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Discover Kauai: I am the Garden Island of Hawaii

With six million years am the oldest of the eight main islands of Hawaii.

Overview
Activities
The green Na Pali Coast Kauai
The green Na Pali Coast Kauai

Where the richly vegetated island of Kauai lies today, the earth's plates collided deep under the sea. The result was powerful volcanoes that erupted again and again and eventually brought me to the surface. Today the earth under Kauai has calmed down and only the former volcanoes testify to the fiery time.

The Kawaikini is with 1598 meters the highest mountain on Kauai, followed by the Mount Waialeale with 1569 meters. The volcanic past of Hawaii has left behind a rugged landscape with many Cliffs, mountains and valleys - a dream for hikers and explorers.

Here are some important information about me - a little profile: As I said before, I was born more than six million years ago. Today I have an area of exactly 1456.4 square kilometers making it the fourth largest island in Hawaii. The Big Island,, Maui and Oahu are bigger than me. About my location: In the southeast I border on Oahu and about 17 miles to the west lies the "forbidden island" Niihau. Only 200 Polynesians live here - as if time had stood still. With a helicopter you can admire the island from the air.

On Kauai it is pleasantly warm all year round. It is always the right temperature to lie on my dream beaches or to head inland for a hike. In summer, the average temperature is 26 degrees, in spring are mild 22 degrees. On my coasts it is always a bit warmer than in the mountainous areas of Kauai. In Kokee State Park, which lies at an altitude of over 1000 meters, even minus degrees were measured in 1986. Mount Waialeale is considered to be particularly rainy, but that is why it is so wonderfully densely vegetated. At my beaches it is usually best bathing weather.

Allow me to introduce These are my residents

We'll come back to my gorgeous landscapes later, now I'd like to introduce you to the people of Kauai. In total there are already almost 70,000 peoplewho lived here in 2015 and there are more and more who don't want to leave Kauai. Every year our population increases by hundreds to thousands of immigrants. In Kapaa about 10,000 Hawaiians live here and the city on the East Coast is thus the largest city of Kauai. However, the center of business and administration is Lihue, which is located a little further south on the east coast.

The Hawaiian culture is passed on today
The Hawaiian culture is passed on today

There are tiny villages you should visit on your travels that will tell you about my history. The larger cities are located on the coast and are characterized mainly by the Highway 550 and the Routes 56 and 50 connected with each other. So from city to city you get excellent with the rental car, but there are also regular Buses. This may not be as convenient, since you often have to walk to the sights - but you will gain a direct contact with the locals and get into conversation with them. You can get a map and bus schedules on site.

In the far north - near the Hanalei Valley - are the cities of Hanalei, Princeville and Kilauea. On the east coast of Kauai comes our capital Kapaa, smaller places like Wailua and Hanamaulu and on the southwestern island finally our second largest city Lihue. From Lihue Airport from, planes fly daily to Oahau and Maui, and there are direct flights to the U.S. and Canada. Many of my visitors come from the mainland US. Following Highway 50 on the south coast are the towns of Koloa, Kalaheo and Waimea. On the west coast there are with Mana a larger town on the beautiful Polihale Beach.

Taro fields in Hanalei Valley
Taro fields in Hanalei Valley

We expect you: Tourism is the largest economic sector on Kauai

Every year come over one million tourists on Hawaii's Garden Island. Most of them are US American. About one-third of my population is employed in hotels, restaurants, or some other sector of the tourist industry. Agriculture accounts for only three percent of my population. The soil on Kauai is Very fertile and people used to take advantage of that. Many different tropical fruits still thrive here today such as Guavas, mangos, avocados and of course pineapple and the famous coffee from Hawaii.

Tropical feeling comes on the Coconut Plantation of our island. Because of the coconut cultivation the east coast is also called Coconut Coast. You can reach the plantation in a few minutes drive from our capital Kapaa. Until the last century we have specialized in the cultivation of Sugar cane concentrated. For a long time, sugar plantations dominated the entire economy of Hawaii. Instead of sugar cane today you will find Ranches, on which our farm animals feel comfortable.

Come on an adventure on Hawaii's garden island

If you ask Tommy & Jessi, they'll have a hard time deciding on the most beautiful region on Kauai. The island offers a variety of gorgeous plant life and exciting culture around the old towns. You want to experience something on vacation and not just let the sun shine on your belly? Then Tommy will take you to the North Shore of Kauai. There is a wide range of hiking trails here - always with a dream view of the deep blue Pacific and the fine white sandy beaches. You can find videos of the green paradise on the web.

