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KAUA‘I TRAVELER myhawaiitraveler.com
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Award winning designs, exceptional quality and unsurpassed service. All gemstones, diamonds, pearls are unique and certified. The exclusive Van Balen line is handmade on Kauai, Hawaii.
LOCAL VIBE SPA + STYLE THE BEST BEACHES EPIC ADVENTURES FOOD + DRINK WHAT WE LOVE NOW WHALES OF HAWAI‘I $6.99
KAUA‘I’S DISAPPEARING NATIVE FOREST BIRDS
ENJOY RESPONSIBLY AN OASIS OF LIFE IN A BLUE DESERT
THE MYTHICAL AND ELUSIVE GREEN FLASH
Marriott Resort & Beach Club (808) 245-4860 Kukuiula Shopping Village (808) 742-2828
Na Pali Coast Snorkeling Fun Sunset Dinner Cruise Guaranteed Dolphins Spacious Catamarans
Ask us about scuba diving!
KAUAI Find all 12 dolphins to get a free t-shirt when booking direct. Call us for hints!
22 WELCOME TO KAUA‘I Paradise found
50 STEWARDS OF PARADISE In land we trust
48 SOUTH SHORE The sun-drenched coast from Po‘ipū to Polihale Beach
65 DON'T BE A VICTIM What you need to know before swimming in Kaua‘i’s waters
70 NORTH SHORE The majestic and magical wonder of nature
72 PLAY ALL DAY From miniature golf to hiking, biking and dining, Anaina Hou is the ideal place for a fun family outing
92 EAST SIDE The Royal Coconut Coast 8 LOCAL VIBE This 'n That Hawai‘i style 16 WHY DON'T YOU... Try these Kaua‘i experiences 18 LOCAL RAVES & FAVES My Kaua‘i 32 ENJOY RESPONSIBLY An ocean of life in a blue desert 38 BEYOND THE HUMPBACK Sighting the many whales in Kaua‘i’s waters
80 WHAT WE LOVE NOW Trending culinary experiences 86 THE HOT SPOT Bar Acuda is a must on the North Shore 88 CHICKEN FOR THE SOUL Serving food with aloha 90 SIPPIN' INTO SPRING It's the season to discover delicious new favorites 94 GOING SILENT Kaua‘i’s disappearing native forest birds 98 SEEING GREEN Mythical and elusive, this magical ﬂash makes Hawaiian sunsets extra special
Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi at The Shops at Kukui‘ula | (808) 742-5000 | eatinghouse1849.com
hawaii inspired Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage, a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who, the story goes, opened one of the first restaurants in Hawaii, called the Eating House, back in the mid-1800s, using what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and fishermen. It’s here that award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends these two worlds: the easy ambiance and simple flavors of a plantation town with the dynamic modernity of haute cuisine.
U KA A’I TRAVELER THE LIFE & STYLE OF KAUA‘I
Editor in Chief Mun Sok Geiger
SHOP | 42
Coco Zickos Krystal Kakimoto Andrew Walsh Brooke Rehmann Mary Troy Johnston Judy Tsuei Ian McGuire
GOLF | 54
Copy Editor Joseph Kwak
Cover Image Kit Furderer
ADVENTURE | 56
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U · K
guide You were still unpacking when your girls found their way to Robert at Huaka‘i Outfitters. The next thing you knew, the sea spray was drenching your skin as Kukui‘ula’s 32-foot Mahealani sped out of the harbor. The story continues at kukuiula.com/theguide
There is a different kind of island destination where stories unfold. Yours can be among them. Create your Kukui‘ula story by visiting kukuiula.com/kauaitraveler or call 1-808-201-0380. Clubhouse | Farm | Golf | Pools | Spa | Dining | Homes | Shopping
uring the summers as a kid, my mom dropped my sisters and I off at the community pool pretty much every weekday so she could go to work and we could tire ourselves out. She felt safe leaving my little sister and me there since at least one lifeguard was always on duty, plus my older sister Jamie was on the swim team, and my other two older sisters were mother hens. I thought I was a pretty decent swimmer till I came to Hawaiÿi. Not only did I get walloped by a big wave when I turned my back on the ocean, which is a huge no-no, but I was pressured into going swimming when I was uncomfortable with the conditions by a friend who was visiting us here. I learned early on that just because you grew up swimming in a pool, it doesn’t mean you know how to swim in an ocean. I got caught in a shorebreak and was too worn out to duck dive one more time to get to safety, but the waves just kept coming. My husband saw that I was in trouble, and he timed shoving me with the wave so I pretty much bodysurfed my way back onto the beach. Tumbled onto the beach would be a more accurate description. I almost lost my top along with my ego and grace, and discovered sand in my hair and ears for at least a week. After this terrifying experience, I no longer allow myself to get talked into entering the water if I’m not fully comfortable. I’m perfectly content watching seasoned water enthusiasts from the beach. There’s a plethora of ways to enjoy the sublime Pacific coastline from snorkeling and surfing to diving and boating. The inviting blue waters of Kauaÿi are an absolute joy to experience, just make sure you are aware of your level of ability to swim in an ocean. Take the time to observe the conditions prior to
entry and know what to do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation (Don’t Be a Victim, p. 65). While you are exploring one of the many coral reefs on the Garden Isle, take the time to admire the sea dwellers. I’m always amazed at the variety of vibrant colors, intricate patterns and clever camouflage. It’s a fun surprise when you realize a fish is looking directly at you while you are looking at something else entirely. What’s truly remarkable is the source of life the reefs provide to all marine creatures in what otherwise is a barren sea (Enjoy Responsibly, p. 32). Of course, any time is a good time to be on Kauaÿi, but this time of year is extra special since the humpback whales come from Alaska to mate and give birth in our warm tropical waters. We have year-round resident whales of playful dolphins and low-key pilot whales, but the humpback whales steal the spotlight for good reason, with their grand display of leaping and slapping to the delight of anyone lucky enough to see the spectacle (Beyond the Humpback, p. 38). And, this is also the time of year when our friends and families are complaining about the cold and shoveling snow off their driveways on the mainland as we are happily shoveling shave ice while whale watching on a stunning beach. The stark contrast makes you more appreciative of all the wonders, warmth, and beauty found on Kauaÿi—and, being here is a gift worth savoring. Warmest aloha, Mun Sok Geiger firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: MELISSA BUROVAC
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BIRDS OF A RED FEATHER
The Hawaiian honeycreeper, also known as the ÿiÿiwi, is one of our state’s most iconic birds. With its distinctive curved beak and bright red body with black wings and tail, this stunning endemic bird can be found on the higher slopes of Kauaÿi’s forests. Their beaks are perfect for feeding on the nectar of the lehua flower of ÿöhiÿa trees, and act as a pollinator for the trees. In ancient times, Hawaiian royalty prized the ÿiÿiwi’s feathers to adorn capes and helmets, and modern-day visitors can’t help but appreciate their bright scarlet plumage. Sadly, while the birds are not currently endangered, climate change is negatively affecting their habitat, forcing the birds to find new ground at higher elevations to avoid diseasecarrying mosquitos. While visiting the Garden Isle, be on the lookout for these beautiful creatures, and be mindful of your carbon footprint to help these birds live on into perpetuity.
LOCAL LINGO BEASTLY NUISANCE It’s not likely that your first thought of the creatures that call Hawaiÿi home is a boar. Yet, these animals roam Kauaÿi’s forests, wreaking havoc as they go, damaging the fragile ecosystem by digging up and eating endangered native species, and spreading diseases as they travel. Brought over by the Europeans in the 18th century, these swine have run wild in Hawaiÿi’s pristine wilderness. These beasts are different from the smaller pigs brought over by Polynesians in terms of size and destruction, with boars being significantly larger. One place you might see these pesky pigs is on the menus of many Hawaiÿi restaurants. Admired for its lean meat, wild boar is added to a variety of dishes, including a variety of local sausages. Outfitters are available across the state to take those interested in hunting wild boar—perhaps you’ll come home with your own dinner while also preserving the wild beauty of our islands. 8
Think about all the times you’ve had to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, but didn’t want the words to sound so final. Here in Hawaiÿi, the phrase “a hui hou” meaning “until we meet again,” seems to perfectly address this sentiment. The “a” is pronounced softly, and the other words are pronounced “who-we ho,” and is said in parting with friends and loved ones. Adding the word “käkou,” pronounced “kako,” at the end can be used to address a larger group of close loved ones. You may be tempted to whisper the phrase at the end of your vacation; in that way, you are not saying goodbye to Hawaiÿi, but sending out a reminder that you will return one day to enjoy the sunshine and the aloha spirit once again. And until you do, a hui hou. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
WE HAVE AN IDEA Not just living close to the ocean. But practically on it. A home, not to take care of but to take care of you. Leaving you nothing to do but get even closer. To the island and the family you love.
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This advertisement does not constitute an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to purchase made in any jurisdiction nor made to residents of any jurisdiction, including New York, where registration is required. Tower Kauai Lagoons LLC uses the Timbers Resort,® Timbers Collection® and certain other Timbers brand names under a limited non-transferable license in connection with the sales and marketing of the Hokuala Kauai™ – A Timbers Resort® (the “Project”). If this license is terminated or expires without renewal, the Project will no longer be identified with nor have any right to use the Timbers® marks and names. All renderings depicted in this advertisement are illustrative only and may be changed at any time. All rights reserved.
WEIRDLY DELICIOUS If you were looking for a fruit most likely to be from an alien world, look no further than the rambutan. The bright red spiky, hairy rind reminiscent of an early 90s Koosh ball hides an inner sweet white flesh similar in appearance to a lychee. This exotic fruit, originally from Southeast Asia, is part of the lychee family, and evokes the taste and texture of the more familiar fruit. Opening a rambutan typically requires cutting around the center of the spiky rind with a knife, but can also be bitten off if the fruit is fresh. Simply squeeze out the fleshy fruit, and discard the bitter pit as you eat. Rambutan season in Hawaiÿi is from October through March, so keep your eyes peeled for this extraterrestrial looking fruit at farmers markets and Asian supermarkets around the island. You’ll be rewarded by a unique experience that you’re not likely to forget any time soon. 10
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I SPY A HONU One of the most highly anticipated creatures to spot on any trip to Hawaiÿi is the honu, or the Hawaiian green sea turtle. The majestic honu sail through the ocean, while feasting on algae close to shore. And though they appear to glide easily through the sea, adult honu can reach up to 500 pounds, don’t reach sexual maturity until 25-40 years old, and can live beyond 60 years. Because they breathe air, eagle-eyed beach goers can spot their heads as they pop out of the water to take a breath. Don’t be surprised if they disappear for a few minutes; many times, they will pop their heads up again nearby. On land, they can be a challenge to spot as they are sometimes overlooked as lava rocks. In ancient Hawaiÿi, the honu and its eggs were a delicacy, and as Europeans and others moved to the islands, overharvesting has led to the honu becoming an endangered species. As such, visitors are asked to simply observe these iconic and beautiful animals from a safe distance. Do not touch or disturb adult turtles as they rest on the beach or swim in the sea, or assist baby turtles as they make their long march to the ocean for the first time. Working together, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy the sport of spotting the beloved honu on our beautiful beaches for years to come. 12
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AnArA spA. immerse yourself. Feel all tension melt away with a soothing facial or massage. Here, traditional healing customs blend with fresh island botanicals to refresh and renew. m m m m
FloatPod therapy offers a peaceful space for total relaxation and escape. Weekly and monthly passes available for fitness center and yoga and fitness classes. Full service hair and nail salon. Boutique features comfortable island-wear for every occasion.
For a Hawaiian spa experience like no other, call 808 240 6440 or visit anaraspa.com. g ra n d h yat t k aua‘ i r e so rt & s pa | 1 57 1 p o i pu roa d | ko loa , h i 9675 6 MaE-982
PHOTO COURTESY: FOREST & KIM STARR
GARLAND OF GOLD Hawaiÿi is home to many beautiful flowers, but the ÿilima is one of the more vibrant standouts. The official flower of the island of Oÿahu, this small member of the hibiscus family grows on shrubs around the state, and is becoming more and more popular as a landscaping option. This beautiful small flower is said to be the representation of the goddess of hula, Laka, and one of the main flowers selected for lei-making prior to the arrival of Europeans to the islands. When someone receives an ÿilima lei, it is said that an honor is bestowed to the wearer with the ancient traditions of Hawaiÿi and Polynesia, as it was only adorned by the highest chiefs. Keep an eye out for this lovely blossom in your travels, and imagine the lives of those who would have picked these flowers in ages past.
WHY DON'T YOU... take in a whale of a view. To see humpback whales is a majestic sighting on its own, but add the breathtaking Näpali Coast as part of your experience, and it’s definitely a mustdo on Kauaÿi. Don’t miss your chance to witness the breaching humpback whales while they are visiting from Alaska—they are truly nature’s gems. Take a whale watching tour and look for the local year-round dolphins and pilot whales as well. Try Blue Dolphin Charters (808) 335-5553, HoloHolo Charters (808) 3350815 or Kauai Sea Tours (808) 335-5309.
step on glass. While Maui has a red sand beach and the Big Island has a green sand beach, here on Kauaÿi, we have a glass sand beach. Glass Beach is located at Hanapëpë Bay in Eleÿele near Port Allen Harbor and is made up of discarded glass smoothed from years of churning in the ocean. Please resist taking the pretty glass so others can enjoy this unique beach well into the future.
reduce reef pollution. Sunscreens made with chemicals such as oxybenzone the coral reef, which is home to countless colorful, beloved sea creatures and helps sustain all ocean life. If you wear protective sun clothing, you can reduce sunscreen usage by half. Choose reef-safe sunscreen as needed and apply 10-15 minutes prior to ocean entry so it has time to absorb into your skin. 16
drive on private property.
Take a fun ride through Kauaÿi’s unspoiled backcountry on an incredible off-road adventure to hidden waterfalls, splendid scenery, private trails and lots of hidden gems otherwise inaccessible. Do you remember how exciting it was to drive an ATV as a kid? Well, it still is! Especially, when you add in the gorgeous scenery as your backdrop, and then take an invigorating dip in a secluded stream or waterfall. Call Kauai ATV (808) 742-2734, Kipu Ranch Adventures (808) 246-9288 or Princeville Ranch Adventures (808) 826-7669. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: (BOTTOM RIGHT) KIPU RANCH ADVENTURES
and octinoxate are harmful to
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MY KAUA‘I NAME
KARIN CARSWELL GUEST
PRINCEVILLE RANCH / OWNER & WRANGLER
HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN HAWAI‘I
BORN & RAISED
Favorite beach: Tunnels in Häÿena. Peaceful and incredibly beautiful with mountains, waterfalls, turtles… Favorite food: A Hawaiian plate with chicken laulau, lomi salmon, poi and poke—the ultimate plate lunch. Favorite pastime/activity: Horseback riding. There is nothing like galloping through the pastures on a horse with the breeze in my face or riding peacefully through the pastures with the mountains surrounding me. Favorite snorkel spot: Tunnels Beach. I always see turtles and lots of other fish. Favorite drive: Kökeÿe. It reminds me of my childhood and going to our little mountain cabin on the weekends. The air starts to get cooler and cooler as you drive up the hill. Such fresh and crisp air and you also get glimpses of Waimea Canyon along the way. Favorite hike: Kalalau Trail. Seeing the Näpali Coast as you hike is quite spectacular. Favorite custom/tradition: Dressing up for Halloween and walking the streets of Kïlauea Town with friends and family. Favorite hangout: Hanalei. Cool and low-key town with some shopping, good food and fun people. Favorite Hawaiian product: Our ranch beef, Kauaÿi North Shore Beef by Princeville Ranch. So incredibly tasty and fresh. Favorite Hawaiian band: C&K (Cecilio & Kapono). I grew up listening to them and when I was on the mainland for college it always made me nostalgic.
Favorite place to catch the sunset: Tunnels Beach in the summer when you can see the sun set on the ocean. It’s the most beautiful spot in the world for a sunset. Favorite place for happy hour: St. Regis Bar in Princeville. Beautiful sunsets with good Hawaiian music. Favorite place to splurge: The Barn808. Cutest boutique on the island! Favorite nightspot: Piazza in Princeville. Great décor and great food.
Favorite date place: Bar Acuda in Hanalei—really good food and drinks and great atmosphere.
my local faves
Favorite place to take in the history: The Näpali Coast by boat. Going through the caves and under the waterfalls, swimming into Honopü and laying on the big sandy beach or walking up to the waterfall for a dip. This untouched coastline is like taking a step back in time. If you were a visitor, you would want to know…Kauaÿi is a very special place. Take a deep breath. Embrace it. Respect it. Slow down and take it all in. It doesn’t get much better than this.
THE ST. REGIS BAR KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: (TOP) DAVID BURSIEL
Favorite place to take your guests: To the back of our ranch to Puÿu o Henui (Green Hill). Amazing sunset hour up there with views of the entire North Shore—so special.
Timeless Celebrations The quintessential address for lifeâ€™s celebrations, The St. Regis Princeville Resort extends an invitation to experience a world of unexpected delights. With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the mystical Na Molokama Mountains on the island of Kauai, this Hawaiian paradise awaits your arrival.
ÂŠ2017 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.
The St. Regis Princeville Resort 5520 Ka Haku Road Princeville, Hawaii stregisprinceville.com 1.877.stregis
Stay exquisite at more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide. @stregishotels
Created to account for the individuality, taste and style of the women who wear it, Na Hokuʼs Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle jewelry features hand engraved heirloom, floral and sea-life designs. Many pieces are set with diamonds, Tahitian pearls, fresh water pearls, Mother of Pearl, and Opal. Na Hoku also carries jewelry designed by Kahana, Asch/Grossbardt, and Steven Douglas. >> www.nahoku.com
Shoe Envy features stylish, comfortable resort style footwear for the whole family. A few of the many brands that we carry are Olukai, Täōs, Naot, Pikolinos, Bernie Mev and Keen. Besides shoes you will also find unique handmade vintage clutches, leather handbags and accessories. >> www.shoeenvypoipu.com
MARTIN & MACARTHUR
Genuine Koa wood watches made with self-winding automaatic movements, Koa Eternity Rings, Koa sunglasses and fine Koa jewelry made with our private stock of Big Island Koa. We feature the finest craftsmen in Hawaii with the widest selection of Koa jewelry boxes, glass sculptures, outrigger canoes, and feather lei. >> www.martinandmacarthur.com
From fresh food and drinks to locally made and island inspired accessories and gifts, Accents brings you the best Hawaii has to offer.
Since our founding in 1956, Tori Richard is proud to continue our 60-year tradition of quality made-in-Hawaiâ€˜i craftsmanship and playful eclecticism for the resort lifestyle. From the finest textile printing techniques and unique fabrications, to the one-of a kind prints that adorn and delight, Tori Richard captures a piece of Hawaii like no other.
KAUAâ€˜I THE GARDEN ISLAND
It’s no surprise that Kaua‘i typically finds itself ranked as one of the top islands in the world. There are two of many distinctions Kaua‘i holds that contribute to landing on the top of many traveler's lists. The first is that Kaua‘i is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, so Mother Nature has had plenty of time to cut deep gorges into the valleys, shape dramatic sea cliffs and sculpt the majestic Waimea Canyon into “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Another primary distinction is that Kaua‘i is also home to the rainiest spot on earth, Mount Wai‘ale‘ale (rippling water), with an average yearly rainfall of 450 inches. Situated almost in the center of the island, this 5,148 ft. tall mountain provides Kaua‘i with the nourishment it needs to earn its monicker as the Garden Isle, with lush rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and verdant tropical foliage.
ffering departures from O the Private Princeville Airport or the Lihue Heliport (Lihue Airport).
