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Hawaii Islands (Oahu [East Shore])
Goat Island
About 0.4 mile past the entrance to the Polynesian Cultural Centre in LAIE, traveling toward the NORTH SHORE, the first of two entrances to wondrous MALAEKAHANA BAY State Recreation Area appears on the makai / right side of the HWY. Take the short entrance road to the park's enormous parking area. If its a weekday, you could very easily be the only one here. A very large, heavily shaded picnic area acts as a cool buffer between the parking lot and the superb, mile-long white sand beach. Right offshore is yet another of Oahu's uninhabited island jewels, MOKUAUIA, commonly known as GOAT ISLAND. wpe5B.jpg (43624 bytes)


Goat Island has three beaches on its untrammeled shores. The first, toward the right of the welcome sign as you come ashore, faces south along the Oahu shore. It is sandy and narrow; at its eastern end the shore bottom is sandy with some rocky places. At the western end, there is submerged reef. The second beach is adjacent to it on the open ocean side of the point that divides them. It has a very rocky shore in winter, but a nice, sandy, often windy upper beach, away from the water.

The third beach --and best of the lot-- is an Eden-like, first rate, sandy beach known as MOKUAUIA. It faces the shore to the north, and lies to the left of the welcome sign as you come ashore. Efficiently protected from ocean waves by a prominent barrier point, the shore bottom is sandy and gradually sloping. The beach itself is clean, white and free of rocks. Its an ideal and placid place for a solitary swim. Goat Island is reachable by foot at low tide by walking over the reef that extends from Cooke's Point to the point of Goat Island that extends closest to shore. You can see the welcome sign from shore: head toward it. Check your tide table printed in the daily paper. Wear old sneakers to protect feet from coral cuts, and please, leave nothing behind on the island.

Easier than wading, though, is to paddle or float over on an inflatable beach mat, raft, inner tube, surfboard, belly board or kayak. The first few times we made this trip, we were lucky to be blessed with relatively placid conditions. The last two times though were rougher. Waves hit us from both sides, left and right, as we made our way, making keeping our footing difficult on the rocky bottom. The ABC Stores's that are located all over Waikiki have good prices on these inflatables. Look for coupons and specials in the free visitor magazines available at kiosks on Waikiki streets. If unsure, talk about conditions with those on the beach who are about to head over to, or are just returning from, Goat Island.

The area known as Maleakahana Park KAHUKU is located northward from Cooke's point, if you're on the beach, or north along the Kam Highway after the entrance to Malaekahana State Park. Large, spacious tent cabins have been built and are available for rent for phenomenally low prices....$35.00 per night for up to 6 people...but there may be quite a waiting list. Beach houses, a couple with 3 bedrooms that sleep 10, are $60.00 a night. Camping permits for tent spaces are $5.00.

This location is unparalleled for beauty, but in our guidebook, Driving & Discovering Oahu, we wrote that the cabins were a disgrace, and indeed they were as of that writing. But now, the Friends of Malaekahana have done a wonderful renovation of the area, including extensive plantings of trees and flowers, hot water outdoor night-lit showers and the addition of the aforementioned tent cabins.

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