The Kalalau Trail leads you along the Pacific Ocean for about two hours - on one side you have the lush green rainforest, on the other side you have the view over the sea. It is 17.7 kilometer long. You start your hike at the Kee Beach and finally you come to the Hanakapiai Beach out. You can refresh yourself at the numerous streams over which the path leads. Beautiful waterfalls and small pools make the way provide cooling in tropical climate. Only in a few places in the world can you help yourself to ripe tropical fruit like here -. Mango and guava plants line the way.

Kauai - the perfect backdrop for Jurassic Park and other movies

Known from Jurassic Park: The Manawaiopuna Falls
Known from Jurassic Park: The Manawaiopuna Falls

Not only tourists from all continents have discovered the Hawaiian Islands for themselves. Especially the charm of Kauai has been found by Hollywood for great movies. Did you know that many movies and TV series have been filmed in Kauai for decades? You can get information about this on a movie tour of Kauai, which takes you to the most famous film locations. 

The Napali Coast with high, rugged cliffs and densely overgrown escarpments is home to the Jurassic Park Movies. Also in the Nawailiwili Harbour of Lihue as well as in the southwest of Kauai parts of the blockbuster have been filmed. Surely you also know Hollywood movies like Blue Hawaii or South Pacific - they are set to a large extent on the East Coast, for example at the Opaekaa waterfalls. Romantic comedies make use of the beaches of the scenic North Shore, such as the Bay off Hanalei. These include strips such as Honeymoon in Vegas. The next time you see the movies on TV, you'll experience them with completely different eyes!

 

Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park

Breathtaking view at Waimea Canyon
Breathtaking view at Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is not called for nothing "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" called. The gorge is located in the southwest of the island and is about 22 kilometers long and 1.6 kilometers wide. The depth is up to 1100 meters. On your hike through this rugged landscape of Hawaii, you can hardly get enough of rocky canyons and picturesque mountain peaks. The best viewpoint is the Waimea Canyon Overlook. Here you arrive comfortably by rental car. The narrow road is lined with steep slopes and red rocks. Downward you have again and again the view of the Waimea River, which splashes here between the rugged canyons. You can combine your visit to Waimea Canyon with the Kalalau Trail. To do this, you drive through to Kokee State Park and can start the two-hour tour from here.

Kokee National Park is 17 square kilometers in size and is located at an altitude of 975 - 1280 meters. This promises you incomparable views over the Grand Waimea Canyon and the valleys in the northwest of the island. Hikers will find their hearts beat faster in this park: In total we offer you here 73 kilometers of hiking trails. The many tours are marked on a map. Included are trails for beginners and for the whole family, but also for experienced hikers who are looking for routes away from the hustle and bustle. Discover rare and splendidly colorful plants that you will hardly find anywhere else in the world. Also look out for our native birds like the Apapane or the Iwi.

Information and the map for your trail is available at the Kokee Natural Museum. You can also watch a video of the park in advance. You can take beautiful pictures from the Kalalau Lookout or the Puu O Lika Lookout - with the Valley and the bright blue Pacific as a backdrop. Up here it can get quite fresh and wet - so be sure to take a sweater and long pants.

Wailua River

No other of the Hawaiian Islands offers you as many rivers and streams as Kauai. The largest of them is the Wailua River with a length from 32 kilometers. It starts at the top of Mount Waialeale as two rivers: the North Folk and the South Folk Wailua River. Then it flows quietly along the East Coast. Smaller boats, kayaks and even larger vessels are allowed on the river. You won't find anything like this on any other Hawaii island.

Canoeing on Wailua River
Canoeing on Wailua River

The tranquil Wailua River is ideal for Canoeing and kayaking. The boats can be rented on site or you can take a tour boat across the water. The route leads along ancient temples and picturesque rainforests. You plan with your loved one on Honeymoon? Then inquire about a trip to the Fern Grotto by boat. This densely green grotto is made of lava rock and it is the perfect backdrop for Wedding pictures. From here you can also see the sleeping giant, which is the Nounou mountain range between Kapaa and Waliua. She looks like a big person lying on her back in the sun.

You prefer to travel by car? The Kuamoo and the Kuhio Highway lead you along the Wailua shores. By car you have an advantage: you can stop in the small towns and visit the sacred temples of the Polynesians. On your way you can stop at beautiful waterfalls like Opaekaa Falls and at historical remains of small towns.