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The scenery may steal the show, but it’s the various adventures in the idyllic setting that will get your heart racing. You can navigate one of the Island’s seven rivers on a kayak, trek through the rainforest of Alaka‘i Wilderness Area, wander through multiple jade gardens, hike trails of all levels, and be rewarded with secret waterfalls and golden sand beaches. You can even sit poolside at a five-star resort, where your only exertion is choosing a tropical refreshment. Whatever your pleasure, this emerald island promises a regal vacation. In case you haven’t noticed, tall buildings don’t obscure any of the natural splendors of Kaua‘i. This is because legislation mandates that no structure built on Kaua‘i is taller than a coconut tree. How it has managed to maintain that code after all these years is a mystery, but Kaua‘i is no stranger when it comes to standing its ground. Not even the Great King Kamehameha could take it down. In fact, in an attempt to prevent further attacks on both his people and his Island, King Kaumuali‘i, Kaua‘i’s last reigning king, decided to cede Kaua‘i to Kamehameha in peaceful negotiations. Now that is the original “make love not war” mentality. This peaceful mindset has been passed on through generations and is apparent in island life today. Kaua‘i has the reputation of having the friendliest residents of all the islands. Not only is the Garden Isle the most beautiful, with paradise settings often portrayed in Hollywood movies, but the feel of the island is relaxed, with a laid-back attitude that resonates in the air as much as the sweet intoxicating aroma of its plumeria. 26
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As balmy and dreamy as Kaua‘i is, it does experience a change in seasons, so make sure that you plan your activities accordingly. Actually, the entire state experiences basically two seasons. The Hawaiians named them kau (summer) and ho‘oilo (winter). The summer months range from May through September and those of winter from October through April. Although the seasons are usually mild, you should watch out for excessive rain in the winter. In March 2006, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and while nobody spotted an ark in the horizon, there was massive flooding on all of the islands. Before making the famous 11-mile trek along the Näpali Coast, make sure that the skies are clear and there is no chance of rain. The change is weather also brings a change in surf.Winter months will bring large swells to the North and West shores, and the opposite goes for summer months. Heed all warnings on the beach to ensure the safety of your family. Kaua‘i’s main vein of transportation is the predominately two-lane Kaumuali‘i Highway. Named after the king, this 82-mile stretch of highway can really get backed up, especially during rush hour. And yes, paradise does have a rush hour. About 62,000 people live on this over five million year old “Fantasy Island,” and 36,800 residents drive. So to avoid any unwanted stress in paradise, make sure to schedule your road trips around peak travel hours. Aside from this, don’t worry if you need to get from one side of the island to the other, as you could do so in about 90 minutes. So if you like the idea of visiting Waimea Canyon, but would rather stay in the quaint and convenient town of Kapa‘a, near award- winning restaurants and cool boutiques, go ahead, as the average commute time to most places is 30 minutes. Kaua‘i has 552 square miles of diverse terrain, which making it the fourth largest island in the eight-island chain. Obviously, good things come in small land mass. Once you have experienced the diversity and the beauty of each town and its attractions, you will soon agree that the Garden Isle is the best island, offering all the elements of a perfect vacation—rural enough to get away, yet a stone’s throw away from indulgence. Perfect. E komo mai. Nou ka hale (Come inside, the house is yours). 28
ITS NOT JUST A TOUR, ITS AN ADVENTURE IN PARADISE.
Approximately 80% of Kauai is uninhabited, remote and wild. Come fly with us and experience the incredible history, geology and beauty of the island. Discover the majestic Napali Coast. Waimea Canyon, or explore a remote landing at a private location on our Refuge Eco Tour. With over 40 years of aviation experience. Preston Myers and his pilots at Safari Helicopters have radically changed the helicopters industry in Hawaii through safely and innovation. As a small, family-owned company, we offer you a professional and caring service that is truly unforgettable . Preston want Safari passengers to fully enjoy their adventure, but he considers safety of the utmost importance. He holds to the axiom. â€œthere are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots,â€? and he requires that all his pilots adhere to the same high standards of professionalism that he personally carried out over the years.
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Our experienced guides will lead you through our expansive 3,000-acre trail system on a working cattle ranch, which is full of breathtaking scenery, blockbuster movie hits, cultural history, and Hawaiian legends.
ENJOY RESPONSIBLY An oasis of life in a blue desert. WORDS ANDREW WALSH
The beginning of Kumulipo (Hawaiian creation chant) states: Hänau ka ‘Uku ko‘ako‘a, Hänau kana, he ‘Äko ‘ako‘a, puka. To translate it means, “Born the coral polyp, born of him the coral colony emerged.” This is one verse of many that has been passed down and memorized by the ancient Hawaiian kähuna (priests) over many generations. The coral polyp and coral reefs were known to the Hawaiians as a sacred source of life. Many things have changed in Hawai‘i since antiquity, but the importance of corals has remained. Residents and visitors alike are familiar with the abundance of life just offshore in Hawai‘i’s crystal clear waters. When we swim off its sandy beaches into the inviting lagoons and bays, we expect to see life abound. If we are lucky during a visit out to the reef, a honu (green sea turtle) might come meandering by or colorful schools of yellow tang will scurry across our path. Maybe even a curious dolphin or manta ray will be interrupted by our intrusion into their home and swim off into the blue. Island people since the first Hawaiians have depended on the reefs for sustenance. In more recent times, the tourist economy has become largely dependent on this underwater spectacle of life waiting to be discovered. Dive companies, snorkel cruises, hotels, kayak tour operators, researchers, and aquarium collectors are just a handful of those that have a common dependence on the island’s reef community. It has been estimated that Hawai‘i’s nearshore coral reefs generate about $800 million a year in gross revenues for the state (or, $364 million in added value), which is about 10% of the total tourism revenues contributing to the state’s economy—but, the total economic, cultural, scientific, and aesthetic value to the community is incalculable. The reef is an oasis of life in an ocean desert. Literally, the clear waters are devoid of nutrients and food, but the coral has figured out an ingenious way to survive. Picture for a moment, tiny microscopic coral larvae floating on the ocean currents having recently been ejected by its parent coral. If it’s fortunate, these tiny larvae will come to rest on the bottom of the seafloor on a rock or an old piece of coral rubble and attach itself by secreting a hard calcium carbonate structure to supports its fleshy body. This young coral will soon develop tentacles 34
and a soft body protruding from the hard structure. At this point in its growth, it can now be called a coral polyp, which is an individual animal that looks like an upside-down jellyfish. In fact, corals and jellyfish are from the same phylum Cnidaria, which means they both have specialized stinging cells for capturing prey. Once established on a solid spot the coral polyp will start to take shape and grow—soon many more polyps will follow. The majority of corals form colonies composed of thousands of individual polyps all genetically identical. The process of forming a larger coral colony begins by each polyp literally copying itself. Once enough coral colonies have been formed, a reef is born. Hawaiian corals can grow 5-13cm per year depending on their species and environmental conditions, and can be up to 400 years old. The majority of a coral reef is actually composed of the hard underlying carbonate structure with the living coral tissue covering only a millimeter-thin outside layer, visible as the colorful dotted “rocks.” A coral only collects about 10% of its energy needs from the stinging cells in its tentacles. When the polyp is still barely visible to the human eye, it attracts photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae with a special chemical attractant and then ingests and stores the microscopic algae inside its tissue. Then one of the most unique, incredible and efficient relationships in the natural world begins to take shape. The coral provides shelter, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to the algae, while the algae, utilizing the sun's energetic rays to undergo photosynthesis, provides the coral with 90% of its energy in the form of glucose and amino acids. This simple relationship is the basis for all life on the reef. Without this relationship, the building blocks of the reef—coral— would not have sufficient energy to build a reef. Without a reef, the shelter and food supply the reef provides for all the other creatures that call it home would be non-existent. Imagine jumping into the waters off Kaua‘i and seeing very little life—no colorful reef fish, turtles, dolphins, octopus, rays, and so on. All of these creatures and many more, as well as our ocean activities, businesses, and supply of marine food that depend on the reef would be greatly impacted. So you may be wondering how delicate these important reefs really KAUA‘I TRAVELER
are, and the answer is—very. Hawaiian reefs grow in a very narrow band of water surrounding each island to a depth of about 160-ft. Characteristic of islands formed by volcanoes, the topography of the seafloor drops steeply into the depths leaving only a small area directly adjacent to the shorelines for the coral reef to reside. Therefore, Hawaiian corals are more vulnerable as there is simply not much area suitable for them to grow. Geographically, Hawai‘i is also situated outside the major ocean currents, specifically the North Pacific Gyre, so any larval repopulation to replenish damaged reefs is very limited. Consequently, we have some of the higher rates of endemism—found nowhere else—for many coral (18%) and fish (25%) species than anywhere else on this blue planet. Any change to the temperature, clarity, chemistry, or salinity of the water can stress corals. Ideally, corals need clear water between 70-85° F to live comfortably. Any environmental changes or stress could cause the coral polyps to eject their algae in a phenomenon called bleaching, potentially causing the corals to die off. Bleaching is so named because the corals become bright white after their coloration has left with the expulsion of the algae; if the algae do not return, the coral will soon die. Corals also need clear water so the photosynthetic algae can convert energy from the sun. Part of why corals are unique is that they can thrive in war, nutrient-poor waters, which most clear tropical water is, thanks to their zooxanthellae. Corals create an oasis of life in these nutrient poor deserts. Although Hawai‘i has a relatively stable coral reef population, much of the world’s reef systems are in a state of steep decline. Unfortunately, coral reefs are threatened by both human and natural impacts; once damaged they can take up to 20 years, if ever, to recover. Overfishing and poor land use practices including development, pollution, recreational overuse and the introduction of alien species threaten Hawaiian reefs. Global warming has also been shown to increase the risk of invasive species outbreaks and coral bleaching. Many known instances of sedimentation runoff have killed huge areas of reefs in Hawai‘i because of improper upslope land use. Nutrification from storm runoff, sewage overflow, and fertilizer and myhawaiitraveler.com
residential chemical runoff can cause increase in algal growth and drops in dissolved oxygen, both of which can permanently damage coral reefs. Even the breakdown of plastics and human debris can suffocate an otherwise healthy reef. Locally, there have been many instances around the islands of damage to reefs. Fish abundance, a critical factor in maintaining healthy reefs, has also declined by 75% since the 1900s in Hawai‘i. Even a careless snorkeler or boat owner can damage a reef, as the outside layer of the corals is interconnected live tissue. Damage is easily done by any blunt force, such as standing, touching or dropping a big anchor onto a reef. In short, they are fragile ecosystems trying to survive out in a blue desert. Fortunately, there is much we can do to keep our reefs healthy. The first and most important step is education. Learn more about the reefs and your impact on them—our grandchildren’s children will thank us for that. When in the water, don’t stand on or touch corals or other reef organisms. Allow as much time as possible between applying sunscreen (use reef safe sunscreen without oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor) and entering the water, as the chemicals in them may be harmful to the reef. Take only pictures; leave only bubbles and waste only time when out on the reef. Feeding fish, taking home “treasures,” and not disposing of trash properly are all detrimental to the reefs and their inhabitants. Consider the chemicals you use at home and in your daily life. If it goes down the drain, fertilizes the lawn or golf course, or spills on the driveway it all ends up in the ocean. The list goes on, but you get the picture. Being respectful of our natural resources will ensure they are there when we need them. The best way to really gain respect and appreciation for the reefs is to experience them for yourself. All around Kauaÿi are wonderful places to spend some time with the underwater residents enjoying life in their natural habitat. Know ocean safety and study conditions prior to entry. Practice good common sense and reef etiquette so future generations can experience the same joy of reef life playing out below and around you. 37
BEYOND THE HUMPBACK Sighting the many whales in Kaua‘i’s waters.
WORDS ANDREW WALSH
awaiÿi and humpback whales have always been deeply connected (and hopefully always will!), but the waters around these islands are home to a much wider variety of our mammalian relatives who are just as important and unique as the mighty, melodious humpbacks. Of course, it’s easy to see why humpbacks cause such a splash, both in and out of the water, as they are unavoidably the most easily seen and beloved of all the whales that visit these islands or call them home. In fact, each year over 10,000 humpback whales migrate to the warm safety of the island to give birth and mate. Starting sometime around November and lasting until May, the Pacific humpback whales leave their summer feeding grounds in the cold nutrient-rich waters off Alaska. Their journey is one of the greatest migration routes of any creature to have lived on this small blue planet. With no modern technology and only their instinct to safeguard or spread new life, they cross a treacherous sea route of killer whales, net entanglements, pollution, and vessel strikes. Incredibly, through all of these hazards, the Pacific humpbacks, regardless of where they migrate to (Central America, Asia, or Hawaiÿi), all sing the same constantly evolving melodic language. Three thousand miles later, if all goes well for the Hawaiian humpbacks, they arrive in the beautiful tropical waters to frolic and play just like many travelers do. What is even more amazing, humpbacks pack their own lunch. The clear, tropical waters around Hawaiÿi are, to them, food deserts. It’s easy to assume they are full of an incredible array of life, as the nearshore coral reefs support a multitude of astounding creatures and food webs. And though this is true and a testament to the incredible
abilities of corals to sustain whole ecosystems, the reefs are truly an oasis in what is otherwise an ocean desert. Weighing up to 80,000-lbs., humpback whales simply can’t get too close to the reefs as they could easily run aground. So, they bring with them all the food they need to survive stored in the blubber that insulates and supports their massive frames. If they carefully plan and execute a sustained feeding ritual throughout the summer months in the feeding grounds of Alaska, a mother humpback will carry enough supplies to provide her newborn with over 100 gallons of milk a day, in addition to supporting her own energy needs. And I can only imagine how much energy it would take to fend off an unwanted, frisky humpback suitor. A humpback whale’s ability and aptitude to preserve, sustain, and coordinate its complex feeding and migration decisions, is nothing short of unbelievable and a strong indication of higher order thinking, planning, and intelligence. But, there they go again stealing the spotlight. Hmm, they always do that with all that leaping, slapping and splashing around causing any lucky spectator to ooh and aah in complete astonishment! Which is why it’s important to remember that humpback whales and humans aren’t the only warm-blooded cousins we have living among us. Eighteen species of odontocetes (toothed whales) and seven species of mysticeti (baleen whales) have been documented in Hawaiian waters. But, what do all those terms mean? It might help to know that dolphins and whales are both members of the same family—Cetacean. Baleen whales don’t have teeth, but rather large filamentous plates called baleen that they use to filter-feed great volumes of water that they force out through their enormous mouths. These include species 39
like humpback and fin whales, and they are generally the much larger members of the Cetacean family. The odontocetes or “toothed whales” include all the dolphins and porpoises. So, really a dolphin is just a toothed whale with a cooler sounding name and smaller body frame. The most common species of dolphins (toothed whales) found in Hawaiÿi are the spinner, bottlenose, and spotted. But, let’s focus on what most of us think about when we think whale—the larger, more charismatic megafauna that are possible to see in Hawaiian waters, such as the false killer whales, melon-headed whales, pygmy killer whales, and short-finned pilot whales. Out of all of these, the short-finned pilot whales, generally referred to as just “pilot whales” here in Hawaiÿi, are the most likely to be seen. Their large, odd-shaped, bulbous heads help to identify them, as well as their strongly curved, broad-based dorsal fins. These whales were made semi-famous a number of years ago through a viral video off the Big Island of a female swimmer being dragged fairly deep underwater in some apparent play behavior. She and the whale parted ways, both intact, but perhaps on less friendly terms, emphasizing that these whales should always be given space and respect. False killer whales, although not common, are among the more likely of other whales seen. And by not common, it is estimated that only 150, or so, individual whales live in these waters. Which, like many of the whale species we mention in this article, face serious threats of endangerment or extinction from their human family. NOAA recently proposed in November of 2017 to establish critical habitat protection for these species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as too many of these whales are seriously injured by human activity annually. These 15-foot toothed whales (dolphins) actually bear little resemblance to killer whales. They both share similar skull features, particularly large rows of conical teeth, which some scientist thought was enough to lump them together. But like killer whales, they are very predatory and have been seen utilizing cooperative feeding behaviors. Like most whales and humans, they are highly sociable and are generally found in pods of 10-40 whales and can be found throughout all the main Hawaiian Islands. Melon-headed whales look much like they sound. A large, swimming beast with a melon for a head. Not only are they unique, but they are also the less likely to be spotted of the “commonly spotted” whales in Hawaiÿi. Mainly because they feed in deeper waters, although a resident population is found along the Kohala Coast of the Big Island. Population estimates are a little better for these seagoing mammalian melons at around 3,000 individuals. Although their presence in the deeper waters may explain some repeated massstranding events in recent years potentially linked to active sonar from military vessels. At 6-8 ft. long, they are among the smaller whales, but their unique head and fondness for living in pods from 100 to 1,000 members strong, often including other whale species, makes for an unforgettable encounter if one should be lucky enough to see them. Even more reclusive are the pygmy killer whales. They are one of the least known and least encountered whales in the world. But through the efforts of one researcher, Dan McSweeney of the Wild 40
Whale Research Foundation, we know more about the year-round Hawaiian pygmy killer whales than any other pods around the world. Still, that doesn’t amount to much information, only making these whales that much more interesting and mysterious. Like so much of this blue planet, there are depths of knowledge surrounding us that we have yet to unravel, a sentiment embodied in the pygmy killer whales. Of course, many people think of killer whales when they visualize other popular well-known whales. And they would be right to assume we also see them occasionally here in Hawaiÿi. The populations that visit these islands are considered “roving” as opposed to “resident” orcas, such as those found off the west coast mainland; and they are one of the least understood or identified groups of orcas throughout the Pacific. The transient roving populations of killer whales feed both on fish and other mammals, such as whales. Their name originated from sailors who would watch them organize and systematically attack larger whales (often calves, old, or injured whales), and so they dubbed them “whale killers.” These coordinated hunters are one of the major threats for humpback mothers ferrying their young across the great Pacific migration they must undergo to reach Hawaiÿi each year, as well as for the mothers returning to Alaska with her new calf born in the tropics. Like many of the whales around the Hawaiian Islands, you stand a much better chance of seeing certain whales from different islands. Even from different coastlines of each island. For instance, Cuvier’s beaked whales, a curious smaller whale resembling a bottlenose dolphin, is not likely to be seen anywhere except the Big Island. While dwarf sperm whales can generally only be seen from the Länaÿi and Kona coastlines. However, most whales, regardless of where or if you can see them, share a sacred, critical role in the ecosystems around the islands. Hence, their health is our health, and vice-versa. We share so many of the same behaviors, priorities, and dare I say “thoughts.” They nurse their young just as we do, sharing babysitting duties between mothers and even older males. They constantly communicate with one another, through a complex, organized sonic language. It sounds like squeaks, whistles, clicks, and squeals to us, but doesn’t any language we don’t understand sound just as strange and unintelligible. Although, to some, they may appear to be just really big fish (an exception being the sometimes-seen whale shark, which is actually a really big fish and not a mammal), there is ample evidence to suggest that the naiÿa (dolphins) and koholä (whales) are second in intelligence and brain size only to humans. They exhibit recordable memory, self-reflection, mathematical aptitude, and outward self-conscious personalities. And above all, they plainly express the “emotions” of suffering the loss of a family member or the instinct to care for each other. As many of our mammalian sea-going neighbors are under serious threat, does it not seem to be the “human” thing to do to care just a little more for them? I hope you have the opportunity to see and be inspired by one of the many species of whales found in Hawaiÿi, as living among these mysterious and diverse whales is a grateful privilege and unique responsibility. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
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The Golden pearl yellow gold lariat necklace (right) is a Van Balen trademark design. The founder & chief designer Valerie Van Balen has enjoyed creating this particular piece for over ten years. Available also in white gold, this popular design can be customized for you in any South Sea pearl combination of your choice. The diamond hoop earrings (above) are a staple in every woman's ﬁne jewelry wardrobe. With white diamonds set in yellow or white gold, you can enjoy wearing these elegant earrings everyday! Also available in Tahitian black or South Sea white pearls. The pearl cuﬀ bracelet (left) has quickly become a favorite among our elite clients, as well as our staﬀ! This statement bracelet will deﬁnitely get noticed. White diamonds in yellow or white gold, as well as South Sea pearls of your choice. Available at Van Balen Fine Jewelry in The St. Regis Princeville Resort.
