Hawaii's fourth largest island is known as the 'Garden Isle' thanks to its lush, verdant tropical beauty that includes emerald valleys, tropical rainforests and cascading waterfalls. Beyond the dramatic vistas and unspoiled splendour, the island has no shortage of things to see and do, more than 50 miles of beaches and a wonderfully slow pace of life.
While known for its impressive cliffs, canyons and rainforests, Kauai also has some of Hawaii's most picturesque beaches. One of the island's most popular stretches of sands is Poipu Beach Park, on Kauai's southern shore. Take a dip in the inviting crystal clear waters, or opt for snorkelling and a variety of colourful fish will be revealed. From December to May it's not uncommon to spot humpback whales spouting off shore, while on shore you may even see endangered Hawaiian monk seals sunbathing! Wailua, on the east coast, is popular with surfers, while nearby Lydgate Beach Park is another good snorkelling spot.
Proudly known as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific', the Waimea Canyon is perhaps one of Kauai's top natural wonders and panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges can be admired from Waimea Canyon Lookout. Travel further north to explore Kokee State Park, a forest rich in native plants, Hawaiian forest birds and hiking trails, while the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast on the north shore are an awe-inspiring sight. The Daniel K Inouye Kilauea Lighthouse on the northernmost tip is a great place to spot whales in winter while on the east coast, breathtaking waterfalls include Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls.
Adventure seekers will find difficult hikes, helicopter tours, ziplining above the lush rainforest, kayaking down the Wailua River toward the Coconut Coast or mountain tubing in the miles of water flumes of Lihue. Alternatively, learn about the history and culture of Kauai by visiting the Kauai Museum or Grove Farm Museum in Lihue, or visit small towns like Hanapepe, Koloa and Waimea to get a taste of local life.
- Pristine beaches
- Awe-inspiring Waimea Canyon
- World class snorkelling and diving
- Waterfall paradise
- Tropical rainforests
- Dolphins, whales and monk seals
- Magical sunsets
- Breathtaking Napali Coast