Molokai – Regions

Molokai is a place where time has almost stood still. It is a place where Native Hawaiians have kept the island protected from the outside western influence. The island has no large supermarkets or department chains, no freeways or highways, and not even a single traffic light. With its small population (second smallest in the Hawaiian Island Chain) there is very little traffic on the roads

There are three regions on Molokai – the West End, Central Molokai, and the East End. Each region has its own distinctive features, but the one thing they all have in common is – Native Hawaiian living. The local people of Molokai live simply and are very traditional in their Native Hawaiian lifestyle. The modernism of the outside world has been kept there – away from the ancient lands and away from destruction. The local people have fought hard to keep Molokai this way.

The small population and low visitor rate has kept Molokai pristine. Its white sand beaches appear untouched since ancient times. Its crystal clear waters are clean and refreshing, and its Native Hawaiian forests are well-preserved in a green, lush environment.


The Central region of Molokai is the main hub for the locals of the island. When traveling to Molokai by plane, you will land in this region at the Molokai Airport in the town of Hoolehua. This region is best known for its macadamia nut and coffee farms. It is home to Molokai’s main town of Kaunakakai. In the northern most part of this region is the isolated Kalaupapa National Park that is only accessible by foot, mule, or small plane. It is surrounded by 1,700 foot cliffs. This is where those who were diagnosed with having Hansen’s Disease were sent to remain for the rest of their lives. The place is still marked with the homes and recreational areas of these people and the famous Catholic Church that was run by Father Damien, who eventually was also killed by Hansen’s Disease. The Central region is adorned with historical landmarks and 20 miles of ancient Hawaiian fishponds that have been well-preserved for over 800 years.

West End

The West End region of Molokai has beautiful white sand beaches that represent ancient Hawaii and look like something out of a history book – clean and pure. The beaches are able to remain this way, because it is rarely visited by locals or visitors to the island. The environment in this region has remained pure in its original nature. At this side of the island, the beaches face what is known as the Kaiwi Channel. This channel is 41 miles long and is known as one of the most treacherous channels in Hawaii. The Kaiwi Channel is famous for the route in the Molokai Hoe Competition of canoe racing held in October of each year. It is also home to the only town, Maunaloa, which is a plantation community set inland away from the beach area. At a higher elevation, Maunaloa is able to give you a clear view of the Pacific Ocean and the coast of Molokai. This region is quiet and peaceful with just the beauty of the island’s environment to enjoy. In the 1860s, King Kamehameha V was given a spotted deer as a gift. This breed of deer is still seen only in this region.

East End

The East End region of Molokai is home to the Kamakou Preserve, which is a Native Hawaiian rainforest that has been kept safe from destruction. This rainforest is home to ancient plants, trees, and animals that are rarely found in the Hawaiian islands anymore. This region also reigns with Molokai’s 4,970 feet mountain that is the highest point in Molokai. This area contains the only accessible valley on Molokai, the Halawa Valley. This region is the only place in the world with the highest sea cliffs of up to 3,900 feet high.