Getting To and Around on Moloka‘i There are two principal ways to get to the island of Moloka‘i. Most visitors fly into Ho‘olehua Airport, located in the central part of the island. Two airlines handle most of the traffic—Mokulele, and ‘Ohana operated by Hawaiian Airlines. These airlines provide service from both Honolulu and Kahului (Maui). Makani Kai provides service from Honolulu and Kalaupapa. The alternative to flying is riding the Moloka‘i Ferry over from Lāhainā in West Maui. The 2-hour voyage crosses the channel daily and docks at Kaunakakai Harbor. Car Rentals Once you are on island, the most convenient way to get around is to rent a car. Moloka‘i has two rental agencies–Alamo Rent A Car located at the airport, and Molokai Car Rental located in Kaunakakai. You can also find rentals from Moloka‘i Outdoors and through combo packages with the ferry. The Moloka‘i Airport is so small that you can ‘almost’ claim your suitcase with one hand while you sign your car rental contract with the other. Car agencies will also shuttle customers from the ferry landing. You can rent trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles when you visit the island. But it is important, if you plan to drive somewhere that’s off the paved roadway, that you get permission and let people know where you intend to go. Destination Moloka‘i Visitors Bureau can help with that. Two off-road areas that visitors sometimes like to explore are natural preserves – Kamakou in the high mountains, and Mo‘omomi, a coastal dunes area in the northwest part of the island. ln this case, it is imperative that you check with the organization that owns these ecologically fragile regions. The Nature Conservancy has its headquarters in central Moloka‘i just west of Kaunakakai. Bicycle Rentals If you’d rather tool about the island on two wheels you can rent a bicycle from Moloka‘i Bicycles. Rentals include helmet, lock, maps, and water bottle. In addition to bicycles, these folks rent car racks, child carriers, trailers, and jogging strollers. They also provide drop-off and pick-up service to any island location. Public Transportation Finally, what about a bus? You wouldn’t expect bus service in such a remote, unsophisticated location. But in fact there is a bus service that visitors can get wise to, and it is free. The source of this little-publicized form of public transportation is a county program called MEO, short for Maui Economic Opportunity. Moloka‘i is one of four islands that comprise the County of Maui. MEO offers a “rural shuttle service” to assist
island residents. But it would be a violation of Moloka‘i’s aloha spirit to exclude visitors. If you’re on Moloka‘i, you are a guest, and guests are part of the family. One word of caution to visitors who are traveling around the island: on Moloka‘i, people wave. When they see that you’ve got a rental car, they’re likely to slow down and make sure you get through the intersection okay. Experiences like these are liable to change the way you feel about life back home.