Kauai Journals

Kaua'i - where the wild things are

A travel journal to Kauai by Malahini

Kilauea Lighthouse Photo, Kauai, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: Wildlife and scenery in Hawaii

Kaua'i - where the wild things are

Overview

The Kalalau Valley from Pu'u o Kila Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Kaua'i is an unusual island, the oldest of the chain, and the most worn by time, waves and weather. It's also the greenest and wettest, the only island with a navigable river. That's because: The growing chain of islands, which includes Hawaii, stretches toward Japan as far as Midway. Born from lava welling from the sea floor 3 miles down, the islands form - then the lava source moves on and growth of that island stops. Weather wears it down until it's a shallow atoll, or even beneath the surface of the sea. But along the way, marvellous changes occur. As the oldest high island, Kaua'i has erosion features like Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali coast. And its height is down to about 5000 ft, whereas Ma...Read More

Kilauea Lighthouse

Attraction | "where the wild things are"

Kilauea Lighthouse Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
A high rocky point on the north shore hosts the National Park Service's Kilauea Lighthouse. It's a superb viewpoint and adjacent to a seabird sanctuary. So there's a continuous spectacle of exotic birds overhead and even at eye level as they catch the updraft off the cliff. Tropic birds can hang motionless or even fly backward in a mating dance. Further offshore, pods of whales are a common sight in winter. We've even seen large sea turtles swimming in the surf far below. There's a guided nature hike through the bird sanctuary. The park staff are on hand to lend you binoculars or answer your questions. Back on the main road, stop at Banana Joe's for fruit or a smoothie. There's a guava plantation...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2002

Kilauea Lighthouse
Kilauea Road
Kilauea, Hawaii 96754
+1 808 828 1413

Wailua River (Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls)

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Attraction | "The Stronghold on the Wailua River"

Wailua River (Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls) Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Kamokila (the Stronghold) is a model Hawaiian village along the Wailua River. Staffed by native Hawaiians, it's authentic, an educational place to tour. It's where the "African" huts were built for the movie "Outbreak" There's little about it in the guidebooks, so here goes: We stumbled onto it first in1992, before Hurricane Iniki devastated Kaua'i. It's reached just after passing over the bridge beside Opaeka'a Falls. A left turn onto a steep, 1 lane road led down the cliffside to the village. Feeling adventurous, we took it, and held our breath around blind turns posted "Sound Horn". At the bottom, by the river, we found ourselves with only the guides for company. So our tour was thorough and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 25, 2002

Wailua River (Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls)
Wailua River
Kauai, Hawaii

Koke'e State Park

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Attraction

Koke'e State Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
So you came to see Waimea Canyon and want to know what else there is up this 15 mile long mountain road. Well, there's a restaurant, museum, a missle range tracking station and some roomy but spartan camping cabins. And hiking and mountain views you hardly dared dream about till now. You really ought to stay overnight so you can see sunset from the cliffs. Or catch the view from Pu'u o kila lookout on a clear morning before the fog rolls in as it sometimes does. The view into the Kalalau Valley is one of the most photographed in Kaua'i. The temperature really drops after the sun goes down at this 4000 ft. elevation. So you'll need to stoke the wood stove in your cabin - or take lots of covers -...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 26, 2002

Koke'e State Park
Kokee Road
Waimea, Hawaii 96796
+1 808 587 0400

Colors of Waimea Canyon on Kaua'i Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The land is old and worn by time, this green jewel on a necklace of fire which ends 400+ miles southeast on the lava cliffs of the Big Island, where lava drips into a steaming ocean. But on Kaua'i, the crater of an extinct volcano forms a catchment for moist trade winds, cooling as they rise up the 5000 foot slopes of the volcano. And rain comes on the heights, at about 40 ft. annually, making the crater the wettest place on earth. That's why it's called Waialeale (overflowing water). From this torrent, which forms a navigable river on a city sized island, comes the erosion which made Kaua'i's grand canyon, Waimea (red water). Rain and waves formed the thousand foot high Na Pali (the cli...Read More

Monk Seals

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Story/Tip

Monk Seal Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Unique to Hawai'i, the monk seal has unusual social behavior. It's solitary, unlike most other seals. After feeding, they like to lie on a sandy beach and sleep it off. We've seen them often in Kaua'i - and, strangely, never on the other islands. The Hawaiian name is 'Ilio holo i ka uaua (the dog who swims in the rough seas), and they're very agile there, feeding at depths up to 400 ft. Asleep on the beach, they may appear sick or dead. But don't be fooled or try to disturb them. They're very happy to be left alone and big enough to be dangerous. Also, they're protected from being disturbed by fines as large as $20,000. The beach patrol generally will fence them off with markers, but you may fi...Read More