Moloka’i is a beautiful, quiet island and the only place you can send a coconut through U.S. Mail. This tradition came about in a unique way.
Back in the 1990s, a tourist went into the Hoolehua post office and asked if they could mail a coconut home. The postmaster gave it a shot and it worked! That visitor safely received his coconut in the mail and the quirky little Post-a-nut industry was born.
Go into that same post office today and you’ll see mail bins full of coconuts ready to be decorated and shipped. And of course, in the spirit of aloha, they’re free! What isn’t free is to ship them. And of course the heavier the coconut, the more it costs to ship.
There are rules around which coconuts are eligible for shipping. They can’t have any holes or obvious damage that might lead to sending a rotten or leaky coconut. You must use Sharpies or acrylic paints so the design doesn’t get messy and bleed in transit. They even supply Sharpies at the Hoolehua Post Office for you to use!
Dozens of completed coconuts line the walls of the post office.
And lots of pictures and paintings of people enjoying the process.
Our own experience was just as fun as all this looks. The caretaker of the house we stayed in found us appropriate coconuts to use and we decorated them using Sharpies at the house. Then we trekked out to the Hoolehua Post Office and met Reed, who weighed and stamped them for us.
And for a small fortune later, our ‘nuts were in the mail! I got home to find mine delivered safe and sound.
My kids were befuddled at the delivery but the look on my friend’s daughter’s face when she received her coconut in the mail is pretty priceless.
Like I said, Moloka’i is a sleepy, chill island so this is a fun thing to do while you’re relaxing. My only tip is to find the smallest coconut possible.