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Coconut Island (Hawaii Island)

Coconut Island, or Moku Ola is a small island in Hilo Bay, just offshore from Lili'uokalani Park and Gardens, in Hilo, off the island of Hawaii. It is a small park, and is connected to the main island via a footbridge. The island includes a large grassy field, picnic areas, restroom facilities, and a few tiny sandy beaches.[1] A popular recreational activity is to jump off the tower into the waters of Hilo Bay.

Moku Ola
Nickname: Coconut Island
View of Moku Ola from Lili'uokalani Park
Location 19°43′46″N 155°4′7″W / 19.72944°N 155.06861°W / 19.72944; -155.06861Coordinates: 19°43′46″N 155°4′7″W / 19.72944°N 155.06861°W / 19.72944; -155.06861
United States

The name Mokuola translates as "healing island" or "island of life" from the Hawaiian language. Moku meaning island and ola meaning life. It was the site of an ancient temple dedicated to healing.[2] It is located off Banyan Drive.[3]

Legend tells that anyone who was sick or feeling ill would be healed by swimming around Moku Ola three times. In ancient times, Moku Ola was a pu'uhonua (place of refuge), where natives or warriors could 'redeem' themselves. Many native Hawaiians would also bury their children's piko (umbilical cords) under the flat rocks here, so the rats would not find them (piko are often considered sacred to Hawaiians, as they are the connection to their mothers and to their blood lines).[4]


Foot bridge to Moku Ola from Banyan Drive


  1. ^ "Letʻs Go Hawaii - Coconut Island, Hilo Hawaii". Letʻs Go Hawaii. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-20. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Lloyd J. Soehren. "lookup of mokuola". Hawaiian Place Names web site. University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coconut Island
  4. ^ unknown. "lookup of mokuola". Mokuola website. County of Hawaii Planning Department. Retrieved 2013-07-30.