ISLAND SHOPPING NORTH SHORE SHOPPING VAN BALEN FINE JEWELRY Our internationally renowned pearl jewelry is hand made on Kaua‘i by Valerie Van Balen, crafted with exquisite attention to detail. In addition to her own creations, Valerie has traveled the globe discovering other world class jewelers, whom she now represents. This allows for a virtual “around the world” shopping experience, all within one relaxing location. We welcome you to visit our store and adorn yourself in our exotic pearl jewelry from Tahiti, Australia and Indonesia. We also carry an enticing selection of ethical diamonds in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors. Our highly educated staff will provide you with flawless service, guaranteed. Enhance your visit to Kaua‘i by selecting from an unsurpassed collection of fine jewelry. Van Balen Fine Jewelry is the exclusive jeweler to the prestigious St. Regis Princeville Resort, open everyday from 9am to 9pm. (808) 826-6555. SOUTH SHORE SHOPPING GRAND HYATT SHOPS The shops at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i offer something for everyone. Na Hoku features an alluring collection of Tahitian pearls and more. Collectors Fine Art showcases wall art and handblown glass creations. Lamonts carries sundries, snacks and beverages. The Sandal Tree offers a selection of footwear and accessories. Reyn’s continues its tradition of aloha wear for the whole family. Visit Poipu Bay Golf Shop for designer collections for on and off the course. Try Water Wear for beachwear for every age group. Kohala Bay Collections features casual designer elegance. THE SHOPS AT KUKUI‘ULA On the sunny south shore of Kaua‘i, nestled in the renowned resort playground of Po‘ipü, The Shops at Kukui‘ula is Kaua‘i’s premier shopping, dining and fine art destination. The Shops at Kukui‘ula features a combination of internationally and regionally recognized merchants and fine boutiques with one of a kind items. Here you will find designer myhawaiitraveler.com
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ValVanBalen.com originals, casual resort and beachwear, slippers and sunglasses, as well as beauty products, jewelry and other gifts which are unique to Kaua‘i. Shops include national brands and regional favorites such as Tommy Bahama, Malie Organics, Sunglass Hut, Mahina, Poipu Surf, Quiksilver, Reyn Spooner, Crazy Shirts and Blue Ginger. The Shops at Kukui‘ula is also home to extraordinary galleries featuring a unique collection of fine art originals from Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i, as well as revolving exhibits of contemporary art, nationally recognized landscape art photography, sculpture and art objects, and a unique collection of art jewelry
and handcrafted items. Galleries include the internationally acclaimed galerie 103, Halele‘a Gallery, Martin & MacArthur, Red KOI Collection, aFeinberg Gallery, Palms Gallery, Latitudes Fine Art Gallery and Scott Hanft Photography. For more information, visit theshopsatkukuiula.com. SOUTH SHORE & LĪHU‘E GRANDE’S GEMS Grande’s Gems Hawai‘i has been featuring nature inspired and romantic jewelry since 1982. Our guests will find fun fashionforward and elegant jewelry in opal, multicolor 45
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gemstones, diamond, Tahitian, golden and south sea pearls. Sea life and tropical flower jewelry from Denny Wong and Mikel. Visit us at Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club (808) 245-4860 and our newest location at The Shops at Kukui‘ula (808) 742-2828, or online at GrandesGemshawaii.com. MENS HARDWEAR Mens Hardwear is all about the guys. Jewelry, knives, watches, and accessories for men in cool and edgy styles. Featuring men’s jewelry from Scott Kay, Edward Mirell, Triton, and Hellmuth. Tahitian pearl and opal designs from Mens Hardwear collection. Knives from William Henry Studio and Cold Steel. Visit us at our two locations on Kaua‘i, or shop online at menshardwear.com. NA HOKU An incomparable collection of the finest Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle jewelry for women and men; Na Hoku is recognized in Hawai‘i and the world for its exquisite islandinspired designs; from our original Hawaiian slipper (flip flop) pendant, our elegant Palm Tree Jewelry Collection, the timeless Na Hoku diamond solitaire engagement ring and bridal collections, to our extensive Plumeria Jewelry Collection and our traditional Hawaiian jewelry. Featuring unique collections by Kabana, Steven Douglas, Asch/Grossbardt, and Levian, as well as our exquisite Tahitian Pearl designs. Na Hoku jewelry captures the essence of Hawaiian and island lifestyle and is unmatched in quality and craftsmanship. Located in the Grand Hyatt Shops (808) 7421863 and Poipu Shopping Village (808) 7427025 or at nahoku.com. REAL ESTATE HŌKŪALA Höküala, A Timbers Resort, enjoys a setting among the most spectacular in all of the Hawaiian Islands, a 450-acre natural amphitheater with an unobstructed panorama from the ocean to coastline to sculpted mountains beyond. In the poetic language of native Hawaiians, Höküala means ‘Rising Star’. It is fitting, then, that this epic resort will evolve myhawaiitraveler.com
gradually, beginning with Timbers Kaua‘i - Ocean Club & Residences, a residential enclave located on the ocean's edge of the Pacific. The award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course, already rated among the very best, features the longest stretch of continuous oceanfront holes in all of Hawai‘i. Höküala offers a rare and delicate balance between adventure and serenity, discovery and accessibility. The evolving vision is to create a place and experience that unites us all in the celebration of the island, its culure, and its people. For more information, call (808) 7206688 or (800) 269-2364. Visit them online at hokualakauai.com/traveler. KUKUI‘ULA Inspired by the authentic Kaua‘i island culture, and named for the candlenut (kukui) torches that once guided the island’s fishermen back to shore, Kukui‘ula is a Kaua‘i community that offers our homeowners the laid-back
lifestyle of classic Hawai‘i. At the heart of our carefully planned Hawai‘i luxury homes, nestled above Kukui‘ula Bay, are the Plantation House, Spa and Makai Pools. From here, the Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course follows the natural flow of the land through the community’s coffee fields, meadows and rolling hillsides — affording wide, panoramic vistas of the Pacific. Call (808) 201-0380 or visit kukuiula.com or lodgeatkukuiula.com. YVONNE SUMMERFIELD Come discover Kaua‘i real estate with Kaua‘i's Only 10 Time Top 100 Realtor and you'll discover an island paradise. Yvonne specializes in residential real estate sales throughout Kaua‘i, including luxury homes and estates, oceanfront condos, resort & second home properties, vacation rental properties and land parcels. For exceptional representation call Yvonne Summerfield at (808) 346-7251 or visit YvonneSummerfield.com.
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THE SUNNY SOUTH PO‘IPŪ TO WAIMEA CANYON
tunnel of tall eucalyptus trees marks the gateway to Kaua‘i’s sunny South Shore. Perfect weather and golden beaches make the south side of Kaua‘i a favorite hang out for both visitors and locals. Old Köloa Town is home to Hawai‘i’s first active sugar mill, the birthplace of the Hawaiian sugar industry, which was the state’s strongest economy for more than a century. Although the mill is inoperational now, the charming town thrives with activity from the many restaurants, boutiques and shops that line the wooden sidewalks. One of the best ways to really experience all the South Shore has to offer is by ATV, exploring its beautiful vistas, plantations and waterfalls. Fun! Just a couple of miles south of Köloa lies sunny Po‘ipü, a major resort destination with beachfront condos and restaurants developed around some of the best beaches on the Island. Once there, you will see why Po‘ipü Beach has been voted America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. It’s no wonder, as Po‘ipü provides beachgoers a place to snorkel, swim, wade, boogie-board, kayak, surf and sunbathe. Swimming at all levels can be enjoyed, from the protected natural saltwater pools to the more exciting wave action for the experienced. With three bow-shaped bays, each with their own environment, Po‘ipü thrives with a multitude of marine life. Looking to satisfy the explorer in you? Then discover the secluded and diverse landscape of Mähä‘ulepü. With rugged limestone cliffs, ancient burial grounds and rocky sea caves, your journey will be unforgettable. If trekking by foot, start at Shipwreck Beach, located just east of the Hyatt. (Hint: If you see locals jumping from a 50-ft sand dune at Makawehi Point, you’re headed in the right direction.) Once in the ironwoods, you should be able to pick up the trail. If you have a 4WD and a watch, you can drive in. But
if you do drive, pay attention to the time, as the park closes at 6pm, and you don’t want to get locked in. At Prince Kühïo Park, you can pay your respects to Hawai‘i’s first delegate to the U.S. congress, Prince Jonah Kühïo Kalaniana‘ole. He was known for spearheading the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. This sets aside 200,000 acres of leasehold land for indigenous Hawaiians. A state holiday is observed in his honor, while the park honors his birthplace. To the west of the park is Spouting Horn, a cascade of water that shoots up like Old Faithful from an opening of an ancient lava tube with every incoming wave when the tide is high. A visit to the Garden Island wouldn’t be complete without visiting a garden or two. The National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Allerton Garden are two stunning examples of native landscape and design. The NTBG provides a haven for tropical endangered plant species to thrive and focuses on the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants. The Allerton Garden sits on the site of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma’s summer cottage. This 80-acre retreat hosts the Island’s living treasures in an enchanting garden and also has a private beach that turtles use to lay eggs. It’s a good idea to make advanced reservations for the Allerton Garden since tours are limited. Just a little inland from the opulent coast, is the modest town of Kaläheo. Take a drive through the neighborhood and experience true island living. Stop and picnic in paradise in Kukui O Lono Park. Because the park is set up on top of a hill, you will enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas in every direction, including the south coast and Läwa‘i Valley. Stroll through the lovely serene Japanese-style garden or play the public golf course. By blending luxury and tradition, the South Shore of Kaua‘i is sure to provide something for everyone. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
stewards -ofparadise IN LAND WE TRUST WORDS MARY TROY JOHNSTON
“The health of the community is very much entwined with the land,”
Angela Anderson told me in describing her work as the Kauaÿi Island Director for Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT). The first principle of HILT is to hold reverence for the ÿäina (land) like the ancient Hawaiians did. The concept of the ÿäina has much more meaning than a parcel of land. A phrase often heard throughtout the state is “Mälama ÿäina,” which means “take care of the land.” The proverb is deeply rooted in the traditional Hawaiian value that people and the land are interdependent; the source of life is the ÿäina, and the continuance of life depends on caring for “that which sustains us,” in Angela’s words. Protecting land into the future is the goal of land conservationists. Nowhere is this more important than on a marine shoreline where the specter of the beach disappearing can become real, considering the threats of rising tides, beach erosion, and natural disasters. In 2003, a 5.43-acre parcel was donated to HILT located at the mouth of Kïlauea Stream, and an additional 12.2-acre parcel was purchased in 2013. As a result, HILT was able to put into public trust a preserve that presently consists myhawaiitraveler.com
of 17.63 acres. The effect was to make Kähili Beach and its surroundings a protected area. The location was a very important place for ancient Hawaiians. Today, it is also a beloved surf, swim (either in the ocean or saltwater estuary) and gathering spot for locals, who call the location Rock Quarry Beach. The land trust was also able to conclude two conservation easements with owners of properties above Kähili to restrict land development. As a part of this arrangement, the owners gave up rights to build 30 units on their properties, enabling a sense of seclusion to remain at the beach preserve below. I commenced my tour of the preserve by taking the path of the dunes with Angela and Peter King (who serves on the Island Council of HILT and is a contributing photographer for this article). We also walked with her father who was visiting. He supplied the words for what we all were feeling, “This is what it is like to walk in Heaven.” As she described the potential of the dunes, it occurred to me that nature is more enlightened than we can know. “The seed bank is in the dunes,” Angela explained, preserved for future germination if conditions permit. 51
At present, the ironwood trees hold sway, having taken over once introduced, dropping the needles that carpet the path and sealing the seeds in the dunes. Closer to the beach, native plants have held their own. “These are the plants that will ensure the area is protected” and that work for “coastal resilience,” she explains. Pointing out the native morning glory, pohüehüe, sprawling prolifically close to the ground, the director describes how these plants “act like nets” and capture “seeds and other organic material.” The same is true of the leafy native bush called naupaka that produces a small white and purple streaked flower. The petals of the naupaka flower form a half-circle, as if the remaining petals are missing. Angela recounts the ancient Hawaiian legend of the princess Naupaka, who fell in love with the commoner, Kaui. As their love was forbidden, they were turned into the plant we now call naupaka, and the princess was exiled to the mountains and her lover to the beach. In keeping with the legend, the mountain plant is relatively scarce and delicate whereas the beach naupaka appears all over. Each produces a halfflower that when joined together becomes “one.” As we had kept our eyes to the sand, we did not realize that the great frigatebirds, ÿiwa in Hawaiian, were circling overhead. With a wingspan of over seven feet, the birds finally made their presence known. Hawaiian frigatebirds tend to be larger than their relatives in “Galápagos or on Aldabra or Christmas Island in the Pacific” and can spread their wings wider than the “black-footed albatrosses” according to Craig S. Harrison, author of, Seabirds of Hawaii Natural History and Conservation. Furthermore, he writes, “The long, slender wings, deeply forked tails, and saber-like bills render frigatebirds unmistakable in the field.” With so many gliding overhead and diving for fish in the stream as it nears the ocean, one must wonder what message they wished to signal. As ÿiwa means thief, Angela mentioned a particular interpretation by Hoku Cody, scientist and cultural practitioner, who studies bird life in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. She maintains that the ÿiwa is the “thief” who “makes you realize that you are not guaranteed what you think you are…the ÿiwa reminds you that it takes chiefly standards to keep our places (sacred, celebrated, or otherwise) in pristine conditions for ourselves and the next generations to come.” As the ÿiwa is known for snatching food from other birds in mid-air, it makes sense that it delivers a warning to hold the things that are dear close to us—a challenge those charged with the care of Kähili Beach Preserve clearly take seriously. myhawaiitraveler.com
The people involved with HILT are realistic about the challenges they face in terms of the complicated requirements of land management and protecting lands in perpetuity. Therefore, the concept of community conservation has become essential to achieve their purpose. If a community of caring stewards can develop a strong connection to the land, the resources for environmental protection, including hands-on efforts like volunteer beach cleanups, can grow and multiply. Community conservation, that is, a wide group of people who share values about the land, expands the work, impact, and vision of an entity that otherwise would not be able to fulfill its mission on its own. Kauaÿi, although a small island, is favorably inhabited by people who have a reverence for their surroundings. Once a dumping ground for old cars and other vehicles and an “area that was overgrown,” according to Angela, Kähili has become the accessible and cared-for site it is today. It serves as a place for recreation as well as community volunteerism and education. The Kiaÿi Kähili (guardians of Kähili) are volunteers that have formed a group who have accepted it as a part of their kuleana (responsibility) to keep and mind the preserve. The Surfrider Foundation, Kauaÿi Chapter has partnered with HILT to organize beach cleanups at Kähili. Last Spring, the seventh grade science class at Island School turned Kähili Beach into their outdoor classroom. Under the supervision of Peter, students did a lot of studying before visiting the site about native plants, land protection measures, ancient Hawaiian land practices, and endangered species. Experts in the field came to speak during class to raise their awareness about these issues. At Kähili, among other activities, students had a scavenger hunt with botanists, Tiffani Keanini and Kelsey Brock, from the Kauaÿi Invasive Species Committee, learning to identify invasives, non-invasives, and native plants. It is critical to the work of HILT that future generations develop the knowledge and respond to the call of mälama ÿäina. Angela identifies the beach preserve as a wahi pana (legendary place) that is significant to the community. She reflects, “Wahi pana give us the opportunity to get to a synchronicity with nature, with ourselves, and with cosmic tempo.” What greater gift to pass on to future generations? Images are provided by Peter King, who is an educator and member of the Kauaÿi Island Council for the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, and Stephanie Achuara, who is a 7th Grade Math and Science Teacher at Island School. 53
GOLF KAUA‘I Teeing it up on the island of Kaua‘i means negotiating pristine fairways, tropical landscapes and beautiful ocean vistas. But don’t let this natural beauty distract you, as the Garden Isle offers up some of the true tests of the game that will challenge your skills, and concentration. 54
MAKAI GOLF CLUB
The Makai Golf Club at Princeville has long been considered one of Hawai‘i’s premier golf facilities. The distinct layout of the course strategically winds around serene lakes and native woodlands, while capitalizing on spectacular coastline views. With the recent renovation by original architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. complete, the course is now open for play! For reservations and information, please call (808) 826-1912 for tee times or visit makaigolf.com.
A Treasure By Design
POIPU BAY GOLF COURSE
Sprawled between lush mountains and rugged ocean cliffs on Kaua‘i’s sunny South Shore, Poipu Bay Golf Course boasts 18 championship holes that are as visually stunning as they are challenging. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Poipu Bay is one of the most highly acclaimed resort courses in the Pacific. From 1994-2006, the course played host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the golf world. A round at Poipu Bay Golf Course affords you the opportunity to experience the sheer pleasures and daunting challenges of a course recognized as one of America’s finest and to “play where champions play.” Call (808) 742-8711 or visit poipubaygolf.com.
experienceTroon Golf At the Princeville Makai Golf Club
#3 “Best Courses You C an PlaY ” In HawaII —Golfweek
one of tHe “toP 5 Great Golf settInGs” In tHe u.s. —National Geographic Traveler
“#65 on a merICa’s 100 Greatest PuBlIC Golf Courses” —Golf Digest, 2015/2016
PRINCEVILLE MAKAI GOLF CLUB IS MANAGED BY TROON GOLF,® THE LEADER IN UPSCALE GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT myhawaiitraveler.com
ADVENTURE ISLAND The spirit of adventure thrives on the Garden Isle with secret waterfalls, beaches and hiking trails to excite the explorer in all of us. With so much to discover in the vast ocean, valleys, parks and rivers, the choices are endless and the unmatched beauty is complimentary. 56
ADVENTURE GUIDE AIR TOURS JACK HARTER HELICOPTERS
Jack Harter is the Originator of Helicopter Tours on Kaua‘i. Jack’s motto is “Imitated by All, Equaled by None!” All of the employees at Jack Harter Helicopters work to carry on Jack’s reputation of providing safe, high quality tours that become cherished memories. Choose a 60 or 90 minute narrated tour offered in two types of helicopters. Their luxurious, air-conditioned, 6-passenger Eurocopter AStar features huge floor-to-ceiling windows for unsurpassed visibility and a two-way intercom system with BOSE noise canceling headsets. Adventurous travelers who seek a little more excitement may want to consider a flight in one of Jack Harter Helicopters’ 4-passenger Hughes 500 helicopters which are flown with the DOORS OFF. FAA Part 135 Certified. Call (808) 245-3774 or helicopters-kauai.com.
Safari Helicopters is family owned and was founded in 1987 by Preston Myers, retired commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Voted #1 as the Best Helicopters Air Tour Company on Kaua‘i and People #1 Choice. The first to coin the phrase, “Cadillac of Helicopters” due to the ASTAR 350B2 helicopter’s luxury comfort and floor to ceiling window front and back for unsurpassed visibility. Featuring the BOSE X noise cancellation stereo headsets and FAA Approved multiple camera system to record a video of the passenger’s actual
tour. After over 20 years of service, Safari Helicopters continues to offer FAA Part 135 Certified flightseeing tours on two major Hawaiian Islands – Kaua‘i and the Big Island. Most of our full time pilots are military veterans; have Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) the highest level of certification by the FAA. Reservations (808) 246-0136 or 800-326-3356 or safarihelicopters.com.
Experience Kaua‘i’s hidden wonders that can only be discovered from the air. See areas where no one has ever set foot. Your tour will include famous areas that make Kaua‘i a favorite location for Hollywood filmmakers. You will see lush valleys dotted with waterfalls, colorful Waimea Canyon and the impenetrable Näpali Coast known for its towering razor sharp cliffs and secluded beaches. Depart from Lï‘hue Heliport or the exclusive Princeville Heliport. Call (808) 245-5953.
EXPLORE KAUA‘I ATV TOURS
Venture into Kaua‘i’s lush, tropical paradise on the back of a semi-automatic, easy to use All Terrain Vehicle. Choose one of our daily ATV expeditions through the gorgeous mountains of Kaua‘i’s south side for an unforgettable experience on the road less traveled. Ride your own ATV on 22,000 acres of private dirt roads and trails. Enjoy breathtaking
mountain and coastline views, unspoiled tropical landscapes inaccessable to the general public and a half mile tunnel through the heart of the Ha‘upu mountain range. Come join us for the ultimate off-road adventure. Call (808) 742-2734.
KIPU RANCH ADVENTURES
We are proud to be one of the top eco-tours in Hawai‘i. We enable visitors and residents alike to discover the rich history, landscape and legends that make Kaua‘i unique. Guests return to us year after year because of our enthusiastic dedication to high standards of quality and service. Adventure lovers enjoy the thrills of our ATVs while nature lovers and photography enthusiasts enjoy our Rhino and Ranger passenger tours. We also cater to private groups, families, companies and weddings. Spend a few hours with us and see why we are the number one ATV tour in Hawaii! You will be deeply moved by your experience of genuine aloha, history and tropical adventure. Call (808) 246-9288 or visit kiputours.com.
Come experience the breathtaking beauty of Köloa; from the beauty of the natural settings to the preservation of the rich history of the land. Travel through and above a variety of ecosystems located on Grove Farm lands on 8 fantastic ziplines. Watch the sun set on our Sunset Tour and fly hands free over the jungle like your favorite super hero in our custom upgradeable Flyin’ Kauai’an Harness. Brave the island’s longest lines at Koloa Zipline! Call (808) 7422734 or visit koloazipline.com.
PRINCEVILLE RANCH ADVENTURES
Go mauka. Get away from the crowds and find yourself in nature. Explore a hidden part of Kaua’i rarely seen and experience the pure natural wonder of our 2,500-acre family ranch on the North Shore. Princeville Ranch has it all: ziplines, horseback riding, 4x4 off-roading, hiking, kayaking and secluded waterfalls. Glide over green valleys and jungles. We’ve got an extensive Kauai zipline course for all levels. Looking for excitement, speed, and flying mud? Blast through streams and get ready for “permagrin” because our fleet of 4x4 side-by-sides will take you to some amazing places. Enjoy panoramic views of our working cattle ranch on horseback. Both group and private rides are available, and we can accommodate beginners up to expert riders. Along the way, our friendly guides share the history and culture of both Kaua‘i and the Ranch. Or how about kayaking down a gentle, jungle stream and hiking through a lush rainforest? Or swimming plus a picnic at a stunning private waterfall? We even offer combination adventures so you and your family can mix up the fun. There’s an adventure for everyone at Princeville Ranch! Call (808) 826-7669 or visit us at princevilleranch.com.
“Our pilot was terrific and his narration was superb. The whole staff was friendly, attentive and helpful from the minute we arrived for check-in until we waved Aloha.
