Which island, how's the weather late January?

Sep 29th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Which island, how's the weather late January?

My husband has a meeting for three days on Molokai in late January, 2013. I've never been to Hawaii, he's been to the Big Island, and we want to spend about 4-5 days on another island before. Kauai, Maui, the Big Island? Have been reading this forum but specifically want to know if it rains more on one island than another at that time of year, which side of which island, which island if you had to pick one as a contrast to Molokai where we'll be at the Pu'u O Hoku Ranch for three days? Is it easier to get to Molokai from one island than another?
We like scenery, snorkeling, hiking not as important, would love to be right on the beach, not a big hotel, moderate to high budget.
Thanks for quick response cuz we don't have much time to book!
marshacarlin is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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I'd chose Maui, because you can take the ferry from Molokai and avoid having to go through airports.

You will need a rental car on Maui.

Stay on the south side of Maui for the driest weather in January:
Kihei, Wailea, Makena areas.

I personally love the Makena Beach Resort because it's right on a very nice quiet beach without any adjacent hotels. It's also a low-key hotel with a very nice staff.

Marginal is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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And the snorkeling is very good there.
Marginal is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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Yes, you can take the ferry from Lahaina over to Molokai and even to smaller Lanai. http://www.molokaiferry.com/map.html

There was a blog in here under Hawaii where a guy from Hawaii gave the year round weather chart - but can't find it right now.

The southern ends of the various islands will have more sun in the "Winter" but you can still get nice days on the northern shores, even if a storm does blow in and then through.
Tomsd is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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We had the good fortune of staying at Pu'u O Hoku for 4 nights in the Sunset Cottage a few years back. It is a truly special destination. Keala was a wonderful hostess and repeatedly warned us just how secluded the ranch is before she would take our reservation without reservations. It's an hour to town - a very small town, on a long and winding drop dead gorgeous road that hugs the sea.

It is unclear if your husband is on a business retreat or meeting with the ranch. I understand they have had some changes in staffing the past couple of years. If it's a conference, perhaps you could stay in Sunset Cottage, which is just a stroll past a lime tree to the Lodge and pool.

First off, if you want to explore the island, I would make your car rental reservations now, as Molokai can run out of cars or at least they did when we were there. I would also strongly consider taking the mule trip down to Kaulapapa while your husband is in meetings. It is a very spiritual journey and perhaps one of the most beautiful valleys in all of the islands. Ironic that the King chose this valley as the Leper Colony. Lots of history and the most amazing vistas.

As far as your original question, I too would suggest southern Maui. Plan your rental car with a drop off in Lahaina and you can take the ferry over to Molokai. Otherwise, unless you rent a helicopter to drop you off at Pu'u O Hoku Ranch directly, you will have to return to Oahu for a connecting flight, and the flights are few so a lot of time will be wasted on travel. Better to whale watch on a ferry from Maui.

Well that's my humble opinion.
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Tomsd they are called threads not blogs. But you knew that already. Buyer beware.
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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I also agree with Maui that time of year, it is the height of whale season. Your visit is too short for the Big Island.
jamie99 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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The ferry crossing can be pretty rough in winter. I'd think you ould fly to Maui -- maybe not into the main airport at Kahului, but into the one in West Maui near Kahana. Check Island Air.

Another vote for Maui, just not Napili or Kapalua (farthest north). The ocean will be calmer off South Maui, and it should be dryer there. South Maui is also more convenient if you want to sightsee Iao Valley and Haleakala or drive Road to Hana. You could fly home from OGG (Kahului).

Makena Beach Resort is a good choice -- older property but a GREAT beach for swimming and snorkeling -- and seeing sea turtles. It is just south of Wailea, home to Maui's top hotels.

Would you be interested in one of the Four Seasons on Lanai?
ChiSue is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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ChiSue, they want to visit an island BEFORE.

In January, there is only one early morning flight offered by Island Air from Kapalua to Molokai, and they are know to change up flight times. I speak from experience. Otherwise, it is my understanding, and there could be a new start up I am not familiar with, but otherwise, one must go thru Oahu or charter a private plane or helicopter.

I've done the Molokai/Lanai combo and loved it. But again, transportation between the two is limited and you may have to go thru Oahu to get from one island to the other. We prefer the Lodge, but Manele is the oceanside dream hotel. Two resorts in one. Although I am not clear how quickly they are renovating both places once Murdoch takes his prized art out of each property since the latest sale of the island of Lanai.

