Exploring Moku Nui
The famous Mokulua Islands are the gems of Kailua Bay, located on the eastern or Windward side of Oahu. These two
compact islands are almost always pictured in articles extolling the beauty of nearby Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach, winners of many "Best Beaches" awards. About ½ an hour from Waikiki, this is a fantastic day trip for viewing nature and experiencing some of the laid back Hawaii lifestyle.
The Mokulua Islands are comprised of Moku Nui (North Mokolua) and Moku Iki (South Mokolua). Both islands are state seabird
sanctuaries, and the public is only allowed access to Moku Nui during daylight hours. For the directionally challenged like me, Moku Nui is the larger double humped island on the left when viewed from Lanikai. Moku Nui can be reached easily by kayak (see Kayaking in Kailua Bay
) or boat, and some hardy souls may even paddleboard or swim.
The landing beach on Moku Nui is small but very pleasant. Don't be surprised if you have the whole beach to yourself before 10:30 or 11. Spend some time lounging on the beach enjoying the view of the bay and jealously covet the Lanikai beach homes. If the waves are calm and the tide is not too high, you can walk around the back of the island to a wonderful sea pool. Check the tide
(Read more Exploring Moku Nui below...)
Hiking the Mokuluas
¾ mile off of Lanikai
daily, sunrise to sunset
Check the tide
before you go.
Start by climbing up the path worn in the embankment next to the big seabird sanctuary sign at the back of the beach. The dirt path is relatively worn and easy to see, just walk to your left, being careful not to disturb the strangely docile birds or stray over the protective ropes. You may notice a lot of stray eggs that have 'rolled' out of the little burrows dug into the hillside. I think there are several species of birds that compete for the limited burrows, and the more aggressive birds kick out the eggs of the other birds when their breeding seasons overlap, but I am no bird expert. See what the experts at Wikipedia say (Wedge-tailed Shearwater
, Bulwer's Petrel
The dirt path will end and you will be walking on rocks and lava. Keep walking along the lava of the western edge of the island and round the northern tip. You will reach a point where it may not be very clear how to continue. So long as the waves are not too big, you can easily shimmy around this obstacle with your okole (butt) sliding over rock formation. Do not attempt this if the waves are crashing high enough to reach you, even if you think you can time it to cross during a lull in the waves. Continue around a short way until you are about half way around the island, and you will see a little channel separating a rock formation from the rest of the island. Right in the nook of the elbow shaped channel is a marvelous sea pool.
The pool enjoys a mild surge when the waves come rushing in from the seaside of the elbow. Step in from the relatively smooth shelf bask in the cool water. Braver folks can climb up the rocks and jump in at the high point of the surging waves. Fun stuff. To return to the beach, just reverse your steps. I do not recommend continuing around to circle the island.
Dan's Hawaii Tip
The lava rocks encountered during the walk are very sharp in certain areas and can wreak havoc on tender feet. It is preferable to bring reef walkers, sports sandals or water shoes, but tennis shoes that you don't mind soaking will also work and slippers or flip flops are better than nothing.
9/24/2012 9:08:23 PMThe rock on these island and anywhere else on Oahu is not actually lava rock with exception to the cliffs. It is limestone from an era where sea level was higher and coral reefs and other organisms lived and died and formed these limestone flats. Although it is black sometimes dont mistake it for basaltic lava rock.
8/31/2012 1:46:30 PMI just returned from Hawaii and made the very same hike that the author is describing. It cannot be stressed enough as to how careful you must be when hiking around to that surreal looking pool. If you fall in there is no one to save you and the sea will pound you against the sides of the rock until you are nothing more than a piece of floating debri. It was late afternoon and we spotted a tiger shark on the far side of the oceans entrance into that pool and decided against swimming in it, still well worth the effort if just to marvel at it.
3/27/2012 7:43:17 AMI made these islands and my name is miki
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