The entire experience was the
absolute high point of our vacation.” Satisfied JHH Customer
Eurocopter AStar Doors On
“Going to Kauai and not taking a helicopter flight is like going to the Sistine Chapel and not looking up.” The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook
Hughes 500 Doors Off
Now all you have to do is decide…
Dfifiwfififly Dfi wfi fly “Doors-On” fir “Doors-Off”?
Off-Island Toll-Free: 1.888.245.2001 FfififiPfirtfififi5fiCfirtfififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififi Tour paths will vary according to weather conditions. Weight Restrictions Apply. 24-Hour Cancellation Notice Required. 59
ADVENTURE SNORKEL, SAIL & SURF BLUE DOLPHIN CHARTERS
The highlight of any vacation has to be a Kaua‘i Näpali Coast sailing tour, sailing down the Näpali with dolphins surfing at the bow of your catamaran, is the ultimate in ecotourism and adventure travel. We offer the best ocean sightseeing experience and whale watching tours of any charter boat company in the Hawaiian Islands. Our Kaua‘i sailing tours also venture to Ni‘ihau, The Forbidden Island, and along the shores of Po‘ipü Beach for a romantic sunset sail. Everyone enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and the true spirit of aloha from our experienced, fun loving, crew. (808) 335-5553. Visit us online at kauaiboats.com. Located in Port Allen Marina Center in Ele‘ele.
HAWAIIAN SURFING ADVENTURES
We provide quality surf instruction in beautiful Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i, creating the memory of a lifetime. What makes us stand out from the competition? Our surf instructors are lifeguard certified, the lessons include top of the line surf boards and leashes/custom rash guards and our instructors are all big wave riders themselves. Yet, they know how to make sure your experience is fun while you accomplish your goal of surfing. Call us today at (808) 482-0749.
The memories should last a lifetime, not the trip getting there. Our two boats, Leila and Holo Holo, get you to the action quicker than anybody else, so you have more time to snorkel, sightsee, relax and enjoy the pristine waters and spectacular cliffs of Kaua‘i’s Näpali Coast, and the “forbidden island” of Ni‘ihau. We offer morning snorkel sails along the Näpali Coast with an optional tour to Ni‘ihau. We also offer romantic Näpali sunset sails in the evening. Located in the Port Allen Marina Center in Elee‘le. Call (808) 335-0815 for reservations or visit us online at holoholocharters.com.
KAUA‘I SEA TOURS
Kaua‘i Sea Tours is unique among the boat tour operators on Kaua‘i, as they offer both traditional catamaran tours and adventurous zodiac boat tours of the Näpali Coast. Both tours are run by experienced boat captains, who are educated on Kaua‘i wildlife, conservation and history. Come aboard Kaua‘i Sea Tours for a “can’t miss” adventure! Take advantage of our unique permits to land on the Näpali Coast and hike into an ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village. Enjoy our delicious, catered lunch on board and view some of the most diverse marine life in Hawai‘i. We’ve been granted a State Parks Special Use Permit, which means you’ll see remote beaches where others can’t go. Tours depart from Port Allen Marina Center in Ele‘ele, 4353 Wai‘alo Rd. Ste 2B-3B. Call (808) 8267254 for reservations.
Snorkel Bob Brand masks for every shape & size-The SEAMO BETTA™ & LI’L MO BETTA™ are Rx 60
receptive in a minute. The MoflO2 & MoflO2RS snorkels with double valve twin chambers clear easy and deliver fresh-air on every breath. Sumo™ Mask & Bigfoots™ fins (15-17) for the mongo among you. Boogie boards, beach chairs & FREE 24-HOUR INTERISLAND GEAR RETURN. Book 2 seats on most activities and get a FREE Boogie Board for the week. Open 8 to 5 Every Day. Located in Kapa‘a (808)823-9433 and Koloa (808)742-2206, or visit snorkelbob.com.
ATTRACTIONS NORTH SIDE ALAKA‘I WILDERNESS PRESERVE
The Alaka‘i Wilderness area is a mystical rainforest in the high plateau near Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale and is home to some of Hawai‘i’s rarest plants and endangered birds. On clear days, you can see breathtaking views of Hanalei and Wainiha valleys. The park includes nature trails and a boardwalk over marshy terrain to explore the most interior park in Kaua‘i. The Alaka‘i Swamp is 10 miles long and two miles wide. Wear appropriate hiking clothes (bring a sweater) and shoes. The boardwalk can be very slippery, wet and muddy at times. The trail ends at the vista of Kilohana on the edge of Wainiha Pali. Located off Hwy 550 adjacent to Köke‘e State Park. Call (808) 335-9975 for weather info in Köke‘e or hawaiitrails.org.
DRY AND WET CAVES
Maniniholo Dry Cave is said to have been dug out by Manini-holo, the chief fisherman of the Menehune in search of an evil spirit who stole the fish intended for the Menehunes. Scientifically, sea caves are formed by ocean waves pounding away at the lava for thousands of years. The grotto is covered with fern and vines and is located across Hä‘ena Beach Park off Rte. 560. Waikapala‘e Wet Cave and Waikanaloa Wet Cave are the remains of an ancient lava tube created by the forces of the sea. The cold water in the caves is fed by underground springs and the level of water depends on the tides. The caverns are said to have been used as a gathering place for chiefs in ancient times. Swimming is not recommended due to the presence of leptospirosis found in fresh water. Wear appropriate shoes to prevent injury from the slippery lava rock. Located western end of Rte. 560. Both wet caves are located just before mile marker #10 on the left, past Hä‘ena Beach Park.
HANALEI VALLEY OVERLOOK
More than beautiful, the Hanalei Valley is mystical, magical and substantial, with spectacular vistas and a half-mile patchwork of taro ponds. The fertile and ancient kalo lo‘i (the flooded taro fields) of Hanalei have fed the Hawaiians since the first Polynesians arrived here over a thousand years ago. Currently, it still produces most of the state’s taro for poi, a Hawaiian staple. You can see the 900-acre National Wildlife Refuge from the overlook. Located on Hwy 56 in Princeville.
A National Historic Landmark, this lighthouse had the largest clamshell lens of any lighthouse in the world and served as a beacon since it was built in 1913 to guide passing sea and air traffic. The light was replaced in the 1970s with a low-maintenance light beacon. You can walk into the lighthouse but not the lantern room. Located on Kïlauea Lighthouse Rd. Open daily 10am-4pm. Call (808) 828-0168.
KĪLAUEA POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
A refuge for several species of seabirds, some nesting and some endangered, surrounds the lighthouse. Red-footed boobies, Laysan albatrosses, wedge-tailed shearwaters and the magnificent frigate bird with 7½-foot wingspan are just some examples of birds that can be seen at the refuge. Make reservations for the two-hour guided hikes through the refuge, available Monday through Thursday. Located on Kïlauea Lighthouse Rd. Open daily 10am-4pm. Admission is $3 per person; children under 16 are free. Call (808) 828-0168.
Beautiful botanical garden in a lush tropical valley is used to preserve native flora and fauna in its natural environment. It is also home to endangered plants. Built by early inhabitants, you can walk through the lava terraces and see the working taro patches in the ancient Hawaiian tradition. Reservations are required for guided tours. Self-guided tours are $15 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Wear comfortable walking shoes; umbrellas are provided (mosquito repellant may be necessary). Open Tuesday-Friday from 9:30am-4pm. Located on Rte 560 in Hä‘ena. Call (808) 826-1053 or ntbg.org.
NĀPALI COAST AND STATE PARK
The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trek through the spectacular Näpali Coast. From Kë‘ë to Hanakäpï‘ai Beach is about 2 miles. There is an uneven trail (for the physically fit) to a waterfall and freshwater river pool about 2 additional miles back of the Hanakäpï‘ai Valley. The park consists of streams, cascading waterfalls, high sea cliffs, lush valleys and amazing views. The hike beyond Hanakäpï‘ai can be strenuous and is suitable for experienced hikers only. There are several campsites in the park, but make plans well in advance since permits are limited and the wait list can be long. The trailhead for Kalalau Trail is at the end of Hwy 56. Call (808) 274-3444 or visit hawaii.gov/dlnr/ dsp/fees.html for camping information.
WAI‘OLI MISSION HOUSE
Built in 1837, the missionary home is set in beautiful Hanalei Valley and was restored by descendants of the first missionaries Lucy and Abner Wilcox. The house was restored in 1921 by the granddaughter and houses historical furnishings made from koa wood. Located off Kuhio Hwy. Free. Open Tues., Thurs., and Sat. 9am-3pm. Call (808) 245-3202. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
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EAST SIDE FERN GROTTO
A beautiful, natural amphitheater of volcanic rock covered with enormous fishtail ferns, is the venue of choice for many weddings. The only way to reach the Fern Grotto is either to kayak upriver or book a boat ride. The latter has the reputation of being a bit cheeky and a tourist trap, but if you don’t feel like the exercise then be prepared to sing along. Nevertheless, you will enjoy the lush, tropical scenery along the way. Located in Wailua River State Park.
KAMOKILA HAWAIIAN VILLAGE
An authentic recreation of an ancient Hawaiian folk village illustrates ancient Hawaiian lifestyle on 3 acres of private land. The last king of Kaua‘i once resided here. Several huts and displays show how ancient Hawaiians lived, including a courtyard featuring Hawaiian games, such as spear throwing and Hawaiian bowling, which were essential in building skills. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children for self-guided tours. Located on the east shore of the Wailua River Valley at 6060 Kuamo‘o Road (Rte 580) across from Öpaeka‘a Falls. Call (808) 823-0559. 62
The serene 30-acre refuge with streams and freshwater pools is a perfect setting for a picnic surrounded by mountains and lush foliage. The arboretum is divided by the stream and has a variety of foliage including monkeypods, mango, eucalyptus trees, ‘öhi‘a lehua and hibiscus. Picnic areas and pavilions can be found throughout the area for your enjoyment. There are two short hiking trails through the park. You can access the trailheads for Kuilau-Ridge Trail (incredible views from this trail) and the Moalepe Trail from this area. Open sunrise to sunset. Located down the road from the Wailua Reservoir on Hwy 580. Call (808) 241-4463.
This beautiful waterfall is the easiest to view, as it tumbles out of the jungle into a dramatic plunge over a high cliff about a 150-feet into the Wailua River. The name means "rolling shrimp," for the days when swarms of shrimp were seen rolling in turbulent waters at the base of the falls. The best time to view the cascading falls is mid-morning, and the best view is from the path along the highway. Located in Wailua off Hwy 56 on Kuamo’o Rd (Rte. 580) at mile marker 6.
Royalty came to Wailua from the neighboring islands to give birth at the sacred birthstones of Pöhaku Ho‘ohönau. According to legend, if the child was to become a great chief, the heavens would rupture with thunder and lightning followed by rain. When the baby’s umbilical cord fell off, it was wrapped in kapa (cloth made from bark) and placed in the crevices of the Pöhaku Piko for safekeeping. Located Kuamo‘o Rd. (Rte. 580) in Wailua River State Park.
SLEEPING GIANT VIEWPOINT
This formation on Mt. Nounou that sort of resembles a giant is a landmark between Wailua and Kapa‘a. There are several myths and legends surrounding the Sleeping Giant. According to one, the villagers tricked a giant named Puni into eating stones to keep him from eating all the fish and taro, and he fell asleep with a full tummy, never to wake again. Mount Nounou Trail is about a two-mile trek through the forest to the summit of the Sleeping Giant’s belly with spectacular views of the Island and sometimes, O‘ahu can be seen 110 miles east. The hiking trail begins on Haleilio Road. To view the Sleeping Giant, look for the sign marking the viewing area near the Chevron station in Kapa‘a. Located off Hwy 56. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
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ADVENTURE WAILUA RIVER STATE PARK
A popular place to spend a day for the wide range of activities, as well as the lush scenery of tropical foliage, Wailua River is the only navigable river in the state. Activities in the park include water skiing, kayaking, hiking trails, famous waterfalls, the Fern Grotto, an ancient Hawaiian Village, and seven sacred heiau and historic landmarks. At the mouth of the river, ancient petroglyph carvings on large stones can be seen depending on the amount of sand in the area. Once the banks were a favorite dwelling place for high chiefs and kings of Kaua‘i. If you want to kayak on your own without a guide, only three kayak rental companies rent kayaks for the Wailua River. Kayakers should stay on the right side of the river. No guided kayak tours are available on Sundays. Wailua River is located off Kuhio Hwy. Scenic views and historic sites can be accessed from Kuamo‘o Rd. Call (808) 241-4463
LI‘HUĒ & SOUTH SIDE ‘ALEKOKO (MENEHUNE) FISHPOND
Built for a young chief, this fishpond was unique in that it was built for the river instead of the coast like most others. The fishpond once covered 40 acres and consisted of a 900 ft. long wall that separated the fishpond from the stream, but today only remnants remain of the great wall. According to legend, the Menehune built the massive aquaculture facility in one night before sailing away on a floating island. Located off Hwy 50. Take Puhi Rd. to the end, and then turn left on Hulemalu Rd. The fishpond can be seen from the overlook.
GROVE FARM HOMESTEAD
The lovely plantation home was built in 1864 and opened as a living museum in 1978, featuring many displays and exhibits to paint the life of the sugar plantation days gone by. The historic home is beautifully furnished and has a staircase made from native koa wood. The grounds include giant trees and tropical flower gardens. Located south of Lihue on Highway 58. Admission is $20 and $10 for children 12 & under. Access is by tour only, which is offered twice a day Mon., Wed., and Thurs. at 10am and 1pm. Call (808) 245-3202 to make reservations in advance.
With artifacts, vintage photographs and exhibits, Kaua‘i Museum presents a factual look into Kaua‘i’s history. The galleries include a permanent collection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts. Located 4428 Rice Street. Admission is $10. Call (808) 245-6931 for information.
KUKUI O LONO PARK
Because the park is set on top of a hill, you will enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas in every direction. Stroll through the lovely serene Japanese-style garden or play the public golf course. The tranquil park is a lovely place to have a romantic picnic with sweeping ocean views of Läwa‘i Valley. Kukui O Lono means light of the god Lono. Located on Papalina Road off Hwy 50 in Kaläheo. 64
NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
The National Tropical Botanical Garden is an exceptional preserve and houses the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered plants, and includes the Allerton, McBryde and Limahuli (North Shore.) The gardens are stunning examples of native landscape and design. The NTBG provides a haven for tropical endangered plant species to thrive and focuses on the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants. The Allerton Garden sits on the site of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma’s summer cottage. This 80-acre tropical retreat hosts the Island’s living treasures in an enchanting garden and also has a private beach that turtles use to lay eggs. It’s a good idea to make advanced reservations for the Allerton Garden since tours are limited. McBryde Garden is set in seclusion between rugged cliffs, making it ideal for learning about the native plants while viewing rare and endangered Hawaiian species. Call (808) 742-2623 or visit ntbg. org.
PRINCE KŪHĪO PARK
At Prince Kühïo Park you can pay your respects to Hawai‘i’s first delegate to the U.S. congress, Prince Jonah Kühïo Kalaniana‘ole. He is known as “People’s Prince” because of his great accomplishments for native Hawaiians. A state holiday is observed in his honor, while the park honors his birthplace with a statue. While here, you can see the Hoai Heiau, the foundation of Prince Kühïo’s home, and the royal fishpond. Located on Läwai Road.
To the west of the park is Spouting Horn, a cascade of water that shoots up like Old Faithful from an opening of an ancient lava tube with every incoming wave. Located across from the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Läwai Road.
Giant eucalyptus trees planted over 150 years ago by Scotchman Walter Duncan McBryde create the Tree Tunnel, the gateway into Koloa and Po‘ipü. Turn south on Hwy 520, Maluhia Rd.
A stunning 80-foot tiered waterfall is easy to view close to the roadside lookout. Nicknamed the Fantasy Island waterfalls for the prominent opening scene of the falls for the hit television show. It’s best to view the falls in the morning when the sun adds to the beauty of the falls. The power of the falls depends on the rainfall. A slippery hike down a steep trail leads you to the bottom of the waterfalls for a cool swim. Located off Hwy 56, end of Ma‘alo Rd.
WEST SIDE CAPTAIN COOK’S MONUMENT
Captain James Cook, the British explorer, landed in Waimea Bay in January 1778 with his ships Resolution and Discovery, marking his first visit to the Hawaiian
Islands. Facing the sea, a statue of Cook stands in Waimea to mark the historic event that would forever change Hawai‘i. Located in Hofgaard Park in the downtown area.
KALALAU VALLEY LOOKOUT
The lookout provides panoramic views into the majestic valley—without breaking a sweat—from the 18 mile marker. It is one of the most spectacular views on earth with striking sea cliffs and the cobalt Pacific looks into the largest valley in Näpali. Kalalau Valley is dramatic, with jagged emerald ridges, and is best viewed in the morning to avoid the clouds. Further ahead is Pu‘u o Kila Lookout, which offers even more astonishing views of the valley and the deep blue ocean. Both lookouts are located at the end of the Köke‘e Road. Call (808) 335-9975 for weather information.
KŌKE‘E NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
This little museum provides interpretive programs and exhibitions about Kaua‘i’s climate, geology and ecology. The museum has great information about the forest, hiking trails and conditions and sells maps and local books. Located past the 15 mile marker off Köke‘e Road. Turn left after the park headquarters. The museum is next to Köke‘e Lodge just before the campground. Open everyday 10am-4pm. Free. Call (808) 335-9975 or visit kokee.org.
MENEHUNE DITCH (KĪKĪ A OLA)
Only remnants remain of what was once a great watercourse and aqueduct that extended 25 miles up the Waimea River—made from smooth lava stone brought from Mokihana. Legend has it that the Menehune, race of little people, built the ditch in one night for the high chief of Waimea to irrigate the taro patches for Waimea residents for payment of shrimp. Archaeologists say the historic site was built before Polynesians came, possibly by the Menehune. Located off Hwy 50 on Menehune Rd. just before the 23mile marker.