Marsha, if you are not cloistered at the ranch, dinner when there is entertainment at The CookHouse is wonderful, byob, and a long drive home, but wonderful.
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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I LOVE the Fodor's Forums! Haven't used them in a while but you folks have never failed me!

Lookin_glass are you saying the only way to fly to Molokai is from Kapalua or are you saying if you are on Kapalua there is only the morning flight to Molokai? I think because of the distance to other places our conference fees include all meals...but maybe I can convince some other spouses to sneak off to the CookHouse!

Are there any votes out there for Kauai? Husband seems to think it's less crowded than Maui? Is transportation to/from there to Molokai more of an issue? I'm starting with very little info...sorry I usually do my "homework" but I'm on the shores of al lake in NH and thought I'd start here.

Speaking of transportation any thoughts on best carriers from NYC? We are headed from Hawaii to a year in Australia (!) so was hoping to get something that would allow us to stop for a long week and then continue on. Are the planes between the islands run by smaller companies or do the regular air companies do that too?
Thanks again for any thoughts!
marshacarlin is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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I'm on Maui right now, and have been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai quite a few times (only once each to the Big Island and Molokai, never to Lanai). If you want more lush, physical beauty, I'd personally choose Kauai over Maui. We have been all over the island this week, and have commented to each other that although Maui has great weather, great beaches, cute little towns, good restaurants, and loads of activities, it just isn't as gosh-darn beautiful as Kauai. Kauai is also less developed - Maui has several areas that are "all hotels/resorts" - Kauai has a couple but except for Princeville, they aren't the "planned development" type. For instance, I am sitting here looking at the ocean from the patio of the Starbucks at the Marriott Ocean Club. This is part of a development (Kaanapali Beach) with multiple hotels, condos and timeshare resorts, along with a shopping center of sorts, golf courses, etc. Within the development,it's manicured and beautiful, outside, not so much. A few days ago, we were down in Kihei-Wailea-Makena. I don't like Kihei at all, too many downscale apartment and condo complexes lining the road. Makena is a beautiful beach, but for me personally the hotel is too far from anything else. The upscale hotels are also a little remote, but at least they're great hotels!

I'd choose Kauai unkess you're just looking for a great resort, in which case I'd choose Maui. I can't speak to the weather in January, except that I know the north shores of all the islands get more "wintry" weather (meaning potentially rainier and cooler, and definitely with rougher water).
sf7307 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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Sorry for the confusion. The only flight I know of from Maui to Molokai that is direct is thru Island Air and just one flight a day. There may be others.

Small planes, so if this is a business stop on the way to down under, I hope you have made plans to ship your things. Flights to Molokai and Lanai are mostly in small puddle jumper planes so you won't be able to fly with a years worth of luggage

Unless you choose to stay on Oahu before Molokai you are most likely going to have to travel thru Oahu which will take up 1/2 day at the least.

I adore Kauai and have been there countless times. If you can fly direct there and then offer up the time it will take to commute to Molokai thru Oahu, it is doable, but it is the rainy season on the north shore and the odds are it could be either a wash out or beautiful weather.

Regardless you have very complicated questions adding a years stay in Australia. You need to start looking at flights and shipping options. Good luck.
Lookin_Glass is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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Found a # of flights from Oahu to Molokai. On both Pacific Wings and Mokulele Airlines. Check this page from Kayak.com, but just google away to find out more.


Personally - either before or after you Molokai Biz trip - I would go from Hono/Oahu to Kauai - an easy 20 minute flight, and the smaller inter-island airport (next to the huge Intl one) is a breeze to navigate.
Tomsd is offline  
Sep 29th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Is transportation to/from there to Molokai more of an issue?

You'll need to connect in Honolulu.

Are the planes between the islands run by smaller companies or do the regular air companies do that too?

I believe Island Air, Pacific Wings and Mokulele are the carriers that fly to Molokai.

You'll need to head back to Honolulu again to continue on to Australia.

Logistically it might be simplest to spend your time on Oahu (which is a lot more than just Honolulu/Waikiki). You can fly nonstop from the NYC area, then a short flight to Molokai and back before continuing on to Australia but any island is doable if you're up for the extra connections.
Patty is offline  
Oct 9th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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marsha, if you choose to take the trek to Kalaupapa, this recent article in the Maui News might be of interest.

Lookin_Glass is offline  
Oct 9th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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Get thee to Kauai. You can almost always in the future find a bargain trip/package to Oahu and expore that another time if you like.
Tomsd is offline  

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