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Big Island, Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, Oahu - Honolulu|
Here under Kahoolawe, you will find travel information about the island of Kahoolawe, as well as general information.
Kahoolawe, the uninhabited island seven miles southwest of Maui and southeast of Lanai, is the smallest island in the Hawaiian chain. Due to its low elevation and its location in the rain shadow of Maui's Haleakala Crater, it is also the driest island. The channel between Lanai and Kahoolawe used to be the departure point for ancient voyagers on their journey to Tahiti, why it is also called Kealaikahiki, "pathway to Tahiti". From Lua Makika you have a good view of the island of Lanai, Molokai and Maui.
On the island you can still find a large number of archaeological sites of ancient Hawaiian settlements. Since those early times, Kahoolawe has served as a prison, a ranch and during World War II as a bombing target by the US Army. It was once a green and forested island, but its vegetation was destroyed by the animals, that were brought over by the ranchers, and turned into a dustbowl. After the war, civilians were forbidden to return to the island and the bombing continued until 1994, when the federal government finally stopped the bombing and handed Kahoolawe back to the Hawaiian people. This was due to many protests by Hawaiian activists and a statewide opposition to the military use of the island. Kahoolawe became a symbol of the separation of Hawaiians from their land and a focal point in the movement for Hawaiian rights("the Hawaiian Renaissance") and the revival of the Hawaiian culture.
Nevertheless, the island is still off limits for visitors, as it is badly contaminated by the shells and bombs, that where dropped on the island, and contains dangerous, unexploded ordinance. Today, Kahoolawe and its waters are managed by the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission while it is being cleaned up and restored by the US government in order to become a cultural preserve.
Nickname: "The Forgotten Island"
Area: 45 sq miles
Highest Point: Lua Makika (1,477 feet)
Official Color: grey
Official Flower: hinahina