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July 1, 2015

Kualoa - Ocean Voyage Tour

Kualoa, located on the Northeast side of Oahu, spans 4,000 acres across mountains, rainforests, valleys, and beaches.

The family-owned property, one of the most sacred places on Oahu, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to a working cattle ranch, and is also the site of many popular movie and television scenes.

Kualoa offers a variety of tours to choose from that are in line with their mission of preserving the area while being able to share the history and natural beauty with visitors. One such tour is the Ocean Voyage Tour.

After checking guests in, our friendly guide, Kimo, led us on the tour, which began with a short bus ride to Moli`i Dock, and another short ride on Moku Kahai, a Hokule`a replica, across Moli`i pond.

As we rode the Moku Kahai, Kimo told guests about Hokule`a and how its crew used stars to navigate across the ocean.

A short bus ride to Moli`i Dock
Hopping aboard the Moku Kahai
Soon we docked at Secret Island Beach, where we boarded the 49-passenger catamaran, Kailani.
Kailani Catamaran
After a safety briefing, Captain John took us out onto the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

The further we went out to sea, the more surreal the views became.

Spectacular views
Mokuli`i Island (Chinaman's Hat)
Simply stunning!

It was pretty magical to view the mountains and Mokuli`i Island from the ocean.  The hues of greens and blues could not have created a prettier scene!

On our way out the Captain advised that those who'd want to feel like being on a roller coaster should go to the front bottom deck of the boat, so my middle son excitedly went, along with my husband.


I sat on the top deck with two of my sons, and it could get pretty bumpy even at the top, so I can't even imagine how much bumpier it was where my son was, but he absolutely loved it there.  It was his favorite part of the Ocean Voyage Tour - the "roller coaster ride."

Shortly thereafter we went on to "Baby Turtle Beach," where we saw several baby turtles swimming around.
Baby Turtle Beach - can you see the baby turtle's head?
After some time on the ocean, we began to head back to Secret Island Beach (a separate Secret Island Beach tour is available) and we once again boarded the Moku Kahai to take us back across Moli`i  Pond.
Secret Beach
Another view of the majestic mountains
We did a quick tour of the Moli`i Pond, an 800-year old Hawaiian fish pond that is still in use to this day. 

Kimo explained how the ancient Hawaiians built the fishpond and their ingenious method of catching fish.  The fishpond is not only important for its historical significance, but also for the integral role it plays in sustainability.

Kimo also discussed the importance of malama’ āina (caring for the island), which is what Kualoa emphasizes through its employees and tours.
Moli`i Pond
The Ocean Voyage Tour is 90 minutes long (no restrooms on the tour so be sure to make a stop before the tour starts!), and it was quite an experience. Kimo was a great guide - very funny, knowledgeable, and passionate about not only Kualoa, but its place in Hawaii's history and how it continues to educate others.

Our entire family enjoyed the tour. My kids enjoyed being out on the ocean (although my littlest held on to me very tightly in fear of falling in the water), and I personally loved learning a little more about the ways of the ancient Hawaiians, as well as getting a different perspective on the island we call home.

Kualoa
49-560 Kamehameha Hwy
Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 237-7321

For tour information, click here.  Kama`aina and military discounts available.

Thank you to Kualoa for hosting our family's tour.  Guide gratuity was paid on my own.

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