch in Kaunakakai. Along the drive you'll see amazing vistas, small black sand beaches, the shores of Maui and Lanai and waterfalls high in the interior lush mountains.
Halawa's beach — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
From there take a cruise up to the Kalaupapa Lookout where you'll get a peek down into the community that has been housing those with Hansen's Disease for generations. Read the plaques and learn the history of Moloka`i's most well-known community.
Undeveloped Moloka`i — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
After that, make a stop at Moloka`i Plumerias, a fully functioning family run plumeria farm. Pick the fragrant flowers and make a lei, take photos and learn about lei-making. From there it's back to the airport for the short ride in the tiny plane back to Oahu. It's an off-island day trip that will leave you with lasting memories unique to the rest of the islands.