WAIMEA CANYON LOOKOUT
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific is a breathtaking gaping gorge with dramatic ridges and deep ravines shaped by the steady process of erosion and collapse of the volcano that formed Kaua‘i. It is roughly 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep. The canyon is spectacular and majestic with jewel-tone colors of reds and greens. Take the scenic but narrow drive on Waimea Canyon Drive (Rte 550) from Hwy 50, or turn up the steep Köke‘e Road at Kekaha. The two roads merge into Köke‘e Road after a few miles up. Waimea Canyon Lookout is between mile markers 10 and 11. Check out the spectacular vistas from scenic lookouts at Pu‘u Hina Hina (3,336 feet elevation), where the private island of Ni‘ihau can be seen on clear days, and Pu‘u Ka Pele where the Waipo‘o Falls are visible after a heavy rainfall. Be prepared for cooler weather, and make sure you have some fuel in your car. Waimea Canyon Drive ends at Kalalau Lookout about 4 miles above the park. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
DON'T BE A VICTIM What you need to know before swimming in Kaua‘i’s waters WORDS ANDREW WALSH
elp! It’s the type of scream you hope not to hear as a dive instructor, but at some point, you will. The most horrible is the blood-curdling “Help!” that is the unmistakable sound of a person in a fight for their life. The desperate cry in a person’s voice when they begin to drown, panic, or think their loved one has done the same is a sound no one forgets. It causes you to immediately jump into action, to remember all the training you did years ago, and the rescues you aided with since then. But mostly, it activates the innate human response we all have, the recognition of an ancient fear and the indomitable will to live. Somehow, it’s so ingrained in us to not drown, to survive, that we react much the same to another person drowning, almost as if it were ourselves. But hasty reactions and panic in the victim or the rescuer is generally what kills people. The role of the dive instructor is always to keep things calm, appear under control, and to plan. So that, through my own training and the training I share with students, we know what we are getting into and how to react to most challenges. Calmness and training: Is your regulator leaking? No problem, don’t worry, I will take care of that, remember what we practiced. Mask fell off at 80-ft., it’s OK, remember to breathe like we practiced and slowly ascend, or better yet have mine, as I’ve practiced no mask breathing countless times. Are you too buoyant? I’ve got that; take some of the extra weight I always bring. Are you drowning? We’ve got that, too, remember I taught you to swim parallel or below the current. People generally drown before they get into the water. Sounds strange, but much like an airplane accident, the steps needed to avoid disaster can be tracked back to decisions and actions that were not taken hours, days, and even weeks, months, and years before a tragedy. The point to remember is that safety in the ocean begins before you actually dive in. Whether you are a swimmer, snorkeler, diver, or fisher—it doesn’t matter. Learn to stay calm and react to the situation through training and slowly stepping up your experience. Sadly, there will always be unavoidable tragedies in the ocean, as there are in life. But so many of the drownings that occur around the Hawaiian Islands could very well have been avoided with some simple information and caution before stepping into a beautiful and alluring, but challenging and unforgiving, ocean environment. And the proof is in the numbers. Dying from drowning in the State of Hawaiÿi is a serious threat to visitors and locals. We drown at 13 times the national average. Of course, we
are surrounded by the Pacific so that might make sense. But consider that visitors drown at 10 times the rate of locals, and what does that tell you? That having knowledge and experience in the ocean significantly reduces your chance of death in the ocean. Of all the leading causes of fatal injury in Hawaiÿi for locals, drowning accounts for just around 5%. But if you are a visitor to the islands, drowning accounts for almost 50% of fatalities. It is the leading cause of death for nonresidents according to the Dept. of Health. For non-residents, snorkeling accounts for the largest number of drownings by far, followed by swimming. You can add all the data from boat accidents, falling in, fishing, free diving, scuba, surfing, and unknown shenanigans, and all those combined doesn’t come close to the amount of deaths from snorkeling. So how do we not drown? We learn to swim in the ocean in Hawaiÿi. And for those who might think, “Well, I know how to swim”—we need to retrain their concept of “knowing” how to swim. The first challenge is to dismantle the idea that once we know how to swim, then we know how to swim anywhere there is water. It doesn’t matter if you have been swimming since you were two, or if you still hold the fastest swimming record at your old high school. We need to think of learning to swim in different environments as no different than how we originally thought of learning to swim before we knew how to swim. Just because you know how to keep your body afloat and moving in water, doesn’t mean you know how to do that in an ocean, or a fast-moving river, or off an island with strong ocean currents and changing riptides. If we start to look at the ocean, even if we can swim, as a place that we will drown if we jump in without first learning local ocean swimming, then the chances of drowning go down significantly. Ok, so what do we need to know? One of the primary threats to swimmers and snorkelers are the currents and tides. Particularly riptides. These are areas where a deeper channel in the seabed causes water that comes in from a wave or current to then get sucked into this channel on the way out. A weak shore break next to a more powerful shore break can also cause a rip current, as well as human-made formations such as jetties or piers. Sometimes it is possible to see a rip as a line of churning, choppy water moving quickly out to sea within the shore break, but often they are undetectable. They can be a few feet wide to hundreds of feet wide and can travel anywhere form 1-2 feet per second to 5-feet per second (stronger than the fastest swimmer). If you fight a rip current, you will lose. The urge to fight myhawaiitraveler.com
will be strong as the rip will be sucking you away from the precious safety of land and out into 3,000 miles of Pacific fury. Yes, that is when you will start to panic or at least make bad decisions. Trust me, I have been there. But most rip currents don’t go beyond the wave breaks that caused them (although some can go very far). If you can compose yourself armed with this knowledge, the tactic is to start swimming parallel to the shore until you are no longer in the rip. Generally, by the time you have swum half the length of an Olympic-size pool, you should be out of the rip current. Then, just head to shore diagonally away from the current. If you can’t beat the rip, let it take you. You are better off conserving energy and floating once the rip pops you out than exhausted and panicked in its teeth. What about other currents and waves? Yes, in Hawaiÿi we have some fantastic currents for seasoned swimmers. Don’t swim in an area that you don’t know or without someone who knows it. There are plenty of currents that move around the many geologic and biologic (corals) formations surrounding the islands. As for waves, oh brother, watch out. Some waves are small and fun, but sets can change and turn big and nasty. Find out what the conditions are like and not if, but how, they can change. If you don’t know how to duck dive, learn—don’t go out in Hawaiian waters without practicing somewhere safe first. A big set of waves will drown you quicker than a rip, without this skill and knowledge. Find out how the underwater contours affect the intensity of the waves. If it’s hard coral or a sudden elevation change, you can be slammed into the bottom and snapped in two. I experienced this first-hand at Häpuna Beach on the Big Island many years ago when a huge set came in out of nowhere. It bent my back so hard, I felt a crack and to this day I have no idea how my vertebrae didn’t snap. I later found out that injuries like this are common at that beach, but I neglected to check beforehand, thinking in all my water experience I knew better than the shifting nature of the mighty ocean. Hopefully, the time we all spend in the incredible waters surrounding these remote islands will fill us with the awe, mana (spiritual power), and fulfillment that they naturally imbue. It is a tragic loss to all of the water community whenever anyone, regardless of their experience or ability, leaps into these shores to participate in the wonder and joy we all know, only to never return to their loved ones. These are our fellow ocean-loving brothers and sisters, and they wanted to experience the same wonder and deep gratitude that we have cultivated in these waters. What is even more tragic is to know that they could potentially have 68
avoided such a fate, with a little planning and knowledge. It’s my great hope that you are able to connect to the larger water community and immerse yourself in the fascinating ecosystems, critical food webs, and magical dance of diverse and unusual marine life that I have come to know and appreciate. Just be safe, and know before you go.
Some basic rules to help keep you safe on your water adventure: • If in doubt, don’t go out. • Find out from the locals or the lifeguard what the conditions are and if and where it is safe to swim. • Swim where there is a lifeguard. Learn the area. • The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Hawaiÿi Beach Safety put up signs to warn of potential dangers. Learn what they mean and heed them. If you see a posting at a beach saying it’s not safe to go in the water, there is a really good reason. • Always swim with a buddy. But, wait and watch the water conditions before entering. • If you don’t know what a riptide is or how to get yourself out of one, do not swim in Hawaiian waters until you do. • Once you think you know an area, learn even more. Ask lifeguards, locals and concierge for more information. In scuba we learn through repetition of knowledge and training. Learn something, and then learn it again, and again, and again. Visualize what you would do if caught in a difficult situation like a rip current. So, when your mind surges with adrenaline-fueled panic, you might just have enough knowledge and calmness to save yourself. • The coastline around Kauaÿi can be incredibly dangerous. Don’t get complacent near the water’s edge—rocks and waves can knock you into waters and sweep you out to sea. • Just because you see locals out in the water, doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to go out. Many locals are seasoned waterman and have been swimming in the ocean most of their life and have knowledge about the area. • PDMOs. Keep a look out for them. That is, potentially dangerous marine organisms. Whether it is jellyfish, hard corals, or even sharks, know where to go and what warnings have been issued for these kinds of threats. It doesn’t take much to incapacitate you enough from being able to make it back to shore. • Remember that no place, no experience, no picture is worth risking your life or the life of others.
THE NORTH SHORE The North Shore is tranquil and draped in velvety green, with waterfalls cascading from heaven into a verdant valley and the sounds of gentle surf. At the top of Mount Wai‘ale‘ale sits Alaka‘i Swamp. From this wetland, streams of water flow to the beaches below. Along its journey, the water engraves deep, lush valleys, creating a fertile landscape for the cultivation of various crops on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. The Hawaiians divided this area into three land divisions: Ko‘olau, Halele‘a, and Nāpali. 70
KO‘OLAU The rural communities of Moloa‘a and Kïlauea lay in the ahupua’a of Ko‘olau. Due to its isolation, the beach community of Moloa‘a is often overlooked by visitors. Just ten minutes north of Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a Bay is a great place for swimming, snorkeling or reading a book. Unlike the rocky beaches of Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a offers golden sand and turquoise water. Kïlauea is a former sugar plantation town. The most frequented visitor attraction here is the Kïlauea Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on a 203-acre national wildlife refuge. Many migratory birds, such as the Pacific Golden Plover, the Laysan Albatross, and the Nënë propagate here. Sometimes you may even see humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals and spinner dolphins. HALELE‘A Six small beach towns make up the district of Halele‘a. Kalihi Wai is the first and is primarily known for its surf break. Kalihi Wai means “with a stream,” which is fitting, being that it’s next to one. Spend an afternoon kayaking up Kalihi Wai stream. ‘Anini Beach is just across the river. A bridge once connected the two towns until a tidal wave washed it away in 1957. Vacation homes line the beach here and the ocean stays relatively calm due to a wide fringing reef surrounding it. Windsurfing is very popular here. Up the road is Princeville, the Bel-Air of Kaua‘i. This lavish town sits on a plateau that extends from the upper mountains to lower sea cliffs. A short hike down one of these cliffs will take you to Queen’s Bath, a large protected saltwater pond. Princeville offers many amenities that Hanalei doesn’t (like a
gas station), so fill’er up and head on down to Hanalei. Hanalei is what Kaua‘i probably looked like in the 1800s. Make sure to stop at the Hanalei Valley Lookout, where you’ll find acres of taro fields covering the valley floor. Be on the look out for Beefalo (half cow, half buffalo). Hanalei has become a popular destination for visitors and surfers, and offers some of the largest waves on the island. The water is temperamental, so take heed to any posted warnings. If you can’t swim in the ocean, the Hanalei River feeds into the bay and provides a short but sweet kayak adventure. The valley of Wainiha is believed to be the last hideout of the Menehune, a race of little people. Along this narrow valley lie the remains of old home sites, heiau and taro patches. When you’ve reached the end of the road, you’ve reached Hä‘ena. Explore the wet and dry caves of Waikanaloa, Waikapala‘e and Maniniholo (dry). View Ka Ulu a Paoa, a distinguished hula heiau and discover the underwater sea caves at Kë‘ë Beach. More than likely you’ll end up spending longer than a day here. NÄPALI For the truly adventurous, the district of Näpali is only accessible by foot. The majestic park and coastline consists of streams, cascading waterfalls, dramatic sea cliffs, lush verdant valleys and amazing views. If you plan on doing the 22-mile round trip hike to Kalalau Valley, be prepared. First and foremost, secure a camping permit. Second, pack your bags rationally and third, train! If 22 miles is a bit too adventurous, there are many enjoyable day hikes around the area. Remember, always check the weather conditions before going anywhere.
PLAY ALL DAY From miniature golf to hiking, biking and dining, Anaina Hou is the ideal place for a fun family outing. WORDS COCO ZICKOS IMAGES IAN MCGUIRE
Shangri-La of nature-filled Garden Isle activities exists at Anaina Hou Community Park on the North Shore of Kauaÿi. Meaning “gathering place,” this quaint nonprofit, located across the highway from Kïlauea Town, offers an assortment of things to do for people of all ages, including miniature golf and a tranquil 4.5-mile hiking trail. The 15-acre site was a dream realized by the late Bill Porter (founder of online stock trading company, E*TRADE) and his wife, Joan. After purchasing the property, along with the hundreds of acres that comprise the adjacent Wai Koa Estate, they sought to create a place where the community could comfortably be together. The couple spent three years working with residents in the area to determine the best plan of action for the purchased land, which included leaving the hundreds of acres of estate that’s home to the public Wai Koa Loop Trail undeveloped. Construction for Anaina Hou Community Park began in 2009 and the project is still in the process of expanding. One of the primary undertakings was creating Kauaÿi Mini Golf and Botanical Gardens. This is not your typical kitschy miniature golf course—each of its 18 holes are tastefully decorated and represent different eras of Kauaÿi’s anthropological and ecological history. The vegetative history of the island is depicted here, from native and endemic flora prior to human arrival, to the plants brought by
Polynesians, Chinese, and Japanese. Placards tell visitors the stories of the island’s history as you progress to each hole. The lush garden course also has fun obstacles and waterways to navigate making it a fun family activity. The course is open daily from 8am to 8pm. After showing off your mad mini golf skills on the well thought-out course, hunger pangs might arise. The good news is that there’s also a place to eat good food on-site. Namahana Café is open daily from 8am to 7pm for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They serve a variety of fresh foods like bagels with cucumbers and bright red tomatoes grown from Kauai Fresh Farms located on the Wai Koa Estate. Burgers, as well as sweet treats form Papalani Gelato, are also on the menu. You might even be inclined to enjoy a latte made with organic, free trade espresso. Moreover, the café also consists of an adjacent gift store where you can pick up all kinds of locally made products like soap and books. Another way to spend your time here is by savoring a stroll along one of the most beautiful locales on the North Shore. The Wai Koa Loop Trail is a moderately easy hike that travels through the private estate, which includes the working farm, and takes you to the historic Stone Dam. You can access the trail through Anaina Hou Community Park, but don’t forget to pick up a waiver at the gift store before heading out. Open from 8am to dusk, the pathway takes you past 86,120 73
Honduran mahogany trees, the largest plantation of its kind in the U.S. After this point, the trail opens up to offer outstanding views of the regal Namahana Mountains. You’re also welcome to rent bicycles and bring them with you to travel on the trail. The pinnacle of the path, however, is arriving at the dam. Lush greenery and the soothing sound of water make this an outstanding place for a picnic or just a spot to relax and soak in nature’s beauty. The dam was built in the 1880s for the Kilauea Sugar Plantation and adds to the lovely setting of a place where serenity is easily acquired. Complete with a Buddha statue where you can sit and meditate, and gorgeous flora you can examine, the most difficult part of this adventure is forcing yourself to turn around and head back to your car. Anaina Hou Community Park also hosts two farmers markets each week. Patrons can shop for locally grown produce, prepared food, and arts and crafts every Saturday from 9am to 1pm and Monday from 2pm to dusk. Moreover, located right next door to the park are two separate, but equally entertaining entities, Banana Joe’s Fruit Stand and Garden Island Chocolate. You can try a tasty pineapple frosty at the fruit stand, which tastes like ice cream but is made entirely of pineapple with no added ingredients, or take a tour of the chocolate company and sample their unique flavors like coconut milk curry and Chinese five spice. You could even just swing by Anaina Hou Community Park to let your kids release some of that pent-up energy they’ve accumulated sitting in a car at the playground. Or, if you happen to be a skateboard enthusiast and have your equipment with you, feel free to hop on one of the ramps and coast. Though there is already so much to experience at Anaina Hou Community Park, there is still more to come. A 4,000-sqaure foot entertainment space, called Porter Pavilion, is in the works, and will accommodate movie viewings, concerts, and other services, including a certified kitchen. Anaina Hou Community Park offers so much to see and do all in one place and suits all ages. It’s a perfect way to spend part of your day as you as you explore the gems of the North Shore. Stop by and grab an apple banana at the farmers market or show off your mini golf skills to your kids while learning about Kauaÿi’s history or take a hike— whatever you do, don’t miss this special place. Anaina Hou Community Park is located at 5-2723 Kühiö Highway in Kïlauea. Call (808) 828-2118, email info@ anainahou.org or visit anainahou.org for more information. myhawaiitraveler.com
TASTE OF KAUA‘I 78 ISLAND DINING GUIDE 80 WHAT WE LOVE NOW 86 THE HOT SPOT 88 CHICKEN FOR THE SOUL 90 SIPPIN' INTO SPRING
THE SHOPS AT KUKUI‘ULA 76
Hyatt® and Grand Hyatt® names, designs and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2017 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.
tidepools hawaiian-style Ahh, the romance of a tiki-torch lit dinner in thatched roof bungalows floating above a koi-filled lagoon. Here you’ll find stellar service and contemporary Hawaiian cuisine featuring the freshest of fish and succulent steaks crafted with a distinct island flair. Free valet parking for diners. For reservations call 808 240 6456 or book online at opentable.com. gra n d hyatt kaua‘i resort & s pa | 157 1 P O I PU ROA D | KO LOA , H I 96756
KAUA‘I DINING SOUTH SHORE DONDERO’S Dondero’s will satisfy your soul as well as your appetite. The elegant ambiance and stellar service makes this a dining favorite for those with discriminating taste. The menu is designed as an Italian tasting menu, offering complimentary flavors and contrasting textures with a large selection of appetizers, homemade pastas, fresh fish, chicken, lamb and beef specialties. This light, modern Italian cuisine is carefully paired with wines from all over the world. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort. Call (808) 240-6456. EATING HOUSE 1849 BY ROY YAMAGUCHI The Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawai‘i’s vibrant culinary heritage, a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who, the story goes, opened one of the first restaurants in Hawai‘i. Called the Eating House, back in the mid-1800s, using what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and shermen. It’s here that award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends these two worlds: the easy ambiance and simple flavors of a plantation town with the dynamic modernity of haute cuisine. Located at the Shops at Kukui‘ula. Call (808) 742-5000 for reservations. STEVENSON'S SUSHI & SPIRITS The warm woods and intimate seating areas of this classic lounge create a welcoming atmosphere. Take a seat at the 27-foot, hand crafted koa wood bar or sink into a cozy chair or sofa in the booked lined room. Chef Jay creates delectable sushi creations nightly in this unique Kaua‘i bar boasting an extensive selection of Whiskies, Cognac and Port in addition to creative martinis and delectable tropical drinks. Kick back and enjoy live entertainment nightly ranging from Contemporary Hawaiian to Jazz to Indie Pop. Enjoy a game of pool, backgammon or chess. Scrumptious sushi rolls are sure to please and live entertainment nightly makes for the perfect nightcap. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort. Call (808) 240-6456. THE SHOPS AT KUKUI‘ULA The Shops at Kukui‘ula has become known as the premier dining destination on Kaua‘i for its selection of casual and fine dining experiences in a beautiful plantation style setting. Merriman’s Fish House and Eating House 1849 feature renowned Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine Chefs Peter Merriman and Roy Yamaguchi while Tortilla Republic and Dolphin Sushi bring contemporary flair to Mexican and seafood 78
cuisine. Casual options include Bubba Burgers, Living Foods Market & Café, Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers, and TR Taqueria & Margarita Bar as well as local favorites Uncle’s Shave Ice and Lappert’s Hawai‘i. Check out the weekly Kaua‘i Culinary Market, Wednesdays, 3:30 to 6pm, with a cooking demo at 5pm. Visit theshopsatkukuiula.com. THE LOUNGE AT TIDEPOOLS The Lounge at Tidepools is the perfect spot for an early evening cocktail and light, delicious snack…with a view. Our recent refresh brightened and revitalized the restaurant and lounge. Tidepools’ contemporary Hawaiian cuisine now has a contemporary Hawaiian home. Honoring its namesake and casual style, colors reflect sand, surf and sea. The new wine cellar is home to over 200 wines, find your favorite and take in the views of the lush gardens and azure sea. Located at Tidepools restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort. Call (808) 240-6456. TIDEPOOLS For the ultimate in ambiance, Tidepools is the place. With a backdrop of waterfalls, these thatched roof hale seemingly float above koi filled lagoons providing a distinctive open-air setting in which to savor contemporary Hawaiian style cuisine. Diners rave about the fresh island fish and steak options including macadamia nut crusted mahimahi, grilled opah, organic steak, or Hawaiian salt and garlic rubbed prime rib. Salads feature fresh island-greens and the desserts are luscious. Don’t miss this delightful experience. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort. Call (808) 240-6456. LĪHU‘E KUKUI’S Features a Pacific Rim gourmet buffet in an outdoor setting, plus American and local specialties. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located poolside at the Marriott Kaua‘i Beach Resort. Located at 3610 Rice Street. Call (808) 245-5050. WAILUA - EAST SIDE KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANT Authentic Korean food with great Korean BBQ like galbi, chicken and pork served with soup, kimchee, vegetables and rice. Delicious Korean plates like shrimp tempura, Korean chicken, Mahi or meat jun (marinated mahi or ribeye dipped in egg and fried), bi bim bap (rice bowl with veggies and your choice of meat) and favorites like katsu, fried rice, noodles and dumplings all reasonably priced. Open Mon.-Sun.
11am-9pm. Kinipopo Shopping Village in Wailua. 4-356 Kuhio Hwy Building #E. (808) 823-6744. NAUPAKA TERRACE Inspired by the natural beauty of the Garden Island, Kauai Beach Resort creates unforgettable dining experiences that delight your senses. Indulge in delicious island specialties, fresh seafood, refreshing tropical drinks and live music as you gaze at the coastline and sparkling ocean. Dine on island cuisine at Naupaka Terrace, one of the top restaurants on Kaua‘i, enjoy a poolside snack at Driftwood Bar & Grille, and enjoy refreshing drinks and island music nightly at Shutters Lounge. Located at the Kauai Beach Resort. Call (808) 245-1955. NORTH SHORE MAKANA TERRACE Overlooking magical Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain is the main dining room at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Makana Terrace, the perfect venue for sophisticated casual all day dining. The menus showcase the freshest Hawaiian grown produce flawlessly represented in the dishes prepared by the Executive Chef and his culinary team. On Wednesdays, The Mailani dinner experience captures the essence of Halele’a, through chant, hula and storytelling. Journey with us overlooking Hanalei Bay as we reveal the mystery of this special place. Mailani, is an elegant Hawaiian dining experience that honors the culture and traditions of Kaua’i. Dinner ThursdayMonday, Wednesdays for Mailani, Dinner Show. Located at The St. Regis Princeville Resort. Call (808) 826-2746 for reservations. KAUAI GRILL A comfortable yet elegant hideaway—signature Jean-Georges sophistication realized far from home. Sweeping views of Hanalei bay and Bali Hai surround Kauai Grill, the latest in creative dining experiences from Michelin awarded Jean-George Vongerichten. Kauai Grill combines a curated selection of JeanGeorges’ greatest appetizers, side dishes and accompaniments from his portfolio of domestic and international restaurants around the world with the highest quality of meats and freshest local fish available. Simply grilled preparations accompanied by bold condiments anchor the Kauai Grill experience at The St. Regis Princeville. Open Tuesday-Saturday 6pm-10pm. For reservations call (808) 826-9644.
