Flat Island Popoia Island

Flat Island (Popoia Island) lives up to its name, but its more than a horizontally-oriented offshore island. The four-acre Flat Island, located about one-fourth mile from Kailua Beach Park, is a favorite resting stop for kayakers and a playground for surfers. Kailua Beach Park is the perfect place to enjoy ocean activities like fishing, sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and kiteboarding, and a quick trip out to Flat Island (Popoia Island) is essential on a visit and one of Oahus best beaches. 

When the ocean conditions and tradewinds are ideal, the surf breaks at Flat Island make for beginner surfers and longboarders. After a long session you can take a break on the small strip of sand on the southwest side Flat Island (there is jagged reef on the other sides of the island, be sure to land here). Stay a while and take in the spectacular views of Kailua, Lanikai Beach, the Mokulua Islands, and East shore of Oahu. Then, head over to Lanikai Point and snorkel with green sea turtles!


Popoia, or Flat Island, once featured a Hawaiian fishing shrine where Hawaiians would offer fish meat to bring in good luck in fishing. The shrine, however, is no longer there.Flat Island (Popoia Island) is a State Seabird Sanctuary where several sink holes are used by the wedge-tailed shearwater seabirds. In 2000, an estimated 3,000 seabirds were living on the island. The very first recorded survey of seabird populations was made in 1915.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Duration: About 2 hours at Kailua Beach Park where you can kayak to Flat Island, snorkel at Lanikai Point, and eat lunch on the picnic tables at Kailua Beach.
  • Amenities: No amenities at Flat Island, but restrooms and picnic areas at Kailua Beach Park.
  • Insider Tip: Walk carefully, Flat Island is a State Seabird Sanctuary and is home to over 3,000 wedge-tailed shearwaters. Please treat their home with respect and heed all posted signs.
  • Fun Fact: Popoia literally means fish rot in Hawaiian, referring to the island once being used as a place of offering by ancient Hawaiians.
  • What to Expect: Seabirds nesting in holes (watch your step!) among the grassy, rocky shore; a small strip of sand where kayakers and surfers land; beautiful views of Kailua Beach Park and Lanikai Beach, plus the Mokulua Islands.

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