From the longest beach in Hawaii to the secret cove

The paradise Makua Beach (also known as Tunnels Beach)
The paradise Makua Beach (also known as Tunnels Beach)

Picturesquely situated is the Kee Beach on the North Shore. In front of the bay lies a colorful coral reef, which you used to be able to discover while snorkeling. More and more tourists have discovered this dream beach and so Kee Beach is very crowded, especially during the high season. Bathing is only allowed up to the coral reef to protect nature. This is monitored by the beach guard on site.

Fine beaches can be found in the south of Kauai Island: Around the town of Poipu There are well-maintained stretches of beach, such as the Marriot Waiohai Hotel or Brennekes Beach. Away from the hustle and bustle, you can also go swimming in peace on Kauai. If you're lucky, you'll have a small bay all to yourself. The bays are well hidden and your guidebook might not even tell you about them. In the south of the coast - near the city Poipu - you get by car to the Shipwreck Beach. With the big waves, the beach is a paradise for surfers.

Like a beautifully landscaped pool looks the Lumahai Beach on the North Shore near the town of Hanalei. The semicircular sandy beach leads shallowly into the Pacific Ocean and is bordered by dark lava rocks. You'll find it between the towns of Princeville and Haena. But pssst - only a few vacationers find their way here! But once found, we even have parking in front of the narrow path downhill. Enjoy the peace and quiet in this bay and just switch off!

Now to the longest beach of Kauai - the Polihale Beach even counts as the longest stretch of beach in all of Hawaii. Here in the west of Poipu there are perfect weather conditions - it is almost always sunny and dry. No wonder that many luxurious hotels and resorts have settled here. Especially the rich and beautiful feel at home here: magnificent villas and noble boutiques in the shopping center are part of the picture of Poipu.

Beaches and culture around Lihue

Hawaii's culture is alive!
Hawaii's culture is alive!

You will surely arrive by plane at Lihue Airport. Around the economic center of Kauai Island you will find beautiful beaches: Especially popular is the Kalapaki Beach, both among tourists and Hawaiian locals. About the Marriot Resort or on Kauai Lagoons Golf Club you can jump into the cool water in the best company. Also try yourself in the Surfing - around Kalapaki Beach you will find surf schools and stores for your surf equipment.

Lihue has been working with the Nawiliwili Harbour also an important port for us, our vacationers and for all of Hawaii. Goods arrive here daily from overseas and from the other Hawaiian Islands and cruise ships stop for a stopover on Kauai. Since 1897, Kauai has also had a lighthouse at Ninini Beach to keep ships arriving safely. From Lihue you have excellent access to sightseeing and hiking trails. Here you can go on an exciting journey into our past: Alekoko is for example a small village that will give you the more 1000 years old fish catch basin shows. In Kilohana you can explore a former plantation - or head to the many museums, such as the Kauai Museum.

From Lihue, many campers and adventurers also set out into the rainforest. Kauai is very popular with Backpackerswho discover the island on foot or by bike. Of course, part of the route may also be covered with our well-developed bus network or with a rental car. One to two hours away is the Napali Coast - considered a must for Kauai vacationers. You can reach it via the Kalalau Trail, which I have already recommended to you.

Come to visit!

Come to Kauai and unwind in my verdant rainforests! Unwind while hiking through picturesque landscapes and soak up the sun on my wide dream beaches - always with rugged cliffs in the background and the gentle sound of the waves.

Your questions, answered by us:

Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific. The island belongs to Polynesia and is just 4000 km away from the American mainland. Kauai is the northernmost island of the Hawaiian archipelago and is almost circular in shape.

Kauai is also called "Garden Island". The island owes this name to the emerald green valleys and mountains, as well as the lush vegetation and the rushing waterfalls.

The Hawaiian language contains many vowels that are pronounced slightly differently than in German:

For example, it sounds like:

  • A like "ah
  • I sounds like "ih
  • U sounds like "uh

In spoken language, Kauai is pronounced as follows:

Cow wai

Kauai is the greenest of the Hawaiian archipelago and just 20% of the island is connected by roads, the rest is wild and can only be viewed by boat or helicopter.

Most of the existing roads are paved, so that any car can be rented (in general: If you drive with a rental car on an unofficial road/dirt road, you will forfeit your insurance coverage in case of doubt. So read the conditions carefully).

Another idea is to rent a scooter, which is also a great way to explore the island.

Kauai, the Garden Island, is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with an area of 1456.4 km┬▓.

The green island is about 53 kilometers long, 40 kilometers wide and almost circular in shape.

A journey to the "Garden Island" Kaui, is only possible by plane:

From Honolulu Airport (HNL), Hawaian Airlines flies to Kauai's main airport, Lihue Airport (LIH) in the southeast of the island. The flight time is about 35-45 minutes.

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