An August 2002 trip
to Kauai by aponyah
Quote: A wonderful week on the great island of Kauai. It is rightly named the Garden Island. The smell as you get off the plane induces a peacefulness. The people of Kauai mastered the meaning of "aloha". Come and join me on a discovery journey on the Island of Kauai.
Other highlights were the drive to Poipu Beach area which must include a visit to National Tropical Botonical Gardens near Spouting Horn parking lot. The drive to Hanelei must include a stop at Princeville Hotel. Take a boat ride or even kayak to Fern Grotto. The most memorable moment was walking on the beach just outside our condo (Kauai Beach Villas) and seeing a monk seal lying on the beach digesting his breakfast.
I prepaid most of our "fun" commerical trips before going which left plenty of money to do "found" fun once we got to the island. Watch the "Island" tourism channel on the TV for current happenings and places of interest but only time to have the TV on! Many free publications also available on the sidewalks for coupons and discounts for fun activities.
Hotel | "Pahio at Kauai Beach Villas"
Each evening is a torch lighting ceremony with hula dancers. Some of the activities scheduled by the resort was: learn to scuba (free in the resort pool), learn to kayak (free in the resort pool), flower lei making, watercolor class (with professional artist instructor ($15.00) and many other activites. The pool is exotic with waterfalls and grottos. There is also a shallow sand pool with a view of the ocean. In the Radisson is an internet cafe, art gallery, and a gift shop. There is also a restaurant and tennis courts. You can run along the beach which is almost a mile and a half long.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2002
Kauai Beach Villas
4330 Kauai Beach Drive
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
Restaurant | "Bubba Burger"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 29, 2002
4-1421 Kuhio Highway
Kapa'a, Hawaii 96746
+1 808 823 0069
Attraction | "Na Pali Coast State Park"
Hikers must be in good shape to hike the entire 11-mile trail (one-way), which runs from Haena State Park to Kalalau Beach. The strenous trail follows high, green cliffs and dips into lush valleys. Hikers can spend the night at primitive campsites in the Hanakapiai or Kalalau valleys.
You must obtain a backcountry/camping permit which is in high demand. Don't be surprised if the campsites are booked but you can try for cancellations.
Another popular day trip is the two-mile (one-way) hike from Kee Beach at Haena State Park to Hanakapiai Valley. There is a sandy beach and small sea cave at this location. Do NOT swim or wade at Hanakapiai because of dangerous rip currents. It is permissible to shore fish here. This trail allows great coastal views while hiking through kukui and ohia trees and groves of bamboo.
There is also the trail to Hanakapiai Falls which has a small pool for swimming but the trail is 4 miles round trip recommended only for experienced hikers.
Permits are required to hike the trail beyond Hanakapiai Valley.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 23, 2002
Na Pali Coast
Northwest Shore (end Of Highway 56)
Na Pali, Hawaii 96714
808 274 3444
Attraction | "Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge"
The Refuge is located on the northern part of the Island and is open to the public. It has fantastic views of the Pacific. There is another rock island just off the tip of the penisula; make sure you scan for monk seals there. We saw a sea turtle in the ocean on the left-hand side of the penisula. The waves crashing onto the shore on the right-hand side are spectacular. Look up on the cliffside and there are thousands of birds: frigates, boobies, and albatrosses. Great place for nature conservatory education!
Fees were $3.00 per person or you can use your "Golden Eagle Pass". Be aware that the National Park's Pass will need the upgraded hologram to use it.
Kaua`i National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1128
Kilauea, Hawai`i 96754
(808) 828-1414 fax
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 23, 2002
Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Lighthouse Road, one mile north of Kilauea P. O. Box 1128 (mailing address)
Kauai, Hawaii 96754
No gas stations are located in the park,so fill up before coming up the mountain.
The lodge has 12 rustic, inexpensive cabins with fireplaces to rent ($35-$45 per night). Call for reservations.
Restaurant open for breakfast and lunch only.
1-800--335-6061 Koke'e Lodge
Tent and trailer camping are allowed in this state park with appropriate permits. Restrooms, picnic tables and pavilions, grills and restaurant nearby the campground.
Permit is required for camping - call the Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-261-6660 for information and application.
It is a great place to picnic and the food in the restaurant is good. Beware of the hotdogs; they are huge! Ordering one is sufficient!
Koke'e State Park
Waimea, Hawaii 96796
+1 808 587 0400
The trip takes 40 minutes with any one of many companies on a long, flat-bottom riverboat. Boats depart from the south side of the river every 30 minutes. The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii. You will also see kayakers, motor boats and water skiers. We went on Waialeale Boat Tours which departs for the grotto every 30 minutes - cost is $15/person. While cruising at a leisurely pace to and fro from the Grotto, we were entertained with Hawaiian musicians and hula dancers. Great trip. There are other companies and you can go directly to the marina for your pick of companies to cruise with. At the marina is the Smith's Tropical Paradise also.
On the Wailua River
Wailua, Hawaii 96756
Attraction | "HoloHolo Charters"
You go right to the Na Pali coast. You slowly motor along the coast while the captain gives you the history of the coastline which is very informative! The captain pulls the catamaran into sea caves when weather permits. We saw feral goats and a very large sea turtle by one sea cave. You then cross the channel to the Forbidden Island where you first snorkel in the clearest 90 feet of water you have ever seen! Its off a bird sanctuary near the Forbidden Island of Ni'ihau.
After snorkeling, you have a great deli lunch. You then cruise along the coastline of Ni'ihau where you gain knowledge of Hawai'ian's last stand. Ni'ihau is owned by the Roberts family and is forbidden to visit or dock on. Then it is back to the harbor where the captain tells you about Kauai, and gives ample opportunities to photographic the marine life of Kauai's oceans. The staff is attentive, professional, and extremely informed on the history and seamanship!
Holo Holo Charters
Port Allen Marina Center, Eleele
Eleele, Hawaii 96705
Attraction | "National Tropical Botonical Gardens"
Allerton Tropical Gardens
Visitor Center--Lawai Road
Poipu, Hawaii 96756
+1 808 742 2623
Attraction | "Spouting Horn Beach Park"
Lawai Road, across from Allerton Visitor's Center
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
No phone available
Grand Canyon, Arizona