Hawaii Guide


Maunaloa, Molokai's North Western Town

Mauna Loa Solar Observatory

Maunaloa is the closest town to the Kaluakoi Resort that is sited on the most western part of the island. Only 16 miles from the island's main city of Kaunakakai and just a few minutes from the Hoolehua Airport, the village is conveniently accessible via Molokai's highway 460.

Originally established to service the pineapple plantations that were Molokai's bread and butter during the 1920s, Maunaloa remained on even after the "Dole Pineapple Company" packed up its bags and left the island in the mid 1970s. With its prime export taking a serious knock the town lay dormant for many years until gradually a few companies mustered enough vigor to re awaken the small town.

Some of the more well known companies include:

  The Big Wind Kite Factory (808 552 2364) who manufacture an astounding assortment of nylon kites (tours of the factory floor are available on request)

  Dolly Hale, which is the brainchild of a local artist who has a business that uses natural island products to produce dolls which can only be described as unique (808 552 2202).

  The Plantation Gallery is one of the island's many unique shops and is the perfect place to stop and visit if you are hunting for a holiday souvenir. Balinese temple gongs, chimes and island quilts are just some of the many things on offer.

  The Sheraton Molokai Lodge is the island's most up market place to stay and is found just outside Maunaloa on the 54,000 acre Molokai Ranch. If its luxury accommodation you are after combined with open landscapes and a true "paniolo" experience, then look no further!

The area around Maunaloa is also riddled with some of the most interesting and beautiful hikes on Hawaii. For more information on any of the trails / hikes mentioned please contact Molokai Fish and Dive Activities on 808 553 5926.

  • The Ancient Trail takes six hours from start to finish and involves navigating a 5 century old trail that takes you over the mountainous area to the beach on the opposite side. This hike is definitely not for the faint at heart and involves conquering ravines, steep declines and flat, but arduous, sections of the trail.
  • The Temples Hike is a history trip and hike all in one, and brings you face to face with several "heiau" temples in the Maunaloa area that for many decades had been not made accessible to the general public. The journey will take six hours to complete.
  • Finally the Mountain Tour is shorter than the two already mentioned only four hours long. This tour is full of "highs and lows" in the complete literal sense! The views of Molokai's sister islands Lanai, Maui and Oahu are phenomenal to say the least.
If you are not scared to do a bit of walking, your Maunaloa experience will be unforgettable.