- Location – In the heart of the Hawaiian islands. 26 (42km) miles southeast of Oahu and 8 (13km) miles west of Maui with Lanai 10 (16km) miles directly south. Located at about 21.15°N 157.10°W.
- Size – 261 square miles (676 square kilometers). About 37 miles long (60 km) and 10 (16km) miles wide.
- Shape – Three seperate volcanoes created the island. Kamakou, in the east. is the tallest with a peak elevation of 4,970 feet (1813 meters). Maunaloa in the west rises to only 1,381 feet (503 meters). A third, smaller volcano created the Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore. Height about 449 feet / 137m above sea level.
- Population – About 8,000. The majority live in Kaunakakai, the largest town, which is located on the south shore about in the middle of the island.
- Ethnicity – 60% Hawaiian or Hawaiian ancestry. 28% Filipino. 12% everyone else including Chinese, Japanese, Caucasian, Black, Samoan, Tongan and others.
Molokai Climate Information
Moloka’i weather is wonderful year round, with temperatures averaging about 75°F and rarely going 6 or 7 degrees above or below. In winter (Dec. thru Mar.), the night-time temperatures may drop to the lower 60s and you’re more likely to experience a rainy day.
Spring, summer, and fall are all very similar with warm days (up to 85°F) cooled by the trade winds and pleasant evenings in the mid to lower 70s. However, on those days when the trade winds are calm, the heat and humidity will both rise a notch or two.
Climate data from the Moloka’i Airport. Measurements are prior 25 year averages.
About Moloka’i – Map and Driving Instructions
Getting around Moloka’i is easy. The highway crosses the island from east end to west end with a couple of roads that branch off for short distances. It’s almost impossible to get lost.
Even though it’s the same road, you’ll note from the map that it has two highway numbers: 450 and 460. Kamehameha V Highway (450) starts at Kaunakakai and ends 27 miles (43km) east at Halawa.
Maunaloa Highway (460) also begins at Kaunakakai, passes the airport at Ho’olehua and ends 16 miles (26km) west at the village of Maunaloa. Turn at mile 15 to reach the Kaluakoi Resort area. To get to Kualapu’u, Kala’e and the Kalaupapa lookout, take Highway 470 where it branches from 460 in the middle of the island.
There are green mile posts every mile. Directions to someone’s house, a resort, or a great beach usually include the nearest mile marker number or landmark. For example; “My house is east 6/10s past mile 12. Mauka (mountain) side” or “Wavecrest resort is at exactly mile 13 east, makai (ocean side).”
While the driving times below may seem a little high for the distance involved, they are based on some real life-on-Moloka’i factors. The highest posted speed limit anywhere on the island is 45mph (72kph) and in many places the speed limit is less.
Maunaloa to Kaunakakai – 16 miles (26km) – 25 minutes
Kaluakoi Resort to Kaunakakai – 22 miles (35km) – 35 minutes
Kaluakoi Resort to Kalaupapa lookout – 24 miles (38km) – 35 minutes
Kaluakoi Resort to Airport – 15 miles (24km) – 20 minutes
Kaunakakai to Wavecrest Resort – 13 miles (21km) – 20 minutes
Kaunakakai to Halawa – 27 miles (43km) – 50 minutes
Kaunakakai to Kalaupapa lookout – 10 miles (16km) – 20 minutes
Kaunakakai to Airport – 8 miles (13km) – 20 minutes