Internationally Acclaimed. Locally Inspired. Sweeping views of Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain surround Kauai Grill, the latest in creative dining experiences inspired by Michelin awarded Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Featuring a selection of signature appetizers, side dishes and accompaniments inspired by his portfolio of restaurants around the world.
©2017 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.
Open Tuesday – Saturday for Dinner For reservations, please visit kauaigrill.com, opentable.com or call 808 8 26 0600 5520 Ka Haku Road Princeville Hawai‘i
WHAT WE LOVE NOW
DINE WITH A VIEW Located at the Kauaÿi Marriott Resort, Kukui’s restaurant stands out because of its impressive views of Kalapakï Bay in Lïhuÿe. Situated next to the hotel’s grand pool and right beside the ocean, Kukui’s is a great place to soak in Kauaÿi’s beauty and inhale the salty air while you wine and dine. You can also take a nice beach stroll on the strand to take in the gorgeous scenery. What’s more, this restaurant offers regular nightly buffets. Mondays feature Luau Grill with traditional cultural fixings like Kalua Pork and Ti Leaf Steamed Mahi with pickled limu salad; Fridays feature Pau Hana with Huli Huli Chicken and Wailuä herb and ÿalaea (red Hawaiian salt) crusted Roast Prime Rib of Beef; Saturdays feature Mongolian Grill Buffet with several options to create noodle dishes with fresh vegetables and a range of sauces that have plenty of zip; and Sundays feature Hawaiian Style Grill Buffet with Paniolo (cowboy) Chopped Steak and Corn on the Cob flavored with cilantro, Parmesan, and lime aioli. This is also an excellent place to start your day with a healthy selection of breakfast foods that include fresh local fruits. Kukui’s on Kalapakï Beach is located at Kauaÿi Marriott Resort at 3610 Rice Street in Lïhuÿe. Open for breakfast Monday through Saturday from 7am to 10am, and Sunday from 7am to noon. Lunch is from 11am to 4pm, happy hour from 5 to 6pm, and dinner from 5:30pm to 10pm. Call (808) 245-5050 for more information or to make reservations. 80
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stevenson’s sushi & spirits Poipu’s luxury nightspot offers sweeping views, scrumptious sushi, inventive cocktails, tropical drinks, aged whiskies, cognacs and ports. Sushi rolled nightly 5:30-9:30pm. Live contemporary island music 8:30-11:00pm. Free valet parking for diners. For reservations call 808 240 6456 or book online at opentable.com. g ra nd h yat t kaua‘i r e sort & spa | 1 57 1 p o ipu roA D | Ko LoA , h i 9 675 6 | K AuA i .g r An D . h yAt t.com
PHOTO COURTESY: IAN MCGUIRE
The entire family will get on board with the tasty burgers served at Bubba’s and probably want to stop here more than once. Located in Poÿipü and Kapaÿa, this casual dining establishment has been in business on the Garden Isle for decades and caters to everyone’s burger preferences. Freshly ground Kauaÿi grass-fed beef is used, and all the burgers are served on a toasted bun with mustard, an “old-fashioned” ketchup-based relish, and diced onions. Additional toppings for the more ambitious diners include the Teriyaki Burger with mayo, onion, and teriyaki glaze, and the Double Slopper, which is an openfaced, double patty burger, smothered with Bubba’s famed savory “Coors Tavern” chili. Get really crazy and throw your diet out the window by coupling any of these options with a sweet milkshake made with real cream in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, banana, or any combination of these—you are on vacation after all. Bubba Burgers is located in Poÿipü at The Shops at Kukuiÿula and open daily from 10:30am to 9pm. Phone (808) 742-6900. The Kapaÿa location is at 4 Kühiö Hwy and is open daily from 10:30am to 8pm. Phone (808) 823-0069. Visit bubbaburger.com for more information.
YOUR TA S T E B U D S DESERVE A V A C AT I O N .
Enjoy local and responsibly sourced ingredients at all six restaurants,
as well as farm to table menus, legendary steak and seafood dishes, myhawaiitraveler.com light and healthy options, and of course, delectable desserts.
Kauai Marriott Resortâ€™s dining selections range from casual oceanside cocktails and snacks to true ďŹ ne dining.
EAT! DRINK! ITALY!
PHOTO COURTESY: (ALL) IAN MCGUIRE
Unwind with a glass of wine and a plate of pasta at this Italian country-style restaurant located in Köloa. Fill your belly with house-made Ravioli stuffed with smoked salmon, ricotta, and drizzled in lemon dill cream sauce, topped with crispy fried capers. Or, try the Tuscan Chicken with breaded free-range chicken scallopini on a bed of delicious fettucine, and enhanced with pancetta rosemary cream. This is also one of the best spots for breakfast on the South Shore, including a Sunday brunch from 8am to 1pm, complete with mimosas and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Breakfast options include melt-in-your mouth and oh-so-filling quiches that have different fresh ingredients that vary by day. This is also a great place to kick back with a cocktail like the Milanohattan that offers your choice of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon or Templeton Rye, and mixed with Ramazzotti Amaro, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and orange bitters. La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar is located at 5492 Köloa Road. Open for breakfast Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 to 11:30am, Wednesday from 8:30 to 11:30am, and Sunday brunch from 8am to 1pm. Nightly dinner hours from 5 to 10pm. Call (808) 742-8824 or visit laspeziakauai.com for more information.
tep into Bar Acuda on the luscious North Shore of the Garden Isle and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a contemporary dining establishment in a modern city. That’s the beauty of this little eatery tucked away inside the Hanalei Center—it’s unexpectedly elegant, yet casual at the same time, and serves as the perfect evening venue for visitors and kamaÿäina (residents) alike. That’s exactly what its proprietor, Jim Moffat, was going for when he opened this hot spot 12 years ago. Prior to moving to the island, he spent 25 years designing and running high-end restaurants in San Francisco, including 42 Degrees and The Slow Club. After packing his bags and leaving the rush of the city to “chill out” on Kauaÿi, he wanted to create a similar atmosphere in the “sleepy” town of Hanalei.
WORDS COCO ZICKOS
“Hanalei is magical,” Jim says. “There were no hip and happening restaurants here at the time, so luckily my partner and wife, Sonja, agreed to escape the city with me.” It’s not just the laidback, albeit chic, rustic-like and candlelit setting that makes people gravitate to Bar Acuda each evening (the restaurant’s been sold out every night since opening), it’s also the delicious food that’s served. The menu consists of dishes that emulate Spanish and French cuisine with Italian and Portuguese influences and are presented as “tapas” or communal, small shared plates. The regional Mediterranean refined “peasant” food also has an island twist with fresh, local ingredients like pineapple, coconut, fish, and locally-sourced greens and vegetables. While items on the menu change on a weekly basis, regularly featured fan favorites include the deconstructed KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: BARACUDA (ALL)
tomato bruschetta, where you build your own mouthfuls of flavor. This specialty is made with local tomato braised in tangy but sweet balsamic vinegar and olive oil, served with slivered leeks and the restaurant’s own Italian “como” bread that’s grilled and rubbed with garlic to give it an extra boost of flavor. Other favorites include the local North Shore honeycomb with creamy Humboldt Fog goat cheese and crisp Fuji apple all dripping in golden honey, as well as the ice cold, raw and perfectly pounded local ÿahi (Hawaiian tuna) with a delectable Mediterranean olive oil tapenade of cherry tomatoes, garlic, capers, citrus zest and parsley. While Moffat originally worked as the nightly chef at Bar Acuda, creating exquisite dishes, these days he’s splitting his duties between his three Kauaÿi restaurants—a bakery and café, The Hanalei Bread Company, and a new noodle house next to Bar Acuda called Ama. But the food is still impeccable and created by a core staff of experienced cooks that are constantly expanding on old favorites and developing new flavors and textures year-round. No matter who is on the clock, the food is consistently executed to perfection making Bar Acuda an exceptional restaurant to experience. Jim’s staff has also upheld an extensive wine list to choose from, featuring classics from around the world that include options you won’t find anywhere else on Kauaÿi. And the bartenders are experts at whipping up zesty and refreshing drinks like the Concrete Jungle made with High West Double Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, orange bitters and an orange twist, or Ohana Pau Hana with Prairie organic vodka, fresh grapefruit juice and St. Germaine elderberry liqueur. Moffat’s goal of primarily using as many local ingredients as possible is by far one of biggest reasons people flock to the establishment every night causing Bar Acuda to remain one of the liveliest locales on the North Shore. It’s the kind of place you can easily stop by with sandy toes and have a drink at the bar, or get gussied up and wear your best dress or shirt and slacks for a romantic night on the town. Treat yourself to the fine flavors of Bar Acuda. Just make sure that if you want to have dinner at the indoor/outdoor dining room, call ahead to make a reservation as seats fill up fast. Bar Acuda is located in the heart of Hanalei at 5-5161 Kühiö Highway. The kitchen is open from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, and the bar is open 5:30pm to 10pm every night. Call (808) 826-7081 to make reservations. myhawaiitraveler.com
CHICKEN FOR THE SOUL WORDS MARY TROY JOHNSTON
arbecuing on the beach over a wood fire or smoking pig in an imu (underground pit) are favorite pastimes on Kauaÿi. The latest “man fire” making waves on the Garden Island consists of building a fire out of kiawe (Hawaiian mesquite) and charcoal in a barrel that becomes a smoky chimney, resulting in finished meat that has the right combination of sear and smoke. This method has been used by the family of Mike Pierce, founder of Chicken In A Barrel BBQ, for over 35 years. It made its debut on Kauaÿi in 2010 with the opening of the Kapaÿa location and anchored itself with the addition of another barbecue spot in Hanalei. It remains family-run with Mike and his two sons-in-law, Patrick Pepper and Brent Bierma, and their close kin. In the beginning, business success was not the incentive for feeding people. When Mike lived in Calaveras County in Northern California, he was already known for his barbecue in a barrel as he had enjoyed cooking for church events and weddings. Volunteerism was always a part of the inspiration. During the Old Gulch Fire in 1992, Mike did his part by cooking. He was the smoke master on the spot for his daughter Nikki’s wedding to Patrick Pepper, who likes to be called Pepper. As the years passed, Mike moved to Kauaÿi and worked in 88
construction. While he was going through a period of self-examination, Pepper joined his father-in-law on the island. They formed a bond feeding the homeless on Black Pot Beach, a favorite gathering place in Hanalei and named from the legendary pot used to feed beach goers after a big catch. Pepper recently describes their effort as “just wanting to do something good.” We would tell people who had fallen on hard times, “We want to feed you. Jesus loves you.” From the start, the family has been involved with U-Turn for Christ, a charity that gives support to people who are primarily dealing with addiction. The ties to this organization are strong to this day, with the business employing individuals who have successfully made it through the program. The tradition so deeply rooted in Hawaiÿi of kökua (lending a helping hand to others) has become an essential part of the mission of Chicken In A Barrel BBQ. To give back to the community, Pepper and his family have celebrated Christmas the last eight years by feeding whoever shows up to the Kapaÿa location. Last year, they totaled some 700 meals with the help of donations from U-Turn for Christ and individuals. The goal is to feed people from all walks of life so that a millionaire and a homeless person sitting side-by-side will share with each other their life lessons. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
Incredible success has followed the community outreach. Locals constantly crave the chicken, smoked through and through. The business has built to the point where franchise locations are being considered in far-flung places like Alaska and New Jersey. Nonetheless, from my point of view, the roadside chicken shanty (Kapaÿa location) found its place on the global culinary map when the show Man Fire Food on the Cooking Channel included the barrel “cue” in the August 2017 segment “Heating It Up in Hawaii.” Pepper’s recipe for Tropical Coleslaw can be found on the Cooking Channel’s website (www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/tropicalcoleslaw-3828413), which is a definite standout at the restaurant with hints of pineapple, coconut, and cilantro, spiced with Big Mike’s “Off The Hook” BBQ Rub (a well-kept secret), and sweetened lightly with a papaya seed or honey mustard dressing. Although the style of the restaurant is casual, the folks at Chicken In A Barrel have barbecue down to a serious art. The distinctive flavor certainly owes to the cooking method. Pepper describes the “custom-made, patented barrels” that “had to be certified, approved and engineered to pass the rules and regulations of the fire and health departments.” Consequently, the two restaurants are the only ones myhawaiitraveler.com
so far on the island to have received permission to use “carbon-based fuel” (kiawe and charcoal). Enhancing their signature, Mike created four rubs, specifically developed for chicken, pork, beef and fish, that definitely spike the savory edge and produce a visually and tastefully memorable seared crust. The half-chicken marinated in the rub overnight and slowcooked for two hours is the best-seller in Kapaÿa. The skin on its own is good or better than the meat tempting the eater-turned-devourer to make an appetizer of it. The chicken is faster-cooked than the pork butt and beef sirloin roast that require between eight and ten hours in the barrel. The best-seller at the Hanalei location (an item not on the menu in Kapaÿa) is the grass-fed Makaweli Ranch burger formed into patties by hand and grilled in a flat iron pan. Not to be left far behind, Mike’s wife, Anne, contributed her recipe for chili, a rich tomato-based bean and meat chili, unabashedly oldfashioned in adding bacon to the mix. Funny enough as I was writing this story, I overheard someone repeating what he had heard from someone else, “Chicken In A Barrel has the best chili on the island.” Word travels quickly here, especially when it involves good food. 89
SIPPIN' INTO SPRING Its the season to discover delicious new faves. WORDS KRYSTAL KAKIMOTO
The gentle winds and warm sunshine of spring create an ideal setting to host informal get-togethers with friends or family where you can enjoy the lighter fares and fresh ingredients the season has to offer. When creating your menu, incorporating lighter styles of wine will not only complement the food being shared, but also add to the buoyancy of the season allowing you to sit back and effortlessly enjoy a glass of good wine. 90
One varietal to add to your spring repertoire is a favorite wine of many sommeliers, Grüner Veltliner. This white grape is indigenous to Austria, but wineries across the United States have begun growing this grape after being captivated by Grüner Veltliner’s exotic palate and food-friendly reputation. A standout of this varietal is the 2012 Leth Grüner Veltliner Steinagrund ($15 per bottle; winelibrary.com), which opens with light aromas of melon, citrus, and lemon zest. The rich minerality of this wine is complemented with Grüner Veltliner’s indicative white pepper flavor making for a refined wine to enjoy with a classic dish of grilled asparagus topped with shaved Parmesan. The vegetal aromas noted in most Grüner Veltliner mirrors the flavors in the asparagus while the nuttiness of the Parmesan is balanced with the light fruit aromas found in this wine. When looking for a new world rendition of Grüner Veltliner, the 2015 Dancing Coyote Grüner Veltliner ($12 per bottle; wine.com) from Clarksburg, California offers a fuller body and warmer palate than its Austrian counterpart. The white pepper characteristic of the grape is paired with white peach aromas making it a perfect choice to enjoy with a dish like bacon-wrapped scallops. The minerality and citrus aspects of this wine complements the flavors from the scallops while the peaches provide complementary opposition against the smoky bacon. Another stellar varietal to enjoy during the spring months is the aromatically intriguing Riesling. When grown in its native land of Germany, the cool climate brings out aromas of apples, peaches, and ripe pears interlaced around a vein of acidity. And when grown in warmer regions, such as Australia, the grape blossoms with clarity and a fresh lime flavor that is known to be peerless in the world of wine. The 2015 Von Hövel Riesling Kabinett from Mosel, Germany ($17 per bottle; klwines.com) is an example of the complex flavors found in top-notch Rieslings from this region. A delicate perfume of white blossoms greets the nose while the palate is met with elegant flavors of citrus and apple that is the perfect accompaniment to a dish with a touch of heat such as Kauaÿi shrimp sautéed in butter, garlic, and shallots. The trace of residual sugar found in this wine balances any heat from the garlic and shallots while the citrus and fruit elements of this wine keeps the palate cleansed between bites of this aromatic and flavorful dish. myhawaiitraveler.com
When searching for a Riesling from Australia, the 2013 Pikes Hills and Valleys Riesling from Clare Valley ($16 per bottle; wine.com) embodies the region’s take on this varietal. Initially tight on the palate, this wine evolves into a symphony of mouthwatering lemon zest and sun-ripened citrus flavors situated against a backdrop of slate and minerality. This is a beautiful accompaniment to a local favorite of limu ÿahi poke (marinated raw tuna fish). The citrus and lemon flavors keeps your palate fresh between bites while the hint of sweetness innate in Riesling balances the robust seasonings in the poke to create harmony. If you are looking for a lighter-bodied red wine to enjoy during spring, opting for an unfiltered Pinot Noir delivers all the aspects of a flavorful red wine without the weight. When the term “unfiltered” is added, this speaks of a philosophy of the winemaker to retain natural characteristics of the wine by refraining from filtering out sediment, which can, in some opinions, remove some of the nuanced flavors found in unfiltered wines. The supple mouthfeel is what most wine connoisseurs first notice when enjoying the unfiltered 2015 Wanaka Road Pinot Noir from Central Otago ($20 per bottle; klwines.com). The elegant nose of dark berries and thyme can be an unexpectedly delightful choice when enjoying Hawaiian foods such as laulau (steamed pork in greens). The ripe berry flavors complement the pork in weight while providing an opposing flavor palate. The deep, earthy flavors hidden within the layers of this wine play beautifully against the steamed greens of this dish. And if you are looking for an unfiltered Pinot Noir to indulge in, the 2013 J. Christopher Nuages ($39 per bottle; wine.com) is an ideal choice when enjoying poached salmon topped with fresh herbs and cracked black pepper. Dark, sweet fruits open this wine that evolve into rich vanilla with hints of smoke and herbaceous notes that linger on the long finish. The velvet-soft mouthfeel of this wine matches the weight of the salmon while the smoke and herbs enhances the nuanced seasoning in this elegant entrée. Whether reaching for a chilled glass of Grüner Veltliner or swirling soulful Pinot Noir, spring is the time of year to unwind and enjoy wines without fuss. From hosting an impromptu brunch to an intimate dinner party, let the carefree feeling of the season impact your foods and wines to create a lighthearted ambiance of tranquility. 91
EAST KAUA‘I THE ROYAL COCONUT COAST
The East Side of Kaua‘i is often referred to as the Royal Coconut Coast. Appropriately named, considering the royal history and the abundance of ancient coconut groves from Wailua to Kapa‘a. Back in the 1300s, this area was called Kawaihau (the ice water), and it was the location of choice for Hawai‘i’s royalty. Kawaihau is mainly divided into four areas: Wailua, Kapa‘a, Waipouli and Ke‘alia. The kings chose Wailua to be the capital of Kaua‘i. High chiefs believed that the area around the mouth of the Wailua River was sacred and called it Wailua Nui Hoano or Great Sacred Wailua. This sacred area extended two miles up the Wailua River. Seven heiau (shrine) were built in an arc from the shores of Wailua up Mount Wai‘ale‘ale ending on the Westside of Kaua‘i. Royalty would come to Wailua from the neighboring islands to give birth at the birthstones of Holoholok‘u. When a king was born, a kahuna (priest) would take the child up the mountain to a bell stone. He would strike the bell stone with a rock, sounding the birth of a new king. No commoner was allowed in this area unless they were servicing a chief. You can view the birthstones and five different heiau at the Wailua River State Park. Please remember that this is a special place of worship and needs to be treated with respect. Do not leave offerings or move any rocks. Below the Wailua River State Park is Lydgate Beach. Two rock-lined seawater pools make it a haven for year round swimming. Above Wailua Park is Wailua homesteads. Here you will find many hiking trails and 92
freshwater swimming holes. Waipouli (dark water) is a little town between Wailua and Kapa‘a. Before all of the commercial development, Hawaiian royalty used this area to set sail to other locations in the Pacific. Due to the sudden popularity of fractional ownership, Waipouli is now a mile-long strip of shops and modern conveniences. Old Kapa‘a Town is the remnant of an old plantation town. Most of the buildings have been renovated and filled with boutiques, bars and restaurants, making Kapa‘a a hip little hot spot. Although, there are many beach parks in the area, be very careful about swimming here. The East Shore is best known for fishing, and the rocky shoreline can be very dangerous during high tide. As the locals say, “Never turn your back to the ocean.” If you’re driving north from Kapa‘a town, you will come across a large crescent shaped, golden sand beach called Keälia. The Kapa‘a Stream flows across the south end of the beach. You may see kayakers paddling in the stream or people rinsing off after a salty dip in the ocean. The area around the beach was once a 2,000-acre sugar plantation. Today, in an effort to preserve our agricultural past, Plantation Partners have converted the area into the largest agricultural subdivision on the island. Today the Coconut Coast is lined with newly renovated resorts, spas, condominiums and residences. They provide a getaway for travelers from around the globe. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
GOING SILENT Kaua‘i’s disappearing native forest birds WORDS COCO ZICKOS
PHOTO COURTESY; (OPPOSITE) MATT MACGILIVRAY
ative Hawaiian forests once filled with the trills and peeps of Kauaÿi’s forest birds are becoming increasingly silent. The stillness is a reflection of the damage that’s occurring on the planet due to a warming climate. Rising temperatures and decreasing moisture are changing the atmosphere of a once boggy region. Mountain elevations previously cool enough to keep non-native mosquitos at bay are no longer able to do so, causing populations of Kauaÿi’s miniature native birds to collapse due to a mosquito-borne avian disease, according to recent studies. The insects have moved into the Alakaÿi Wilderness Preserve over the past decade where the birds formerly sought refuge. During the past 10-15 years, many of the Garden Isle’s forest bird species endured a 70 to more than 90 percent population decline. The greatest decreases were suffered by the little yellow-green honeycreepers, akekeÿe and ÿamakihi. They each experienced more than 90 percent decimation to their species; and it’s predicted that they could only have three to five years left in the wild, at best. Kauaÿi has eight forest bird species, according to the Kauaÿi Forest Birds Recovery Project. Three of these species are endangered, including the puaiohi, or Small Kauaÿi Thrush, which has about 500 individuals remaining. Besides losing incredible species like this, who are unique to Hawaiÿi and some more specifically to Kauaÿi, their extinction would cut a thread in the tie that binds a healthy native ecosystem together. They are each instrumental in maintaining the propagation of the native forest, including plant species like ÿöhiÿa. Ways to mitigate the issue have been discussed like releasing genetically modified mosquitos that would interact with the current population of insects and through introduced factors like infertility, cause their eventual demise. These situations often feel helpless, but there are things we can also do to help, like making sure our shoes are clean before trekking through the native forest so that invasive plant species aren’t spread. Despite their plight, the beauty and sounds of these delicate creatures can still be enjoyed by serious birders in one of the most remote regions on the island. A significant hike is required, however, as well as plenty of patience. Bring binoculars, as these birds are tiny and quickly flit from tree to tree, making them easy to miss. Also, make sure to wear resilient shoes and pack rain gear because you’ll be heading into an area that may rain, especially as the day progresses. To get to their location within the Alakaÿi Swamp from Waimea, drive up Waimea Canyon Drive all the way into Kökeÿe State Park. Keep going about 19 miles to the end of the road at Puÿu o Kila Lookout. You’ll find the start of a moon-like path here called the Pihea Trail, which is where you’ll begin your bird exploration journey. During spring, you might even see some of the native birds throughout this initial footpath, but sometimes it’s hard to hear them due to noisy travelers. Your best bet is to keep moving and keep your eyes open, especially for the crimson-colored ÿapapane who will likely be sipping the nectar of the ÿöhiÿa lehua blossoms above your head. This path continues for about two miles before intersecting with the Alakaÿi Swamp Trail. At that point, when the rainforest begins to close in around you is where you’re most likely to spot more species. The following is a list of Kauaÿi’s forest birds you could be lucky enough to see on this one-of-a-kind adventure.
