The picturesque island of Kauai lies in the azure waters of the Pacific, about 20 minutes by air from Honolulu, Oahu. Formed some six million years ago, the island is the oldest in the Hawaiian chain, and its endless beauty has earned it the name "Garden Isle". To visit Kauai is to quickly lose yourself in the quiet majesty of the island's lush tropical settings, where the Menehune (the island's 'little people') are said to have flourished; as close to the Garden of Eden as the Pacific has to offer.
Web sites across the 'net wax lyrical about the loveliness of Kauai, and for good reason. It's been said some of Hawaii's best-kept secrets are found on Kauai – since 90% of the island is inaccessible by car that may very well be true. Hiking, kayaking, and air travel are the only ways to get to and see most of this tropical paradise. If it's a unique, unconventional holiday experience you're craving, you should consider Kauai.
Hiking in the Waimea Canyon
Surfing at Poipu Beach
Wailua Falls & Opaekaa
The Kalalau Trail
Golf at Kalapaki
Kauai Islands Map
Regions to Visit
Hanalei Bay / Napali Coast
Lihue Town / Kalapaki Beach
Kauai Holidays Overview
In Kauai you can live each day like a kama'aina (long-time Hawaiian resident) if you want to. Wake up to the smell of plumeria and bougainvillea, breakfast on fresh-picked fruit to the sound of splashing waterfalls and tropical birds in the distance, and the sight of gently swaying palms near the soft, sandy beach. If you're a golfer, your day can continue on the links – the island boasts three of the top five golf courses in Hawaii and some of the best golfing in the world. There are eight courses with 153 holes spread across the island, some seaside, some inland, and some at the edge of the majestic cliffs, with difficulty levels ranging from amateur to expert. For the rest of you, Kauai offers a choice of adventures. Navigate the Wailua River by kayak to a fabulous (and acoustically perfect) lava rock and fern grotto, take an air tour, hike the emerald rainforest, explore the small villages that dot the landscape, or see Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon" of Hawaii.
Looking for more exciting adventures? You can zip-line above those rainforests, mountain tube down the flumes of Lihue, or see if you can identify the shoot locations of the more than 60 feature films that have been made on this island. Swing on a rope across waterfall pools, and then relax in the calm waters of the lagoon, then look for the dry and wet caves that are found around the isle. From the Waimea Canyon Pu'u Hinahina Lookout you can see Ni'ihau, the "forbidden" private island inhabited by about 200 pure Hawaiians, just 27+ km to the west.
You'll find a wide range of accommodation on Kauai from luxury resorts to cozy cottages. If you hire a car, you can explore one town at a time, then drive to the next and find a place to stay there.The main upmarket resort areas are Poipu in the south and Hanalei / Pin the north and there's a large resort complex on the outskirts of Lihue. More affordable holiday hotels can be found along the Wailua - Kapaa corridor along the east coast (also known as the Coconut Coast) whilst the smaller towns have guesthouse options.
Kauai Travel Information
Kauai's main airport is Lihue Airport in south-eastern Lihue. Many airlines now offer non-stop service to Kauai. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport on Oahu, and then continuing on to Kauai on a short, 20-minute flight..