Mokoli’i is a basalt volcanic rock islet at the very northernmost tip of Kane’ohe Bay. Located just offshore of Kualoa Beach at the very northern tip of Kane’ohe Bay, this tiny island was once connected to Oahu before erosion separated it.
Today, like most of windward Oahu’s offshore islets, it is the seasonal nesting site of seabirds called Ua’u Kani (Wedgetailed Shearwaters). If you do set foot on this or any offshore islet, be aware of ground-nesting seabirds and be conscious not to step on their burrows.
The name Mokoli’i in Hawaiian means “little lizard.” In Hawaiian mythology, Hi’iaka, the Hawaiian goddess of Hula and one of Pele’s many siblings, was traveling through the Kualoa ahupua’a when a “mo’o” or giant lizard creature came after her. Hi’iaka fought and killed the mo’o, cut off its tail, and threw its tail into the sea. The discarded tail of the slain mo’o became Mokoli’i.
Kayaking to Mokoli’i
You can see Mokoli’i from where we are located at He’eia State Park. However, it would be a five mile paddle each way, making it too far to kayak to from our launch point. In order to kayak there, you would need to transport your kayak to Kualoa Regional Park in order to launch from there. This is definitely possible, however we do not provide roof rack equipment, straps, rope, or tie downs of any kind. You would need to have the means to transport the kayaks and equipment there and back.
For safety concerns, we do not allow kayaks to be transported off site when any type of marine advisory, wind advisory, surf advisory, or small craft advisory is in effect. When planning to kayak to Mokoli’i, or anywhere for that matter, make sure you are aware of current wind, swell, current, and tide conditions and forecasts. There are no lifeguards on duty.
At very low tides it is still possible to walk to Mokoli’i Island from Kualoa Beach, but this can be dangerous and is not advisable if you are not familiar with the local tides and currents. As always, know before you go, and if in doubt, don’t go out!