Mokoliʻi Island

Windward Coast

That eye-catching islet you see offshore from Kualoa Regional Park is called Mokoliʻi (Little Lizard). In ancient Hawaiian legend, it’s said to be the tail of a moʻo (lizard spirit) slain by the goddess Hiʻiaka and thrown into the ocean. Following the immigration of Chinese laborers to Hawaii, this cone-shaped island also came to be called Chinaman’s Hat, a nickname that predominates today, regardless of the political incorrectness.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Windward Coast attractions

1. Kualoa Regional Park


Huge extended-family groups gather for weekend picnics on the wide, grassy field that fronts the narrow white-sand beach here. There’s good swimming, with…

2. Senator Fong's Plantation & Gardens

3.16 MILES

A labor of love by Hiram Fong (1907–2004), the first Asian American elected to the US Senate, these flowering gardens aim to preserve Hawaii’s plant life…

3. Swanzy Beach Park

3.66 MILES

Fronted by a shore wall, this narrow neighborhood beach is used mainly by fishers. You'll see kids splashing around and local families picnicking and…

4. Crouching Lion

3.92 MILES

The Crouching Lion is a landmark rock formation just north of mile marker 27 on the Kamehameha Hwy. According to legend, the rock is a demigod from Tahiti…

5. Ahupuaʻa o Kahana State Park

3.96 MILES

In spite of over 40 years of political controversy and failed plans for a living-history village, this park is currently still open to visitors.

6. Huilua Fishpond

4.16 MILES

Although many of Kahana's archaeological sites are inaccessibly deep in the valley, impressive Huilua Fishpond is visible from the highway and can be…

7. Kahana Bay

4.27 MILES

The beach here offers mostly safe swimming with a gently sloping sandy bottom. Watch out for the riptide near the bay's southern reef break. There are…

8. Heʻeia Pier

4.69 MILES

Just north of He‘eia State Park, off the Kamehameha Hwy, is one of the Windward Coast’s only small-boat harbors. Watch the comings and goings of local…