Kaneohe Bay offers pristine kayaking waters full of marine life and vast coral reef systems. For those who want to explore a different part of Oahu by kayak, Kaneohe has protected waters and opportunities for snorkeling with islands and sandbars to land on. Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i in Hawaiian) is a 200ft tall landmark in Kaneohe Bay which can be reached via a short kayaking trip. Kailua Beach Adventures (KBA) will outfit you with a roof rack – free with all kayak rentals – to transport your kayak to the beautiful Kaneohe Bay. The Sand Bar (a.k.a. The Sunken Island or Disappearing Island) – the main attraction – may only appear at low tide so call ahead for tide-chart information. This sandbar has been called the Atlantis of Hawaii and creates a turquoise oasis in the center of the bay. The Kaneohe sandbar is a football field sized expanse of sand, making it a favorite destination for sailboats and kayakers alike.
CHINAMAN’S HAT (MOKOLI’I )
Chinaman’s Hat (Mokoli’i in Hawaiian) is a 200ft tall landmark in Kaneohe Bay which can be reached via a short kayaking trip. Kailua Beach Adventures (KBA) will outfit you with a roof rack – free with all kayak rentals – to transport your kayak to the beautiful Kaneohe Bay. Launch your kayak from Kualoa Beach Park under the towering cliffs of Kualoa Ranch, where Jurassic Park was filmed! Paddling in Kaneohe Bay is an amazing experience. The crystal clear waters and reef patches are visually stunning, and the warm waters are inviting. You can paddle to Chinman’s Hat in less than half an hour.
THE SANDBAR (THE SUNKEN ISLAND OR DISAPPEARING ISLANd)
The Kaeneohe Bay Sandbar is one of the best paddling destinations in the world. The miles long bank of sand in the middle of the bay is always between waist and ankle deep, and when the tide is very low it can be completely exposed. The town of Kaneohe is located just under the impressive Ko’olau mountain range, where rain clouds collect to make it a rainier than average part of the island. The sandbar, however, is a few miles off shore. This means the clouds pass straight over the sandy expanse and leave it sunny and dry, all day long! Paddling to the sandbar can take up to an hour, but it’s well worth it. Once the water is shallow enough to walk, jump in and enjoy! Snorkel gear is a must, as the reef patches and wildlife in Kaneohe Bay are unparalleled. There is no shade or dry land, so bring sunscreen and a hat and be prepared to be wet all day.
Mokuoloe (Coconut Island)
One of the first features you come to in the South East part of Kaneohe Bay is a half natural half man-made island called Mokuoloe. Coconut Island was originally designed as an exclusive resort and yacht club, but now is occupied by University of Hawaii research facilities. You are not allowed to land on the island, but you can enjoy it’s beauty from all around. The island was featured in the 2nd and 3rd season of Gilligan’s Island! The two tall pine trees visible in the opening theme are still visible today. Paddling through the coral patches around this island can be a great opportunity to see fish and wildlife in the bay.