Our first trip to Kauai was in 2000, when the kids were still little (In the 1st photo, Cole is 7 and Robert is 3). It was our first big trip ever and our unofficial belated honeymoon. We visited again in 2016, in celebration of Robert’s high school graduation and my college graduation. This year, for my 50th birthday, we all went together again as a family, this time with our most recent addition, Cole’s girlfriend Kirsten.
Kauai is a magical place. The “Garden Isle” is an apt name, as it boasts Mount Waialeale, a dormant volcano which creates a micro climate producing 450 inches of rain a year - making it the wettest place on earth. From this the island is covered in jungle greenery and tropical flowers. Much of the vegetation is that of imported and invasive species, from the Jurassic-park famous Albezia tree, nicknamed the “widow maker” due to its tendency to come crashing down unexpectedly, to the Polynesian canoe tree Hau, decorating the Wailua river with its yellow-orange Hibiscus flowers. You’ll see them floating past your kayak if you make the trek to Uluwehi Falls.
For us desert rats, it quenches our sun dried skin, hair and souls, and rinses a bit of the dust and stress away. There’s no way I can imagine being stressed out in this magical island paradise. If you’re in need of a do-nothing-but-listen-to-the-waves getaway, I highly recommend Kauai.
There are wild chickens everywhere you go on the island. They were imported by the Polynesians and are a protected species.
There are also feral hogs, purportedly 30 hogs to every citizen. They are a nuisance species and are hunted legally as wild game.
There are no natural predators (like coyotes, bobcats, etc. that we have in the west). Hence the high numbers of chickens and hogs!
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian island chain.
The Waimea is the longest river in the islands, which also created Waimea canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
The Hawaii Archipelago is the most remote island chain in the world. It is located more than 1,000 miles away from the next country (Kiribati) and more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest continent (North America).
The average year-round temperature is between 70-80 degrees. Perfect!
There is only one main highway, which goes about 2/3 of the way around the island. The remaining area is the protected Na’Pali Coast State Wilderness Park. These knife-edge cliffs are in the famous opening scenes of Jurassic Park, one of the many movies that have filmed on the island.
Enjoy these images from our trip, and as I’m regretfully clearing my head of beach sand and salty waves, I’ll have more art to show you next time! I’
(links at bottom of post)
These are not sponsored links, just sharing what I know :)
How we got there: Costco Travel
Where we stayed: Kapaa
Helicopter tours (from our last trip): Blue Hawaiian
Raft tour of Na’Pali coast: Kauai Sea Tours
Zipline: Koloa Zipline - highly recommend (look for discount codes/coupons)
Sushi: Kintaro Japanese
Poke: Pono Market
Tacos: Tiki Tacos (vegan friendly, local organic)
Ice Cream: Lappert’s Coconut Pineapple
Veggie Sandwich: Midnight Bear Bakery
Art & explore: Hanapepe
Chill, food trucks & surf shops: Hanalei
Family friendly: Poipu
Worth the drive: Polihale Beach State Park (use caution - 5+ miles of dirt road)
As always thanks for stopping by!