postheadericon Kayak Oahu – The Mokulua Islands and Flat Island

Kayaking to the Twin Islands


Picture this:  a long stretch of sparkling white sand, water as blue as you can ever dream it to be, palm trees swaying in the back yards of million dollar homes, lush and tropical foliage everywhere, and two of the most pictured islands (The Mokulua Islands) off of the Oahu coast.  It sounds amazing, right?!  It is!


The Mokulua Islands are about a mile off of the shore of Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach.  The other island that looks like a pancake is called Flat Island.  On your tour you can paddle to both of them.  I say both because you can only go on the shore of one of the Mokulua Islands, the other is off limits.  A protective barrier reef is between the shoreline and the islands which allows for easier paddling to the islands and if you’re lucky, like we were, you may even see some sea turtles swimming around you!


How it All Began

Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks  is a little shop in a strip plaza that offers kayak rentals, SUP rentals, guided tours and more.  We arrived at the shop and rented two tandem kayaks to venture out to Flat Island and The Mokulua Islands on our own.  We got a map and had to watch a short video on safety, but it was quick and painless and the staff is really helpful.  The shop is located a couple blocks from the beach so the friendly guys at the shop loaded our kayaks on a cart and we were on our way!

Kayaking to Twin Islands


It takes a little bit of time to walk the kayaks to the beach and get them in the water.  The most difficult part will be dragging the kayaks through the sand to actually get them in the water.

Before you leave make sure you have everything you need:  a dry bag, back rests, life vests, sunglasses, sunscreen, and your cooler.


Tip:  Notice the cooler?  We picked it up from Walmart at the beginning of our vacation.  We love to keep cold drinks in the car when we’re exploring!  The morning of our kayaking adventure we picked up some snacks, lunch, and drinks and had an awesome picnic on the Mokuluas!


Notice Flat Island in the distance.  This is the island we went to first.

Notice Flat Island in the distance. This is the island we went to first.


View from Flat Island

View from Flat Island



Kayaking to Flat Island

This is the first destination you’ll reach.  It’s a strait shot out from Kailua Beach Park.  You’ll want to land just past the sand bar where the bird sanctuary sign is.  Birds nest on this island so you must stay within the roped areas.

Tip:  Bring water shoes, the rocks are rough on your feet when you’re exploring the island.


This was a nesting bird on Flat Island!

This was a nesting bird on Flat Island!


Exploring Flat Island

Exploring Flat Island



Kayaking to Mokulua Island


There are two Mokulua Islands, but as I mentioned, you can only land on the one on the left when viewing it from the beach.  From Flat Island it takes about an hour and a half to get to Mokulua Island.  You’ll go over beautiful coral reefs and might even see a honu (sea turtle)!


Kayaking to the Twin Islands



We made it!

We made it!


The closer we got to Mokulua the larger the waves got.  I think the most difficult part was riding the waves into the beach.  As a rule, when kayaking in ocean waves, you want to keep your kayak perpendicual to the waves.  If you’re parallel to the waves you are more likely to get flipped over.  It’s easier said then done, but we were beginners at this time and managed just fine!


Once we were on the island we got out our picnic lunch.  We found a great little spot and ate and then the kids enjoyed swimming around in the beautiful crystal clear water!


Mokulua Beach


Mokulua Islands


 Know Before You Go:

  • You can not get a permit to go on the islands on Sundays.
  • You don’t need to be super fit to kayak, but you do need to be in relatively good shape and able to swim.
  • Wear Sunscreen.
  • Bring Sunglasses.
  • Wear a Hat.
  • Wear your bathing suit.
  • Bring a waterproof camera!  All of the photos above were taken with my Canon Powershot D20.  I believe there is a newer model of this camera!






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