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Chinaman's Hat Kayak Rentals

Location: East Oahu, Oahu

Chinaman’s Hat, or more formally known as Mokoli’i, is a basalt islet just off 0.75 miles off the Windward coast of Oahu on the northern side of Kaneohe Bay. It’s between a 15-30 minute paddle out to the island. The lagoon waters you will paddle through are calm and protected by an offshore barrier reef which allows for a peaceful experience. While you paddle enjoy stunning views of the nearby vertical cliffs of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. 

Once landed on the island, you can then choose to hike around the islet, visit the small narrow sand beach on the backside, or climb up the defined trail to the top.

The island also has a population of fluffy baby wedge-tailed shearwater chicks in the spring time, so respect the local wildlife. Look, but don’t touch as Chinaman's hat is designated as a Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary. For this reason, it is extremely important to stay on the trail and pick up any litter you find along the way.

The whole experience of paddling out to Chinaman’s hat as well as hiking up and back takes about 3 hours without rushing things. The views you’ll get will be reminiscent of movies like Jurassic Park, Battleship, 50 First Dates and many more since plenty of movies were filmed in Kualoa Ranch, just across the lagoon.

What to Expect

Pick up the kayaks from the Kailua Storefront, our friendly team will be there to guide you through strapping the kayak on your vehicle and provide you with all the necessary equipment. All you need is a 4-door car to transport it. 

From there, it is about a 30 minute drive from where you will launch at Kualoa Regional Park, just a short paddle from Chinaman's Hat island. You'll get kayaks, seat backs, life vests, safety equipment, and private instruction before you set out on your own to experience Chinaman's Hat.

Experience this one of a kind Oahu adventure with plenty of coastal views. We suggest this tour for individuals who are experienced in kayaking or are comfortable kayaking in the ocean. The water is clear and surprisingly shallow, so you’ll be able to see that turquoise blue hue that Hawaii is known for. Normally there are small rolling waves or no waves at all due to the reef that extends for a good 100 feet or so from the shore. This makes it easy to launch your kayaks and not have to battle large waves to get out to Mokoli’i.

Once landed on the Chinaman's Hat rocky shoreline, enjoy a light hike around the circumference of the island. You will be delighted to find that the backside has a narrow sand beach to swim off of along with a shallow cave to explore. There are also volcanic rock tide pools to explore filled with small sea creatures such as spined sea urchins (known as wana in Hawaiian), shingled urchins (hāʻukeʻuke), sea cucumbers (loli), and a variety of hermit crabs and small fish. Remember to look but not touch! For those seeking a challenge, the hike to the summit offers a rigorous climb, recommended only for experienced hikers due to its advanced terrain in the final ascent. Participants are advised to exercise extreme caution.

Once back to the shoreline and into your kayak, due to the predominant wind direction blowing you back to land, it is an easy paddle back to the starting point with the wind at your back. 


  • Kayaks, paddles, backrests
  • Can strap 2 kayaks to the roof of a sedan
  • Can strap 3 kayaks to the roof of a SUV
  • Ocean Kayaking Experience and Hike combo.
  • You will be required to sign a liability waiver.
  • Life jackets
  • On-shore instruction
  • 4 hour or Full Day rental available

What to Bring

  • Wear Sunscreen
  • Bring/wear water shoes or athletic shoes if you want to hike around on Chinaman’s Hat.
  • If you bring snacks and water, be sure to pack out the trash.
  • Please leave valuables at home.


4 hours


Pickup from storefront: 134B Hamakua Dr. Kailua HI, 96734

Cancellation Policy

Please notify us 48 hours in advance for a refund up to 100%. Day-of cancellations do not receive refunds.

You may alternately re-schedule your tour for another day. Re-scheduled tours do not receive refunds.

If you do not communicate with us or do not show up to the meeting location, your card will be charged the full amount due for the tour. Please inform us of any circumstances where you will be late or not be able to participate in the tour. Exceptions will be made for those providing a doctor’s note sent by email and checked by the manager.