Thursday, May 8, 2014

Barbie's Adventures: Kauai



Kauai is located in the Pacific Ocean about 2600 miles from Los Angeles, California, and is one of Barbie’s very favorite vacation destinations.  


Just one of many coconuts Barbie found on the beach one day.



Kauai is not a big island, just 552 square miles (33 miles long and 25 miles across at the widest point), and only takes a few hours to drive around most of it.  The road ends on the west shore and begins again on the North shore. 

In-between is a wilderness area that encompasses the magnificent 22 mile long Napali coastline.   There are only three ways to see the Napali coastline; by helicopter, boat, or foot!  If you choose to hike it, the Kalalau trail is 11 miles one way and begins at Ke’e beach at the North shore.  It can be a very strenuous and often very muddy hike.

The Napali Coast


The island is called the “Garden Isle” for a reason.  There is an abundance of waterfalls, lushly vegetated valleys, beautiful flowers, postcard worthy sandy beaches, and gorgeous views everywhere you turn.  

Wailua Falls (left) and Opaeka'a Falls (right)


One of the most spectacular sites to see, which Barbie didn’t miss, was Waimea Canyon, on the Southwest side of the island.  It is nicknamed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”.  This breathtaking vista is 14 miles long, 1 mile wide and 3600 feet deep.   

  

Barbie loves the south shore (Poipu area) because it’s a perfect place for a yummy meal, locally flavored shopping, or just a lazy beach day.  You’ll also find art galleries and historic Old Koloa Town, which still has the remains of the first major sugar mill in Hawaii which opened in 1835, as well as St Raphael's Church which is the oldest catholic church on Kauai (1841). 

Fish tacos, an amazing appetizer, and shave ice (with macadamia nut ice cream) are just some of the treats found on the island!  Yum!

Nearby is Spouting Horn, which is a large blow hole in the rocky area near the shore.   When the tide is high, water can shoot up through the blow hole as high as twenty feet in the air.  It is also an excellent place to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and whales. 

Leaving the south shore you will pass through the “Tree Tunnel”, on Maluhia Road, which is lined with eucalyptus trees. 


Here's a monk seal doing a little sun bathing.


Heading north, towards the quaint little town of Hanalei (which is a cute little artist town with shops, restaurants, and other sites to see), be sure to stop and visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. It is home to the historic Kilauea lighthouse that was built in 1913.   It’s also a wonderful place to view wildlife in their natural habitat. 

Two other must stops on your journey to the north shore is Hanalei Valley overlook and Hanalei Bay. The Hanalei Valley overlook is one of the most photographed places on the island.  Looking over this rich valley, you’ll see taro fields, the winding Hanalei River, and native water birds.   Then, when you reach Hanalei Bay (a two-mile long half-moon bay) you’ll see a long wooden pier on the beach which stretches out into the beautiful water.  Be sure to take a stroll to the end.  It’s a good place to view the magnificent mountains and waterfalls of the area, and in the wintertime is an excellent surfer watching spot.
 


Hanalei Valley Overlook, Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei Bay

Barbie loves her trips to Kauai, and can’t wait to go back!


Happy Traveling!

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Spain: I envy!. Nice pictures. I really like the photos on the beach. Great landscapes. Keep in touch

    ReplyDelete

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