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Molokini Crater – Crescent Island in Hawaii


Once a mighty volcano, it is now a submerged crater which is home to a number of species of birds and fishes and is also a treat for the divers and snorkelers. The Molokini Crater falls on the Alalakeiki Channel and is between the islands of Maui and Kaho’olawe in Hawaii. The crescent shaped crater covers an area of 23 acres and has a diameter of 0.4 miles. It has the State Sea Bird Sanctuary of Hawaii.

As per the geological tests which have been done in the region, the volcano of the Molokini Crater erupted 230,000 years ago and after the crater got submerged in the water, the inlet has been a favourite destination for fishing for the locals. There is a reef within the Molokini Crater which has an amazing clarity and where you can find about 250 different varieties of fishes, like the Black Triggerfish, Yellow Tang, Moorish Idol, Parrotfish, and so on. Because of the favourable shape of the inlet, it is known to provide some help to the divers against the strong current of the neighbouring waters. The Molokini Crater also has the provision of conducting a variety of water sports which therefore takes a number of enthusiasts to the region.


This isolated inlet is also a favourite destination for a variety of seabirds. Two major species of sea birds include the wedge tailed Shearwaters and the Bulwers Petrels. Climbing up the rocks one gets to see across a huge distance and enjoy the sight of the sunlight falling on the corals and displaying the algae within them. The Molokini Crater also has about 50 species of plants which grow in the region and are not found in the rest of the mainland around. The locals of the nearby islands also access the inlet in order to get the eggs of the nesting seabirds like that of the Brown Boobies and the big sized Frigate birds.

Apart from being a natural reserve and a tourist destination, the Molokini Crater has also been of other use like during the Second World War, it was used as a location for target practises by the US Navy. Till recent times a number of unexploded munitions were found in the area which created a public outcry as it was understood to be adversely affecting the waters and the marine life underneath. Post then not only has been the munitions removed from the area but, it has also been declared as a Marine Life Conservation.


The best time of snorkelling in the Molokini Crater is known to be during the early mornings and therefore a number of tours are available to the place from the surrounding islands of Maalaea Harbour and Lahaina. The mornings also give chances of watching many whale activities as well. It is therefore always advised to take cruises from Lahaina and Maalaea Harbour and enjoy a good deal of time in the Molokini Crater.

Papakolea Beach – Green Sand Beach – Hawaii


When most beaches of the world get their popularity from their glistening golden coloured sand, there are five such beach destinations which stand out from the rest because of their green coloured sand. One amongst those five destinations is Papakolea Beach popularly also known as the Green Sand Beach which is present in the southern tip of South Point which lies in the Kaʻū district of the Big Hawaiian Island. The remaining four beaches include the Talafofo Beach in Guam, the Punta Cormorant in Floreana Island of Galapagos Island, and the Hornindalsvatnet in Norway.


Apart from the sand of the Papakolea Beach being green the second attractive feature of the place is that it gives you the chance of enjoying a beach sitting in the cinder cone of an ancient volcano. It is primarily the second feature of the place which gives rise to the first. The greenness of the sand is the result of the mineral olivine which is present inside the cinder cone. Olivine is a mix of iron and magnesium and is mostly found in the lavas of the volcanoes in the Hawaii region. The cooled magma form green crystals which are also popularly called “Hawaiian Diamonds”. For all these reasons the area is also tagged as the National Landmark District.


The beach gets its name from either being formed out of a cinder cone or also on the people of the neighbouring region who in turn get this name from the Pacific Golden Plower which is sometimes visible during the winter season. This is the point on which the first Polynesian settlers landed and made the first Hawaiian settlements. The Papakolea Beach has a half circle shape where the eastern part of the 49,000 year old cinder has been eroded by the ocean.


Though the uniqueness of this place is one of its kinds in the world but, this has not led to the starting of any guided tours to this isolated part. If you want to be a part of this wonder of nature then, you have to take up a 2 ½ hour drive from the Kohola Coast where most of the resorts of Hawaii are situated. However, one thing to be kept in mind is that while driving across this path you need to have a skill to tackle rough roads. It is perhaps for this reason that most people opt for a 2 ½ hour hiking trip each way to see this scenic wonder. In addition, the path takes you only to the edge of the cinder cone, in order to reach the beach you need to climb down the cone.

Apart from the natural significance of the area, it is also a rich fishing spot, a location for the coastguard lighthouses and also has a U.S Air Force landing strip.