I was very fortunate to have this past weekend off from work both Saturday and Sunday. I work in hospitality, so having a whole weekend off felt very liberating! To celebrate being a weekend warrior for a change, I wanted to go somewhere fun but relaxing, and definitely out of hectic town. I knew exactly what I needed, an exotic escape to a secluded secret paradise that surprisingly is never too crowded. A hidden gem that a friend was very generous to show me when I first arrived to O’ahu and I instantly fell in love.
Kualoa Beach Park is not only gorgeous, but also a really cool beach that leaves all visitors fully entertained with beach activities. Along with an engaging panoramic view of Mokoli’i Island, aka Chinaman’s Hat, in Kane’ohe Bay that you can’t help but appreciate.
All you want to do is explore when you are here, and if you keep venturing around the beach you eventually find your way to my exotic escape, Secret Island. A place that really makes me feel like I am traveling somewhere far away from where I live in town.
Here are some of the cool things you can do at Kualoa Beach Park and How to Get to Secret Island.
1. Kualoa Beach Park
At the North End of Kane’ohe Bay is a kick ass beach park filled with everything you would need and want for a good beach weekend. Lawns and picnic tables, plenty of facilities, shade, camping with permit, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, (super mellow waters), and just a really fulfilling place to explore. My favorite part is the incredible scenery you have all around you. Seeing the funny but beautiful Mokoli’i island, aka Chinaman’s Hat, along with the majestic Ko’olau Range.
Mokoli’i actually means, “little lizard” based on the Hawaiian mythology. According to the myth, the island is the remains of a giant lizard’s tail that was chopped off and tossed into the ocean by the Hawaiian goddess, Hi’iaka. Nicknamed “Chinaman’s Hat” due to the resemblance of an old Chinese farmer’s hat, which I agree it looks totally like!
2. Secret Island
Now the best part, keep walking along the beach to your right, and soon you will be welcomed to Secret Island. You are walking along a narrow beach covered with white sand and a forest of trees on your right. Being here, I always feel like I have traveled to a far away private island where only a few are welcomed.
You walk for quite a bit, but soon enough you will see more beach toys like kayaks posting up on the sand, with more campers, white roped hammocks hanging in the palm trees, volleyball courts, more facilities, just an all around awesome place.
Tourists actually pay Kualoa Ranch to take them to Secret Island and enjoy all the amenities, but this is how you walk over for free…wink wink. Kualoa Ranch owns the land but all beaches in Hawai’i are public including this “exclusive” place…another wink.
***Unfortunately, the stick display that people used to climb on and jump off of into the ocean has been taken down, sad face.
If you walk towards the facilities behind the volleyball court, you will find another incredible secret, Moli’i Fish Ponds. I was completely blown away by this place, and I thought it was so amazingly beautiful unlike anything that I have ever seen before. The picturesque view of the Ko’olau Range has such an alluring glow that illuminates perfectly off the fish ponds giving you those earthy green and golden tones. Every time I come here, I always stand for a moment and admire the aesthetic beauty of this place as if I’m staring at a painting. So unreal to see!
This area is considered Kapu, (Hawaiian meaning forbidden), mainly due to the unsteady bridge. I didn’t go out that far…..this time! Seriously though for safety reasons stay off. You can still get a great shot and not walk all the way out!
Go outside and appreciate something beautiful xoxo