Molokai Day Trip--Need your recommendations

Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:39 PM
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Molokai Day Trip--Need your recommendations

I will be taking a trip to Maui at the end of April and have decided to do a day trip to Molokai while I am there. I will take the ferry over in the early morning from Lahaina. The ferry provider offers three packages along with the boat ride: a car rental for exploration on one's own, a guided tour (on a van) of the island, and a hike down to the Kalaupapa Leprosy settlement (with air shuttle out.)

I'm usually game for a good hike, but would going to the settlement mean I'm missing out on other interesting things/sights? Normally I'm not one for guided tours, but perhaps this day trip warrants an exception? If I take the car rental option, what can reasonably be accomplished in six hours? For sure I would want to make it to the Kalaupapa overlook and Palaau State Park, as well as explore Kaunakakai town. Would there also be time to go to Halawa? And/or the western side of the island?

Has anyone done any of these three options? Pros? Cons? Please share your experiences.

P.S. I've ruled out the mule ride.

Thanks!
jayinla is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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I have done the hike into Kaluapapa and would highly recommend it. It is a beautiful trail so take your camera. It is recommended that you start at least a half hour before the mules (you obviously wouldn't want to be behind them). The tour itself is amazing and emotional. I flew out and my husband hiked out (I knew I was good only for one way as it's very steep). We spent a week in the island and it's very relaxing, but not much to do other than this wonderful experience. We mostly enjoyed the peace and quiet of this gem of an island. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 25th, 2003, 08:06 PM
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I've also spent a week on the island and there isnt much to do which for me was the charm. But Kalaupapa should not be missed. It is a truly fantastic journey for the body, mind and your soul. The lepers themselves give you the tour and to hear their stories and experiences is heart wrenching. There is a real feeling of energy there ...dont miss it. We flew in from topside.....cause I had my mom and younger boys.....but from the air you can really appreciate how the lava flowed to make that little special ledge. Our day and tour of Kalaupapa is one of my major travel highlights!!!
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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I made the day trip to Molokai just last week on the ferry (Maui Princess from Lahaina.) I was alone as husband was doing business in Maui. I did the rental car option and got a brand new Altima, very fancy! I drove over every road on Molokai and made lots of stops. I am very glad I did not take the tour, they were really jammed into the vans and it didnt look like fun.

6 people on the ferry opted for the hike, arrangements must be made in advance when booking the ferry. The ferry arrives on Molokai after the mule train departs, so there is no option but to hike behind the mules! They said it was messy, LOL. You must be accompanied by a guide to Kalaupapa, no admitance otherwise. When the tour is over the hikers do not have time to hike out, they must take a small plane topside then get the shuttle from the airport back to the ferry. On the way back to Lahaina the Kalaupapa vistors talked about their trip--they enjoyed the hike and tour but were also disappointed that they had no free time at all on Molokai becuase the tour takes up the whole day if you are riding the ferry.

The ferry ride itself was really great, it was before dawn when we left under a full moon. There were whales cavorting all the way over (2.5 hours each way.) The ride was really wild on the way back but nobody got seasick.

I enjoyed visitng Molokai but find the nickname The Friendly Island a bit of a misnomer. It is obvious that many of the residents do not love tourists.

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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 02:13 PM
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Spent a week there in Dec. How long is the Fr. Damien tour? The town will not take very long, it's just one street. Like you mentioned, Palaau State Park ald Kala. overlook is not to be missed. With the remaining time I would suggest driving to the East side of the Island and on up to Moaula Falls. (The only thing on the west coast is Molokai ranch,must be a guest to use their private beach, nott too much over there besides the resort) The drive is a little scary in spots but the views are well worth it. Take 450 east, the drive takes about 1 1/2 hrs each way if you go to the waterfalls. The drive is along oceanside and there are panoramic views of the neighboring islands.
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Old Feb 28th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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The west coast of the island also has a 7 mile beach (public). There were only 3 of us there the day I went. That alone is paradise to me!! I agree that the drive to the falls is beautiful. Also, take a drive up to the coffee plantation for a hot or cold coffee. The bakery in town has great bread & lavash. The hike looked a little too scary for me. I enjoyed my stay on the island. Have fun whatever you decide.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Thanks, everybody, for your great input.