Puaiohi (Critically endangered) This gray-colored bird is Kauaÿi’s native thrush. Found only on the Garden Isle, the bird is slightly larger in comparison to others at around 7-inches long. They once lived throughout the forests at sea level, but have since been pushed up to the Alakaÿi Wilderness Preserve. These birds mostly eat the fruits of native plant species but sometimes consume invertebrates. Look for the elusive puaiohi in fern and brush around water sources. Listen for their song, which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service deems, a “squeaking of a metal wheel in need of lubrication.”
ÿAkikiki (Critically endangered) A less colorful honeycreeper, this little gray bird with a white underbelly, is also endemic to Kauaÿi. They eat invertebrates found in the nooks and crannies of bark, and are hard to spot because of their quick movements up and down branches searching for food. Also known as the Kauaÿi creeper, these birds are likely to be seen where they prefer to build their nests, high within the ÿöhiÿa trees. Their song is considered a “short, descending trill,” according to the IUCN.
PHOTO COURTESY; (TOP) CARTER ATKINSON/USGS; (MID) DAVID BOYLE/NATIONL PARK SERVICE; (BOTTOM) DOMINIC SHERONY
Akekeÿe (Critically endangered) This little yellow-green honeycreeper is named after its crooked, asymmetric bill—keÿe means “crookedness.” Found only on Kauaÿi, the bird’s bill is designed to open the buds of ÿöhiÿa leaves and flowers to look for invertebrates. You’re most likely to find akekeÿe within the leaf clusters of ÿöhiÿa. You might even hear their warbles, which range in frequency and tone, before spotting them.
ÿAnianiau (Vulnerable) The smallest Hawaiian honeycreeper in existence today, the ÿanianiau is a bright yellow bird with shades of green. They feed mostly on nectar from native trees like ÿöhiÿa and ÿöhelo. They also dine on insects. Endemic to Kauaÿi, this bird has a song that the IUCN describes as a “vigorous trill of doubled or tripled notes,” and can been seen in some areas of Kökeÿe State Park. ÿApapane (Least Concern) These are some of the more prevalent native birds you’ll find in Kökeÿe State Park and the Alakaÿi Wilderness Preserve. Their crimson feathers with black detail on their wings and tails are easy to spot. You’ll most likely find them moving among ÿöhiÿa trees, sipping nectar from the lehua blossoms, 96
‘APANANE KAUA‘I TRAVELER
which are almost identical in color. Occasionally these birds eat insects as well. You’ll probably hear them before you see them. They make some of the most varied noises of the native birds, which include trills, whistles, clicks, and squeaks. Formerly found on every major island in Hawaiÿi, they have since been condensed to higher elevation rainforests.
PHOTO COURTESY; (TOP) LEWIS BEHNKE; (MID) TONY CASTRO
ÿElepaio (Vulnerable) This curious little bird will probably seek you out first. The soft gray and brown colored flycatcher with a long tail that sticks up as it flits from branch to branch, likes to follow hikers in the forest. ÿElepaio forage for invertebrates in leaf detritus or among the limbs of ÿöhiÿa. These birds were also once abundant at lower elevations and are still relatively prevalent, especially within native forests. Hawaiians thought of them as an ÿaumakua (guiding spirit) for canoe makers. If the birds were heavily invested in a koa tree, natives knew not to use it to craft a canoe, as it was likely filled with insects. The bird’s voice ranges from sounding like a dog’s chew toy to a “raspy chatter,” according to the IUCN. ÿIÿiwi (Vulnerable) One of the most distinct aspects of this honeycreeper is its long, curved beak. Similar in color to the ÿapapane, this scarlet honeycreeper also has black wings and a tail. The bird mostly feeds on nectar from the blossoms of the ÿöhiÿa tree and is an important pollinator, like the ÿapapane. Their feathers were prized by aliÿi (chiefs) and used to make cloaks and helmets. Natives would use sticky substances from trees to capture the birds from which they’d pluck a few of their feathers and then set them free. These birds are extremely susceptible to mosquito malaria and their population is rapidly declining on Kauaÿi. Kauaÿi ÿAmakihi (Vulnerable) Endemic to Kauaÿi, this small olive-green honeycreeper eats a varied diet of insects, nectar, and fruit. What sets this bird apart is its longer, downward sloping, pointy black bill. This bird also happens to be the largest of the ÿamakihi species in Hawaiÿi. Their song is described by the IUCN as “a vigorous trill with short introductory notes, sometimes on level pitch, sometimes descending.” They also have a “sharp chirp” and a “buzzing mewing note.”
To learn more about these birds visit kauaiforestbirds.org. 97
SEEING GREEN Mythical and elusive, a magical flash makes Hawaiian sunsets extra special WORDS JUDY TSUEI
“When you’re in Hawaiÿi, you should look for the green flash!” a friend of mine enthusiastically exclaimed before I decided to move to Kauaÿi. Living in San Diego at the time, I knew about the green flash based on name of the local microbrewery, as well as how often my surfer friends would mention it when we paddled out at dusk. At the time, it proved elusive throughout all my years in California. Yet, since moving to Kauaÿi, the green flash has become a sight almost as common as seeing double rainbows. According to Live Science, “a green flash, which occurs more commonly at sunset— but can also occur at sunrise—is a phenomenon in which part of the sun can be observed suddenly and briefly changing color.” More scientifically, “the green flash is viewable because refraction bends the light of the sun. The atmosphere acts as a weak prism, which separates light into various colors. When the sun’s disk is fully visible above the horizon, the different colors of light rays overlap to an extent where each individual color can’t be seen by the naked eye.” 98
Because more green light is able to penetrate through the atmosphere, green then becomes the most visible color. The majority of green flash sightings are oval, flat, and occur close to sea level when the surface is warmer than the air above, which makes Kauaÿi a prime location to spot this often rare marvel. And, personal experience dictates that a green flash can be best observed when there is a clear and cloudless sky without any sort of light pollution or adverse weather conditions. A good marker of optimal conditions is whether or not you can see for several miles out into the horizon. Also, the ocean allows for more of the atmosphere to be visible with a line of sight virtually parallel to the horizon, which is why green flash sightings often occur at the ocean. Given that Kauaÿi is surrounded by water with open vistas from land to sea, the island features several places for breathtaking sunsets and improved opportunities to see the hard-to-capture green flash for yourself. Depending on the time of year, there are different locales to set up, just as the sun is about to dip over the horizon. During the summers, the best place to see the sun setting is from Kïlauea to Hanalei on the North Shore. The Princeville Makai Golf Club features a Sunset Golf Cart Tour with the first important stop being at the Makai Grill where you can fill your cart with refreshing beverages before taking in the spectacular North Shore sights. Offered daily, the tour is available to both golfers and non-golfers who want to enjoy exploring this award-winning course, named one of the “Top 5 Most Scenic Golf Course Settings in the World” by National Geographic Traveler magazine. Guests experience six splendid distinctive stops throughout the 18 holes in the late afternoon, which features inspiring viewpoints of Queen’s Bath, Kïlauea Lighthouse, ‘Anini Reef, North Shore beaches, and Hanalei Bay. For those looking for a more active tour, guests can also rent the popular GolfBoards, designed by big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, which enables riders to “surf the earth” and experience the terrain and tour in an entirely unique way. myhawaiitraveler.com
PRINCEVILLE MAKAI GOLF CLUB STEVENSON'S SUSHI & SPIRITS 99
POIPU BAY GOLF COURSE
The St. Regis Princeville Resort also offers perfect spaces to behold the green flash. From the poolside lounge chairs that lead to the sand to the restaurants and bar that allow for al fresco meals on the wrap-around deck that provides landscape views of the horizon, The St. Regis promises unobstructed views of Mother Nature at her finest. What’s more, the hotel has an expansive grass lawn beside the front entrance, where many people can be found milling about just as the sun is preparing to lower over the horizon. Bring a picnic blanket and an inquisitive attitude for premier seating in a luxurious backdrop and memorable foreground. During the fall season, the sun moves behind Lumahaÿi Point, though if you feel inclined to drive all the way to the end of the road where the start of the Näpali Coast hike begins, Këÿë Beach at Häÿena allows for sunset viewing quite possibly throughout the entire year. While Kauaÿi is indeed a resort destination, there are actually few places for guests to enjoy dining directly beside the sea. The Beach House in Poÿipü is an exceptional spot, and during the winter, the south side of the island is where you want to be to catch resplendent pink and orange hues during sunset. Be sure to make reservations well in advance as the restaurant is indeed busy with its location just steps away from Läwaÿi Beach; though if you’re lucky, you may be able to get into the bar and lounge for delicious püpü (appetizers). If not, bring a beach blanket and set up on the grassy area beside the restaurant, as you’ll quickly find that everyone is making their way outside to snap shots of sunset. Getting back in the fairway, Poipu Bay Golf Course on the South Shore also offers self-guided cart tours where you can experience exclusive views overlooking Kawailoa Bay and Mähä‘ulepü from the lookout on the 15th hole, a perfect spot to watch the majestic colors of the sunset come alive. Look closely and you may even see a rare Hawaiian monk seal or green sea turtle in the waters below. From the beauty of Hä‘upu Mountain to Kaua‘i’s natural wildlife, you’ll never be short of photo opportunities along the way. 100
THE ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE RESORT
Year-round, the best place to witness sunset as day transitions into night is Polihale State Park on the westernmost beach of the island, namely if you’re planning on camping. Polihale can only be reached via a 5-mile long dirt sugarcane road, so four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, especially if there has been inclement weather. The entire beach stretches for about 15 miles, making it one of the longest continuous sand beaches in all of Hawaiÿi. It is backed by sand dunes that can grow 100 feet above sea level. Because of its remote location, there is no artificial light pollution at Polihale other than what campers may bring. The name “Polihale” literally translates into “house bosom.” Some strongly believe that Polihale is the home of the underworld because it is said that this point on the island is where souls departed for the underworld, so perhaps this cultural legend creates a mythical backdrop for natural wonder. Wherever you are and whatever season, remember that the east side only gets sunrises, because even on an island, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west—although what makes Kauaÿi special is that you can drive around the entire island to see the sunrise and the sunset all in one glorious day! If the legendary green flash eludes you, no worries, as the array of vivid colors post sunset is a glorious sight to savor well into dusk. To book a sunset cruise on a golf cart at Princeville Makai Golf Club, call (808) 826-1912. To book a self-guided sunset tour at Poipu Bay Golf Club, call (808) 742-8711. To make reservations at The Beach House, call (808) 742-1424. For more information or reservations for the restaurants and bars at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, please call (808) 826-9644. myhawaiitraveler.com
SAND + SURF NORTH SHORE ‘ANINI BEACH PARK
This beautiful white sand beach has one of the largest coral reefs in Hawai‘i and has some of the best snorkeling in Kaua‘i for all levels. Swimming is among the safest in the North Shore, and a good place to learn how to windsurf. You can see magnificent sunsets from here. Grills, camping, restrooms and showers are available. No lifeguards. Located off Kühiö Hwy. Turn west on second Kalihiwai Rd between 25 and 26 mile markers. Take ‘Anini Road to beach.
HĀ‘ENA STATE PARK
This long stretch of white sand beach with a protective coral reef is a great snorkeling spot with a variety of colorful tropical fish when the water is calm. This is also a great place to beachcomb, surf, windsurf and fish. You can explore nearby sea caves carved out more than 4,000 years ago when the sea was higher. Camping, showers and restrooms are available. Located at the end of Kühiö Hwy.
One of the most majestic places on earth, this spot is also a great place to learn to surf, frolic in the water, jump off the pier, or just enjoy the incredible scenery. The sunsets are spectacular and the moonlight over Hanalei Bay is magical. There are four beach parks included in the two-mile sandy crescent shaped bay, and all have lifeguards on duty except Waikoko Beach. Black Pot Park is located next to the Hanalei River mouth, with tropical foliage along the river’s edge, and is a local gathering place with a variety of water activities. The Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a popular spot for picnics. The water is generally calmer near the pier. Wai‘oli Beach Park is near the center of the bay, set in an ironwood grove. Waikoko Beach is located on the westernmost section, and is protected by Waikoko Reef, so it’s popular with snorkelers and families. Picnic area, tables, pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms are available. Located off Kühiö Hwy in Hanalei. Access beaches off Aku Rd or Weke Rd.
KA‘AKA‘ANIU “LARSEN’S” BEACH
This long, narrow ribbon of sand and shallow reef lies at the foot of a series of low hills and pastures. A protecting reef offers excellent snorkeling for the experienced, but only when the ocean is calm. Poor visibility in the water can occur in the late summer. Beware of its rocky bottom and dangerous rip currents, 104
and stay away from the channels. This secluded beach is also a good place to beachcomb and fish. There are two small pockets of sand on the opposite side of Pakala Point. No lifeguard and no facilities. Located off Hwy 56 near the 20-mile marker, take Ko‘olau Rd. Take the left Beach Access Rd. to the end. Walk through the gate and follow the trail down.
This wide sandy beach fringed with ironwood trees at the head of scenic Kalihiwai Bay is popular with boogie boarders and beginner surfers. Swimming is generally good in the summer. One of the nicest surfing breaks on the North Shore in the winter brings the more experienced out to this beach. Wide, shallow sand bar enables body boarders to ride decent waves in the front part of the beach. High surf periods create dangerous swimming conditions. Located off Kühiö Hwy west of Kïlauea on Kahihiwai Rd.
KAUAPEA “SECRET” BEACH
This exquisite, long and wide sandy beach with great views of Lighthouse Point is stunning. Swimming and snorkeling can be good when the ocean is calm. Swimming can be hazardous, so observe the ocean before entering. Look for the small waterfall flowing over the side of the cliff. You can see Moku‘ae‘ae Island, which is a bird sanctuary. Located off Kuhio Hwy on the same turnoff as Kalihiwai Beach. Take a right onto the first dirt road, drive to the end of the road and park. The hike down takes about 10-15 minutes.
KAWEONUI (SEALODGE) BEACH
This pocket of white sand beach backed by cliffs is a great place to snorkel and see honu in calm ocean conditions or just be secluded from the rest of the world. Beware of dangerous entry and currents. Offshore is a surf break known as “Little Grass Shack.” Located off Kamehameha Rd. Access beach from the trail at Building A at the SeaLodge Resort.
The Thornbirds and Lord of the Flies were filmed at this exquisite and very popular beach. With views of the Näpali Coast, it is great for snorkeling and swimming in the protected lagoon in calm conditions. Snorkelers and scuba divers can expect to see teems of tropical fish and honu (green sea turtles) on calm, clear days. Stay inside the reef for calmer waters. Beware of
strong currents and dangerous waves breaking on rocks and ledges. The currents are deceptively strong even on days when the water looks calm, so it’s best to stay in the reef-protected lagoon. The beach gets crowded with hikers and beachgoers, so get there early for a parking space. You may want to stay for the magnificent Näpali sunsets from the point. The trailhead for Kalalau Trail is from here. Bathrooms and showers are available. No lifeguards. Located at the end of the road on Hwy 56.
LUMAHA‘I BEACH (BALI HAI)
One of the most stunning and most photographed beaches in Kaua‘i, it was made famous as the location for the movie South Pacific. This large, wide beautiful golden sand beach is popular with a background of verdant foliage cliffs. Swimming is not recommended here, since there is no protective reef barrier to guard you against the tumultuous sea. Dangers include powerful waves sweeping up unsuspecting beachgoers off the rocks into the sea, strong undertow and dangerous shorebreaks. It’s a great beach to sunbathe and take in the incredible scenery. Access to the western part of the beach is located off Hwy 560 at Wainiha near mile marker 5. The eastern part of the beach is separated by a lava rock of Lumaha‘i is Kahalahala Beach. In calm conditions (summer), this beach can be a picturesque beach to swim in crystal clear warm water and explore the tidepools. No facilities or lifeguards. Park in the dirt parking lot. To access, hike down a steep jungle trail from the top of the lookout.
MĀKUA “TUNNELS” BEACH
This is one of the best snorkeling beaches due to the wide-fringing reef with a huge variety of fish swimming around in the shallow inner and outer reefs. The exceptional beach is surrounded by gently sloping sand and is well protected with incredible mountain scenery popular with swimmers, surfers, windsurfers and beachcombers. The best snorkeling is in the center by the crescent shaped reef. Scuba divers can explore the underwater caverns near the shore. Beware of sharp reefs, rip currents and dangerous water conditions. No facilities at this beach, but the facilities at Hä‘ena State Park are nearby. Lifeguard on duty. Take one of two dirt roads off Hwy 56 north of Hanalei near the 8 mile marker.
Surrounded by rolling hills, this beach is secluded and off the beaten path, with a wide crescent shaped sandy beach perfect for couples to catch a spectacular sunset or sunbathe, swim, snorkel and beachcomb. Be cautious of dangerous water conditions. The southeast side of the beach offers the best swimming and boogie boarding with plenty of shade. The beach is located where the Molo‘a (matted roots) Stream feeds into the bay. Located off Ko‘olau Rd. between mile markers 16 and 17. Take the narrow Moloa‘a Rd. to the end and follow the signs to the beach.
NĀPALI COAST PARK
About a two mile hike down from the Kalalau Trail is Hanakäpï‘ai Beach. The beach is beautiful but dangerous to swim. A difficult two mile hike inland near the stream leads to the waterfalls and a spectacular pool. Kalalau Beach is a long and wide sandy beach backed by sand dunes, located at the end of the trail (9 additional miles). There are other beautiful pristine beaches such as Miloli‘i Beach and Honopu Beach in the park, but they are only accessible by boat. Swimming and wading is dangerous due to strong currents and powerful waves at all the beaches in this awe-inspiring park. Camping is allowed with a permit. No lifeguard on duty. Access the beach from Kalalau Trail from Kë‘ë Beach at the end of Hwy 56.
PALI KE KUA (HIDEAWAYS)
Two beaches separated by a rocky point both have excellent snorkeling with a variety of tropical fish when the water is calm. Check ocean conditions carefully before entering for rip currents and do not enter when there is high surf. The large false kamani trees offer shade on the bed of coarse sand. People are scarce due to limited parking and hidden trail. Located off Ka Haku Rd. Take the path next to Pu‘u Poa tennis courts just before you reach the Princeville Hotel gatehouse and hike down to the beach.
