A One Day Trip While Visiting Maui – A Cruise to Molokai

Visiting the Island of Maui and looking for a one day adventure . . . possibly wanting to experience the waters, maybe go for a cruise?

Molokai is not that far away, and is known as the most “HawaiianĂ“ Island. There is an adventure waiting for you. Board the Molokai ferry for an hour and a half cruise to the beautiful Island of Molokai. The Cruise ship has open air decks as well as air conditioned inside areas.

You can rent a car for the day-we can get you a good rate on your rental car. When you arrive on the ferry, you will proceed by taxi to the car rental location at the airport.

Molokai has a lot of history dating back to about 650 AD when the Island was first know to be inhabited. This island is shaped like a fish, complete with a dorsal fin located on Molokai’s north shore. This area is known as the Makanalua Peninsula. About 10 square miles in diameter, this peninsula is divided into three separate districts: Kalawao to the east, Kalaupapa to the west, and Makanalua in the middle.

Because of the difficulty in getting there, as it is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and separated from the rest of Molokai by shear cliffs, this area became a somewhat ideal location for a leper colony establish in the 1860’s, and is accessible only by mule, or on foot, with a small airstrip used to transport in needed supplies. Other supplies are delivered by barge from Oahu.

A Catholic missionary priest from Belgium names Father Damien deVeuster served the lepers here from age 33 until his death from leprosy in 1889.

The Molokai Mule Ride is the the most popular attraction on Molokai. The gentle, trained mules will transport you roundtrip down the 1,700-foot trail negotiating the hairpin switchbacks on the trail. Each direction takes about 90 minutes. Included with the tour is a 2-hour tour of the Kalaupapa leper colony. Minimum age for visitors is 16 years.

The Pala’au State Park and Kalaupapa Overlook – located at the end of Highway 470, this park overlooks the Kalaupapa Peninsula. A couple minutes walk from the parking lot to the overlook area. Here you can view the entire peninsula.

Saint Damien Church, Molokai – formerly known as Saint Joseph’s Church or Father Damien Church, is located in Kamalo on Molokai’s south shore. This is where St. Damien served and nurtured his ministry. Later, he contracted the disease himself and passed away in 1889. Father Damien had built four churches on Molokai, two of which are still standing today, the other being St Joseph Church in Kamalo, which has a statue of St. Damien which can be adorned with flower leis at times in his honor. Although the door to the church is usually closed, it is not locked, so visitors can peek inside as well. This particular church is listed on the National register of Historic Places.

Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm is located two miles west of Kualapu’u, on Lihi Pali Avenue, above the high school. This five-acre, all natural, 70-year old, macadamia nut farm is located on Hawaiian homestead land. The Purdys will personally take you on a tour and tell you everything you wanted to know about the macadamia nut. The tour will provide hands-on demonstrations on how to crack this extremely hard nut complete with samples of nuts, macadamia honey, and other nut products.

Coffees of Hawaii. A 500 acre plantation and mill in the village of Kualapu’u is the only source of 100% Moloka’i coffee.

Kaunakakai is the main city on Molokai. Located only minutes from the airport off of Highway 450, this “city” is only about three blocks in size. The restaurants, shops, tourist information, and grocery stores are off the main street of Ala Malama. There are no traffic lights on Molokai. The town closes up early so do any shopping before the dinner hour. Many of the buildings in the town are original structures.

At the end of the day, you can return you car and taxi back to the harbor to catch your return ferry to Maui.

If you are renting a car on Maui, you can just park for the day near the ferry dock, and return to your vehicle at the end of your amazing day.