Coconut Island at Kuhio Bay is also known as “Moku Ola”, meaning “healing island” in Hawaiian. It was once the site of an ancient healing temple and now serves as a recreation area for residents and visitors in Hilo Town.
Hawaiian legend tells us that the demi-god, Maui, had a magic fishhook and a canoe that could take him to a neighbor island with two sweeps of his paddle. Maui felt sorry for Hawaiians who didnt have a magic canoe like his, and told a number of chiefs they could travel throughout Hawaii quickly if they followed him. Maui told the chiefs to paddle toward the ocean, without looking back, until the islands connected. Maui fastened his magic fishhook into the island of Maui and the men paddled feverishly. The island of Maui slowly moved closer, but just as it was to be joined with the Big Island, one of the paddling chiefs turned to look back. The magic spell was then broken and the island slid back, leaving a piece of land fastened to the magic fishhook, still caught on the Big Island.
Facts & Trivia
- Island: Big Island
- Duration: About 5 minutes when time permits, otherwise typically a drive-by location.
- Amenities: Photo opportunity.
- Insider Tip: If you have time, talk a quick walk out to nearby Coconut Island!
- Fun Fact: This offshore island was once a place for sacred ancient healing.
- What to Expect: Serene Japanese style gardens and Koi ponds.