PU‘U POA BEACH
Protected by a narrow reef offers great snorkeling with teems of colorful fish in crystal clear water. Safe when the surf is not high. The sandy beach is located directly below Princeville Hotel. Park at the small public parking lot. Take the beach access steps by the guardhouse at the hotel entrance.
A fabulous secluded beach with a long, fringing reef and shade along the sandy beach. Snorkeling and swimming can be good if the ocean is calm. There is a cool freshwater stream at the far end of the beach. Beware of dangerous rip currents, surges and high surf. Located off North Waiakalua Rd. Before the road ends, take the dirt road on the left side all the way to the end. Take the trail to the left and it’s the beach on the left. The beach on the right, past the Kepuhi Point is Waipakä Beach.
EAST SIDE ‘ALIOMANU BEACH
Pretty sandy beach shaded by ironwood trees and fringed by one of Kaua‘i’s longest reefs, this beach is a favorite of locals for gathering seaweed and spearfishing. Swimming can be safe in the lagoon when calm. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Aliomanu Rd.
ANAHOLA BEACH PARK
Grassy park with a beautiful sandy beach with good swimming conditions most of the time in the cove on the east side of the bay due to a large protective reef offshore. Snorkeling is good at the nearby reef; fishing and beachcombing are also good. The beach used mostly by locals is good for boogie board, body board and surf south of the old pier. The ironwood grove offers shade. Picnic tables, restrooms and showers are available. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Anahola Rd.
DONKEY (KUMUKUMU) BEACH
A fantastic long sandy beach in a cove at the base of a pasture named Donkey Beach because of the herd of mules that rested on the beach in the early plantation days. The waves draw in many surfers but it’s not a good beach for beginners. The winters yield high surf making swimming dangerous. Beware of steep entry, dangerous shorebreaks, strong currents and rocks submerged in the surf. Snorkeling can be good in a secluded cove north of the stream and over a small hill. No facilities or lifeguards. Located north of Kapa‘a ~ 1/2 mile north of the 11 mile marker off Hwy 56. Parking lot is at the top of the path to the beach. Hike 10 minutes to shoreline and take right for the beach; turn north and walk past the stream for the secluded cove.
FUJI BEACH (BABY BEACH)
Protected shallow section in the reef by a long, natural breakwater makes it a great place to have some water fun with the kids while you soak up the sun on the sandy beach. No facilities or lifeguards. Located off Kühiö Hwy behind the Chevron in Kapa‘a.
A long, exquisite sandy beach with powerful waves makes it a great spot to watch experienced surfers and boogie boarders. Swimming can be done on calm days at the far northern end of the beach, which is protected by breakwater, but be careful of strong currents and sharp reefs. Public parking. Lifeguard on duty but no facilities. Located off Hwy 56 near mile marker 10 north of Kapa‘a in Keälia.
LYDGATE STATE PARK
A scenic family beach that is very popular since it offers something for everyone including a park. There are two large lava pools great for children and offers safe swimming and snorkeling for beginners. Rock wall protects swimmers year-round and the ironwood groves provide shade. Kamalani playground has a wooden volcano; jungle gym and bright ceramic sea creatures adorn the playground. Picnic pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms are available. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Leho Drive just south of the Wailua River.
Beautiful long narrow stretch of beach with shallow bottom offers an array of water activities. The beach stretches for miles to Lydgate Park swimming and snorkeling can be good in the well-protected reef and shallow waters when surf is calm. Fishing and surfing are also good here. Check ocean conditions before entering. There are more secluded beaches further north near Wailua Golf Coarse. Located at the end of Kaua‘i Beach Drive.
Long, wide golden sand beach near the Wailua River is good for taking a stroll or watching the experienced boogie boarders, surfers or watching the river flow into the sea. Swimming is dangerous due to strong rip currents and rough water. Children sometimes play near the river mouth when the currents aren’t strong. No facilities and no lifeguard. Located across from Coco Palms Resort. The beach is easily accessible when traveling north off Kühiö Hwy. 105
SAND + SURF WAIPŌULI BEACH
A long stretch of golden sand without crowds isn’t good for swimming since the ocean is rough and the coastline is rocky or reef, but it’s a great beach to watch windsurfers and fishermen pull in their catch. The beach has lots of hidden coves for seclusion and can be romantic. There is also a nice trail to jog while you take in the glorious scenery. Monk seals have been spotted quite frequently here. Located off Kühiö Hwy. There are many access points behind Coconut Marketplace.
LĪHU‘E & SOUTH SHORE BRENNECKE’S BEACH
A small sandy beach is popular with boogie boarders and honu. Waves tend to be bigger here in the summer than winter. Grassy area with picnic tables, showers and restrooms are available. Located on Po‘ipü Rd.
HO‘AI (PRINCE KŪHIŌ) BEACH
A beautiful sandy crescent shaped beach with water protected by an offshore reef great for keiki and novice snorkelers when water is calm. This beach is popular for the honu (green sea turtles) and local fishermen who frequent the beach. Restrooms and showers are available. No lifeguard on duty. Located off Läwa‘i Rd. in front of the Prince Kühiö Park.
HO‘ONA “BABY” BEACH
Great sandy beach for keiki (children) since the water is calm in a small cove behind off shore lava rocks. Access the beach using the walkway on Ho‘ona Rd. off Läwa‘i Rd.
This is a beautiful sandy crescent-shaped beach with tranquil water and a great place to learn to surf on the offshore break with great views of pali in the bay. It’s a great place to swim when conditions are calm. Beware of strong rip currents during high surf. Located off Rice St. west of Lïhu‘e in front of the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club. Park in the public parking lot at the hotel.
LĀWA‘I (BEACH HOUSE) BEACH
Small sandy beach is popular with snorkelers when the water is calm for the variety of fish in the offshore reef. It’s also a popular surfing spot for the waves that break offshore. Surfing competitions are held regularly here in spring thru fall. The small pocket of sand disappears in times of high surf. Beware of seasonal strong currents. The beach is located next to the Beach House Restaurant off Läwa‘i Rd.
A long, beautiful and romantic beach with mountain vistas is a two mile sandy strand along a reef-protected shoreline and high sand dunes. The beauty of this beach was captured in the movie Islands in the Stream where George C. Scott played Ernest Hemingway. It’s good for swimming only during extreme calm conditions. Windsurfing, beachcombing and shoreline fishing are popular activities. This is a sacred site 106
for native Hawaiians and for endangered plants and species. No facilities and no lifeguards. Beach is closed from 7pm to 7:30am. Follow the cane road past Shipwreck Beach. Stop at the guard gate to get through.
Ninini Beach and Running Waters Beach are hidden and out of the way beaches with pockets of sand separated by a lava rock formation. Protected and secluded, the beaches are good for snorkeling on calm days. Park across the street from the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Course or the clubhouse parking lot and follow path to beaches. Between Kalapakï beach and the lighthouse on Ninini Point near the 13th green.
PO‘IPŪ BEACH PARK
Po‘ipü Beach in the county park is nationally ranked and popular because the sunny weather and calm water that surrounds the chain of beautiful wide, white sandy beaches. An offshore reef causes the waves to break before they reach the shore making it a keikifriendly beach. Swimming and snorkeling are great between the offshore reef and the coast while the breaking waves outside the calm waters create surfing and boogie boarding opportunities. The protected beach area is great for novice snorkelers. Dangerous water conditions can occur during periods of high surf. Beginning surf lessons are available as well as a nearby playground. Lifeguards, picnic tables, pavilions, showers and restrooms are also available. Located off Po‘ipü Rd. south of Ho‘owili Rd.
SHIPWRECK (KEONELOA) BEACH
A lovely beach to sunbathe but not a good swimming beach due to dangerous ocean conditions is named for an old unidentified shipwreck. On the left is Makawehi Point where you will see fishermen surf casts and brave locals jumping into the sea as did Harrison Ford and Anne Heche from Six Days, Seven Nights. It’s a good beach for boogie boarding, surfing and windsurfing for the experienced. Showers and restrooms are available. No lifeguard on duty. Located in front of the Hyatt. Take public access road between the Hyatt and the Po‘ipü Bay Resort Golf Course.
WEST SIDE BARKING SANDS BEACH
The beach is a continuation of the long white sand beach with superb vistas of Ni‘ihau and incredible sunsets. The name is due to the sound the sand sometimes makes when sliding down the 60’ high dunes along the beach but watch out for the thorns from the kiawe trees. Swimming is not recommended on this beach due to dangerous ocean conditions. Located between Kekaha Beach and Polihale Beach on the northern part of the Pacific Missiles Range off Kaumuali‘i.
KEKAHA BEACH PARK
This is the first beach of the series and is an exquisite long stretch of white sand with spectacular sunsets and many great surfing spots along the way. The
beach offers clear views of Ni‘ihau. This area is almost always sunny and shade is absent. Picnic area, grills, pavilions, showers and restrooms are available. Swimming can be extremely dangerous. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kaumuali‘i Hwy.
PĀKALĀ (INFINITIES) BEACH
The beach is picturesque and surrounded by lush tropical foliage and trees and a favorite spot for experienced surfers. This is not a good swimming beach due to murky water known for shark sightings and other dangerous ocean conditions, but it’s a great place to watch the locals surf and catch a magical sunset. The reef is called “Infinities” because it creates long perfect waves. Located by 21-mile marker off Hwy 50.
The longest and widest stretch of beach in the Hawaiian Islands, this 7-mile white sandy beach is breathtaking and considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Kaua‘i. The name means, “a leaping off place for spirits” or “house of death”. The usually sunny beach is framed by the majestic Näpali Coast and has sweeping sand dunes that can get up to 100 feet high and you can catch amazing sunsets with views of Ni‘ihau. This remote area is a great place to stargaze. The only safe place to swim is in the Queen’s Pond where the fringing reef offers protection from the extremely strong currents when the surf isn’t high; beware of sharp coral. Picnic tables, showers and restrooms are available. No lifeguards. Camping by permit only. Located at end of Rte 50. Take left onto the bumpy dirt road and drive several miles. Follow signs to beach.
SALT POND BEACH PARK
The protected reef in this pretty crescent shaped beach with lots of palms is great for swimming, snorkeling and beachcombing. Swimming is usually safe year round in the large lagoon and the sunsets are spectacular. Salt ponds are nearby where generations past made salt by evaporating seawater in red earthen pans and still do today. Please do not enter the salt-making area. The beach is also great for windsurfing, boogie boarding and exploring the tidepools. Lifeguard on duty. Picnic tables, pavilions, grills, camping, restrooms and showers are available. Located in Hanapëpë. Take left turn on Lele past town off Kaumuali‘i Hwy and right on Lokokai Rd. to park. EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a wise saying in Hawai‘i, “Leave only footprints and take only memories.” Please take all your trash and don’t take anything that does not belong to you including those that belong to the sea. It’s best to leave your valuables at your hotel and not in your car, so the time can be spent relaxing and not worrying. Conditions change with the seasons, so take the time to evaluate the sea and read the beach safety. It is highly recommended to visit beaches with lifegauards on duty. Visit kauailifeguards.org for more safety information. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
KAUA‘I EVENTS ONGOING LIVE MUSIC AT SHUTTER’S LOUNGE (Everyday) – Listen to great live music while dining on well-priced, delicious food every evening including late night fare and small plates at Shutter’s Lounge at Kauaÿi Beach Resort located in Lïhuÿe. Open Sunday through Thursday from 5pm to 11pm and 5pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Call Kauaÿi Beach Resort (808) 245-1955 for more information. WAIMEA HISTORIC WALKING TOUR (Mondays) – Take a 2.5-hour walk back through time in the place where Captain Cook first landed in Waimea. Where the agricultural landscape changed from taro to rice to corn, watered by an intricate ditch system with a marvelous history dating back to the time of the legendary Menehune. Learn about the last King of Kauaÿi, the missionaries, and other famous citizens of Waimea along with the landmarks they left behind. Enjoy a taste of the past in one of the most historic towns in all of Hawaiÿi. Registration is required for participation and Special Group tours are available. Free. Call West Kauaÿi Tech & Visitor Center (808) 3381332 for more information. GROVE FARM MUSEUM TOUR (Mon., Wed., Thurs.) – An unhurried, 2-hour guided tour of the 100-acre Grove Farm site preserves one of Hawaiÿi’s sugar plantation buildings, furnishings and collections, surrounding orchards and pasturelands. This homestead was the center of operations for the developing sugar plantation and involved the relationship of family life, plantation activity, household work, gardening and farming and continues as part of the experience of visiting Grove Farm. Advance reservations are required (10am to 1pm). Fee: $20 for adults and $10 for ages 5-12. Call (808) 245-3202. KAUA‘I CULINARY MARKET (Wednesdays) – Meet Kaua‘i growers and package food vendors, as well as The Shops at Kukui‘ula merchants and enjoy Chef Demonstration at 5pm with Kaua‘i grown produce, and listen to Hawaiian and local style 108
music. Wine and beer garden, freshly grilled püpü and sweet treats, and 20 Kaua‘i growers and package food vendors make for a lively fun evening. Stay for dinner and shopping at the great retail shops and restaurants. Every Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6pm at The Shops at Kukui‘ula in Po‘ipü. HANAPĒPĒ FRIDAY NIGHT FESTIVAL & ART WALK (Fridays) – Come join the festivity! Every Friday evening, Old Town Hanapëpë is bustling with fun and activity! With a wide variety of shopping, local crafters, several excellent restaurants, a dozen art galleries, stilt walkers, classics cars, live music and entertainment, there is always something for the whole family to enjoy! From 6pm-9pm. Call Ed (808) 335-6469. ALOHA FRIDAY: MAKE A LEI,WEAR A LEI (Fridays) - Come and enjoy making fresh flower lei and learn the different methods of lei making. Materials are provided. Workshop in Waimea at West Kauaÿi Visitor Center. Free. For more info, call (808) 338-1332. KAUA‘I COMMUNITY MARKET (Saturdays) - New weekend value-added farmers market hosted by the Kauaÿi County Farm Bureau and Kauaÿi Community College. Kauaÿi Community Market features a wide variety of locally grown fruit and produce, value added products like coffee, honey and goat cheese, plus culinary treats, breakfast and lunch items to eat at the market or take home. Learn ways to grow and prepare local foods, educational demos and garden tours held regularly. A great way to buy fresh and buy local, supporting Kauaÿi Grown products and Kauaÿi farmers from Hanalei to Kekaha. At Kauaÿi Community College front lawn and parking lot from 9:30am to 1pm. Free. Call (808) 652-3217. KAUA‘I ISLAND CRAFTERS FAIR (Saturdays) - You will find an amazing array of quality hand-made products from Kaua‘i’s own crafters and artisans. Beautifully-crafted handbags, fabric angels, Hawaiian quilts, Hawaiian dolls, towel wraps, Kauaÿi scenic photography & paintings & fiber arts, carved
hardwood tikis & bone jewelry, beachwear cover-up, sunrise shell jewelry, souvenirs and lots more by local Kauaÿi artists. This is where you will find that unique gift for that joyous occasion or special someone that will be cherished for years (8am to 2pm). Place: Church of the Pacific, 5-4280 Kühiö Highway, Princeville. Proceeds to benefit The Church of the Pacific. Contact (808) 635-4314. ‘OHANA DAY (Monthly) – The first Saturday of each month is ‘Ohana Day for family fun at the Kauaÿi Museum. Look forward to demonstrations, lectures and more during these special days. 10am to 5pm at the Kauaÿi Museum in Lïhuÿe. Free for kamaÿäina, and discounted for visitors. Call (808) 245-6931. PRINCEVILLE NIGHT MARKET (Monthly) - Princeville Night Market is a monthly festival, held every second Sunday, featuring live music and local artisans at the Princeville Shopping Center. Discover 40+ local artisans as you walk around the grounds from 4pm to 8pm. Listen to live music from several different bands. Find pottery, paintings, photography, apparel, jewelry, wood workers and more! For more info, email PrincevilleNightMarket@gmail.com. KĪLAUEA ART NIGHT (Monthly) - Kïlauea Art Night is a monthly festival held on the last Saturday of each month featuring live music, local artisans and trendy food trucks. Line up for pulled-pork sandwiches and fresh fish tacos, stretch out on blankets while listening to the band. Walk around the grounds to discover 40+ local artisans. Find pottery, paintings, photography, apparel, jewelry, wood workers and more! Held at Anaina Hou Community Park. Email KilaueaArtNight@ gmail.com for more info. KEIKI DAY AT NA ‘ĀINA BOTANICAL GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK (Monthly) – Na ÿÄina Kai’s playday is a monthly event where you can enjoy quality time with your kids in the “Under the Rainbow” Children’s Garden. Kids can get wet and play in Jack’s KAUA‘I TRAVELER
KAUA‘I CULINARY MARKET
Wednesdays at The Shops at Kukui‘ula
fountain, explore the jungle tree house and discover the many child-friendly features of the Children’s Garden. Bring a towel, and be prepared to get wet. Outside snacks are permitted and reservations are recommended ($10/person, free for children under 1 years old). Oct. 14th is the annual Halloween Event in lieu of Keiki Day (fee is $10/advance, $12/door) from 4-7pm. Included in the entry fee are games, prizes, face painting, and more! Costumes are encouraged. Concessions are available for purchase. For more info or to make reservations, call (808) 828-0525 or naainakai.org/keiki-day. SANCTUARY OCEAN COUNT (Jan. 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 31) - Please join the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to count whales! The community project involves counting the number of whales that can be seen around the islands and recording their behavior. Not only has this proven to be a fun volunteer activity for residents and visitors, but it also helps to provide important population and distribution information on humpback whales in Hawai‘i. If you are interested in participating in the annual Sanctuary Ocean Count Project or want to learn myhawaiitraveler.com
more about volunteering and to register, get details at sanctuaryoceancount.org. FEBRUARY THE INSPIRATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Feb. 1-8) – See 22 wonderful classic films that are inspiring such as Good Will Hunting, Soul Surfer, Forest Gump, Field of Dreams, Blind Side, Million Dollar Baby, A Beautiful Mind and more on a big screen the way they were meant to be seen at the Kukui Grove Cinema in Lïhuÿe. You get a ticket for ALL 22 films for one $20 ticket. Tickets may be shared with friends and family, which means you can see a film at 4:30pm, and then pass the ticket to your cousin to see a show at 6:30pm. Tickets are on sale at the box office. Call (808) 245-5055 or kukuigrovecinema.com. WAIMEA TOWN CELEBRATION (Feb. 17-25)- Check out Kauaÿi’s oldest and largest annual festival celebrating 40 years! With over a week’s worth of fun family events, take advantage of this opportunity to experience this unique West Kaua’i community. This event features: live entertainment, a Hawaiian rodeo, deconstructed triathlons, basketball and softball
tournaments, ice cream eating contest, ‘ukulele contests, lei-making contest, canoe race, games and rides for kids, crafts and local food vendors, cocktails and cuisine, silent auction and more. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, please visit waimeatowncelebration.com. MARCH PRINCE KŪHIŌ’S CELEBRATION KAUA‘I (Mar. 26-27) – A multitude of events on Kauaÿi are set to celebrate Prince Kühiö’s birthday (an official state holiday in Hawaiÿi). Kühiö was one of Hawaii’s most beloved aliÿi (royalty) and statesmen. The Prince Kühiö Celebration, intended to honor Kühiö and his efforts to foster Hawaiian cultural values, provides a long list of interactive educational sessions about Hawaiian cultural practices, arts and crafts. Adding to the mix are many opportunities for entertainment and observing cultural traditions. Sampling local foods, hearing “talk story” sessions and viewing commemorative ceremonies are also on the schedule. Visit princekuhio.net. All events are subject to change. Check out www. myhawaiitraveler.com for updates and more events. 109
KAUA‘I FOR YOUR INFORMATION Area Code (808) for entire state
EMERGENCY NUMBERS Ambulance/Police/Fire Civil Defense Poison Control Wilcox Memorial Hospital
911 733-4300 1-800-362-3585 245-1100
Alaska Airlines American Airlines go! Airlines Hawaiian Airlines Japan Airlines United Airlines
American Express MasterCard Visa Credit Card Directory
Hertz Car Rental Bus Taxi
1-800-654-5669 1-800-433-7300 1-888-IFLYGO2 1-800-882-8811 1-800-525-3663 1-800-241-6522
1-800-221-7282 1-800-307-7309 1-800-847-2911 1-800-555-1212
1-800-654-3011 241-6410 246-9554
WEATHER/CONDITIONS Weather Forecast Marine Forecast
VISITOR INFORMATION Directory 1-800-555-1212 Information 411 Agricultural Inspection 245-2831 Hawai‘i County Parks 241-4463 Hawai‘i State Parks 274-3444 Fishing License 274-3344 Hunting License 274-3433 Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce 245-7363 Kaua‘i Visitors Information 1-800-262-1400
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