Kayaking to Flat Island in Kailua | Oahu Kids Activities

I spent most of my free time in the water B.C. (before children) – swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, or rather “surfing”  –  good times. These days, I spend way too much time looking at it longingly from the shore. But now that Mila is 1, it’s time to take her on her first offshore islet adventure. See, B.C. I was a biologist working on the conservation of coastal areas in Hawaii including the offshore islets, so they hold a special place in my heart. Being somewhat isolated from us humans and introduced pests has allowed rare native plants, seabirds, and the occasional cool bug to flourish. I love to soak in the native goodness of it all. Plus, the trip out is super fun and you get some stellar views. Find out more about Hawaii’s Offshore Islets.

The easiest islet adventure for kids is Flat Island or Popoia. It’s a short paddle from Kailua Beach Park and generally very calm. Head straight out from the boat ramp to the little beach and land your kayak. The islet is made of limestone which is rough on the feet, you may want to bring some reef walkers or even slippers to protect little (and big) feet. So grab a kayak or board and head out! Just do me a big favor – stay to the trail the wraps around the perimeter of the islet, watch under foot for burrow-nesting seabirds and for goodness sake, leave the dogs at home.

oahu island photography popoia

 (left) Sesuvium portulacastrum, akulikuli carpets much of the island (top right) wedge-tailed shearwaters “clubbing” on the east side of the island.hawaii seabird photography on popoiaWhat’s cuter than this fuzzball? Flat Island is one of the few places on Oahu where Bulwer’s petrels are known to nest.oahu family and keiki activities photographer


Have you taken your kids kayaking? I’d love to hear about your adventures!




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