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MattWright: Colored locator map for the island of Kahoolawe; 30 July 2007

Kahoolawe is an island of south-central Hawaii and it is the smallest of the 8 main volcanic islands. It's total area is just 115.5 km².

The island is relatively dry and there are no permanent residents living on the island at present.


John Bortniak, NOAA: Kahoolawe; 2007

A rarely visited isle now under the protection of the Hawaiian people. Raped and pillaged by the west in the 20th century as a conventional explosive testing range. Your chances of surfing here are very limited unless it is on the invite of native Hawaiian.

If you ever have the chance do it, the SW corner has some of the best small waves in the islands, southerly swells only, dont wear fluro, no airs allowed. 


Singularity: Hawaii Superferry Alakai, docking in Honolulu Harbor on June 30; 1 July 2007

Plane, bus, boat, car - all these means of transportation are available in Hawaii. Airlines are quite good and you can find virtually all flights between the islands. And you can actually save money and time by planning "triangle routes" that arrive in Hawaii on one island and leave on another. An of course, booking in advance will save you money as well.

If you want to travel by car, book in advance (Waikiki is the only exception) and note that insurance coverage is very expensive - it can pretty much double your daily rate or more. Gasoline won’t be cheap as well. In this situation renting a scooter or taking a bus can be good alternatives. Renting a scooter won’t be as expensive as renting a car (about $50 per day), plus the gas is cheaper as well. And Oahu has an excellent public transportation system - TheBus. The route information on how to get around the island is available from the booklet “TheBus” at local ABC Stores. There are buses on the neighbouring islands, but the system is less developed.

If you prefer to get around by water, than the following options are for you.  There are ferries that operate between Oahu, Maui and Kauai daily, as well as charter boats between some islands, especially the Maui-Molokai-Lanai area.

where to stay

Seattle Skier: Kahoolawe from the air while flying over, 22 April 2007

The U.S. Navy used this island, visible from the tourist enclaves of Maui, as a bombing range for military target practice from World War II until 1990 until President George Bush put a stop to it.
This island has since been returned to the state of Hawaii, to be held in trust for the Hawaiian nation.
Even after major clean up, the island remains unusable because of unexploded ordnance. A cultural and environmental preserve, it has no tourism, and access is strictly limited. Kahoolawe remains too dangerous for the public to visit.

But hundred years from now, when facilities are in place, people will be able to stay in dormitories at four educational centers around the island, as well as at 16 primitive camp sites linked by a round-the-island trail.

There will be no hotels. No tour companies. No parking lots. No souvenir stands.

But until that day, there is still alot of work to be done.


what to pack

Cserlajos: Nike Cortez 'TB trainers; 2007

Pack some basic toiletries so that you do not need to spend unnecessary money to purchase these basics. You may want to just buy a travel pack and bring it.

If you still plan to go, pack all you might need: clothes for the hot weather, lots of good sunscreen, a hat  and sunglasses. All the gear and plenty of fresh water. A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and a pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for walking. Also, bring cash with you incase you can't find an ATM to withdraw money. You would probably find a bank but it will charge you a hefty fee! So be warned.

And of course, bring a camera, there're plenty of photo opportunities here to impress your mates with back home. And take a good protection for your camera from the sand.


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