Manana Island: Preserving Rabbit Island

One of the reasons I moved to (and stayed in!) Hawaii was because I was inspired by the natural beauty of places like Manana Island. You might know this place better as Rabbit Island. The vibrant colors of the sunsets on the Waimanalo side of Oahu make me want to walk off the sand right into the sky. It’s these sunsets that inspired the Manana Island Collection.

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Why didn’t we take our photo from the island? It’s an uninhabited protected bird sanctuary. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has made it illegal to step foot on Rabbit Island without their permission. The best place to enjoy a close up view from Makapu’u Beach. Located at the furthest point east on Oahu, Makapu’u has some of the best views.

Manana Island Insta

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or if Makapu’u Beach is your local spot, it’s perfect for bodyboarding and bodysurfing. Be careful if you or your kids aren’t used to ocean swimming. The waves can be a bit intimidating for inexperienced beach-goers. I’ve been knocked around a time or two in the Makapu’u surf!


Not ready to hit the beach? Hike to the top of Makapu’u Point, near the lighthouse, for the best view of the island and surrounding beaches. Take your camera and stay for sunset. You won’t be disappointed. The late winter months are perfect for whale watching!

The History

Even if you’re not ready for a hike, you can still get a view right from the road. While it might look like a rabbit’s head, that’s not the only reason Rabbit Island got its name. In the 1880’s John Adams Cummins raised rabbits on the island. As happens so often when non-native animals and plants are introduced, the rabbits were destroying the native ecosystem.


In 1994 they were removed in favor of the island being a breeding ground for native species of birds of Hawaii like sooty terns, brown noddies, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and red-tailed tropic birds. I have an affection for Manana Island that comes from my parents who are avid bird watchers in Oregon.

Whether it’s birds of Hawaii, bodysurfing, or sunset views, Manana Island is a special place.

Grab a piece of the beauty from our Manana Island Collection!


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