I've decided to go the car rental route, and see as much of the island as I can. (I've also decided to fly over instead of taking the boat. That way, I will be able to sleep an hour later and have two more hours of sightseeing on the island.)

I will take the hike or mule ride down to the settlement on some future trip.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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Jayinla.....I will be in Maui in late March and plan to spend a day on Molokai. What company are you flying over on? What airport do they fly out of(Kahului or Kapalua) and what is the cost per person roundtrip? I,too,would prefer not to take a pre-dawn ferry if I can arrange to fly.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 02:09 PM
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Let me add: The boat ride itself is actually quite scenic, especially if you are going during whale season. The boat traverses about 2/3 the length of Molokai en route. The sunrise over Maui from the water was gorgeous. I really loved everything about the ferry ride, it was a integral part of the whole day-long "adventure."
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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The problem with taking the ferry to Molokai for a day trip is that there is not enough time to see much of Molokai before you have to take the ferry back to Maui. There is not even enough time to drive the length of the island.
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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Marthag: I'm flying Aloha Airlines. The flight departs Kahului at 7:50 am (so you still have to get up pretty early, but not as early as for the boat ride) and arrives in Molokai at 8:15 am. Departure from Molokai is at 4:50 pm, arriving back at Kahului at 5:15 pm. Fare is $144, but Aloha does offer a modest (5%, I think) discount to members of AAA. I got a good deal on my fare from the mainland, so I didn't mind spending the extra bucks for this same day round trip relative to the boat fare.

Vivi: I thought long and hard about what I'd miss about the boat ride. But I will be on a boat early in the morning on another day of my trip to go snorkeling in Molokini, so I opted to fly to Molokini.
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Fly to Molokai, that is. (I see I need to proofread my posts more carefully before submitting them.)
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 01:41 PM
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I just returned from a weeklong trip to Maui which included a day trip to Molokai. We chose the car/cruise option. The ferry leaves at 6:30 a.m. and arrives at 8:00. We had 6 hours to explore the island and made the most of our short time there. Did not have time to visit Kalaupapa but the Kalaupapa lookout over the peninsula was spectacular. We had time to drive to the Halawa Valley, view the fishponds, took a short hike to Lli'ili'opae Heiau, stopped at the Father Damien churches and then to the opposite direction to Papohaki Beach Park. The island is only 51 miles long so it's possible to drive the length in a day. I found the people to be very friendly, almost everyone waved or said hello. The people are against mass tourism and commercialism and do not welcome cruise ships to their island. There is a fragile reef and small harbor which cannot support giant cruise ships. Hope you enjoy your visit.
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 03:11 PM
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It is certainly possible to drive the length of Molokai in six hours but 51 miles on Molokai is not the same as 51 miles in most other places. On the narrow winding roads of the Halawa Valley you can expect to travel at 15 miles per hour. In six hours you will not have time for many stops or for lunch. And don't plan to spend any time on a beach.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 08:30 AM
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I disagree. You can drive the length of the island in 6 hours. I did. Stop at the Molokai Drive-In for lunch and you could stop by the 7-mile beach for a little while. Enjoy your day.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 08:48 AM
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That is what I said - that you can drive the length of Molokai in six hours. In fact you can drive it in about three hours (even if you drive all the way to the end of the slow winding road in the Halawa Valley). It just doesn't leave you with much time to do much other than drive. If you have a total of six hours on Molokai, and you are driving for three hours, then you have three hours for stops. That gives you one hour for lunch, one hour for the beach and one hour for everything else on Molokai.
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