Kahoolawe

The smallest island in Hawaii is Kahoolawe but you are not allowed to visit it ( restricted area )

Kahoolawe
Kahoolawe

Of the eight main volcanic islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe is the smallest. If you want to have your peace and quiet then you are exactly right there. But there is currently no tourism as for example on Oahu. Furthermore you are not allowed to enter the island.

Visit Kahoolawe Island in Hawaii

It is located about 7 miles southwest of Maui and has a total area of 115.5 km². The highest point of the island is the crater Lua Makika, located on the top of Pu ù Moaulanul, at an altitude of 1.476 feet. The island’s past dates back to 1400 A.D., when the inhabitants carved their history into the rock slabs with stones in one of the largest quarries.

In the 18th century the inhabitants cultivated taro fruits, melons and worshipped their gods in self-made shrines. These are still preserved in their original form today. During this time, the islands of Hawaii were ruled by chiefs and throughout the archipelago each chief attempted to conquer an island for himself.

Location of the island:
7 miles southwest of Maui

Area:
115.5 sq. km

Length:
11 miles

Latitude:
6 miles

View to Kahoolawe
View to Kahoolawe

Very sparsely inhabited is the island

Kahoolawe has always been sparsely inhabited due to the low fresh water supply. Many sailors who entered the island at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century found hardly any people here. It is said that in 1857, a small number of about 50 inhabitants cultivated pumpkins, pineapples, sugar cane and tobacco near the coast.

In 1910, attempts were made to plant forests in order to reclaim part of the island. At times the island was also a penal colony and the prisoners could barely exist due to low availability of water and food. As a result of the strong trade winds, this inhumane penal colony also failed.

What was grown there:
Pumpkins
Ananaas
Sugar cane
Tobacco

How many people lived there:
About 50

The Target Island in Hawaii

After the Japanese attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941, martial law was declared by the U.S. government in Hawaii. The U.S. Army used Kahoolawe Island as a training ground and bombing range. Since then, the island got the nickname “The Target Island“.

 

Map Kahoolawe Hawaii
Map Kahoolawe Hawaii
Kahoolawe Hawaii
Kahoolawe Hawaii

Protect Kahoolawe

In 1976, the private organization Protect Kahoolawe petitioned the U.S. government to stop using the island as a training area. Although the government ruled that the area could continue to be used by the U.S. Army as a training area, environmentalists remained committed to preserving the historic and archaeological sites.

Kahoolawe Island Reserve

After several decades of citizen protests, U.S. Navy exercises were ended in 1990. By executive order of U.S. President George W. Bush, the island was transferred to the jurisdiction of the State of Hawaii in 1994. The Hawaii State Legislature then established the “Kahoolawe Island Reserve” for the purpose of restoring the island to its former state.

Clouds over Kahoolawe
Clouds over Kahoolawe
Hawaii map
Hawaii map

The island is full of unexploded ordnance and contamination

Unfortunately, decades of practice bombing left the island full of unexploded ordnance and contamination, so this area was considered very unsafe and uninhabitable. In 1998, the federal government awarded the U.S. Navy a 10-year, funded plan to clear unexploded ordnance and other remains. However, the ultimate goal of restoring Kahoolawe to its original state has not been achieved to date.

Many conservationists are still continuously engaged in removing the remaining unexploded ordnance in order to restore the island to its original state. Special emphasis is placed on preserving the remaining cultural and spiritual values for posterity. A visit of tourists on Kahoolawe is strictly forbidden and only allowed in exceptional cases.

Our opinion

Now you have learned a lot about the island of Kahoolawe. If it is restored to its original state, then maybe tourism can take place there. But this will surely take some time. Thus one must visit as a tourist the other islands of Hawaii and these are also very beautiful. So there are enough alternatives.

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