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LAST UPDATED 21/02/2008
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MattWright: Colored locator map for the island of Niihau; 30 July 2007

Niihau, also referred to as "Mystery Island", the "Distant Isle" and sometimes the "Forgotten Island", is the most northwestern Hawaiian island (beyond Kauai) and also the 7th largest Hawaiian Island with the total area of 179.9 km². Tourists are able to visit the island through a limited number of supervised tours, including diving, hiking, and hunting safaris.


Polihale: Northeast Nihau

A rarely visited isle now under the protection of the Hawaiian people. 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. 


Clawed: Photo of a Piaggio X9 250; 2 March 2006

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

Christopher P. Becker: aerial view of the northeastern cliffs of Niihau, 28 April 2005

Unless you have a special invitation from a resident, there's only one way to set foot on the island - by taking Niihau Helicopters' tour that departs from Kauai.

The tour you to view many parts of the island from above and makes a stop on the northern end (away from where Niihauans live). Contact between residents on the island is not recommended!

The entire tour lasts about four hours.

Visitors are restricted from staying on the island

what to pack

Rich Niewiroski Jr.: 62 mm ultra-violet, fluorescent, and polarizing lens filters; April 9, 2007

If you manage to organise a trip to Nihau, pack light: loose clothes for the hot weather, good sunscreen, a wide hat and sunnies. Camera and all the equipment will be good as well.

You would most likely be able to buy everything you need from here, but just incase, you would probably want to everything you can't "live without". It is hot most of the time, so you would probably be better off not bringing heavy make up and hair products - they would just melt.


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