Learn and Discover the Hawaiian Islands while playing at Kauai Mini Golf
This miniature golf course is like no other.
Whether you are looking for something recreational to do or just visiting the North Shore. Kauai Mini Golf is a great place to take your keiki. In addition, it is a perfect stop when visiting the Kilauea Lighthouse. Open from 9:00 am to 6:00pm this Par 47 miniature golf course is ADA accessible and is fun for the whole family. Located at Anaina Hou Community Park you will find Kauai Mini Golf. Furthermore, besides the playground and the skate park, the Kauai Mini Golf is another feature that Anaina Hou provides the community.
Educational displays are provided that offer fun facts about the islands.
Each hole at Kauai Mini Golf provides an informative fact about the Hawaiian Islands and its culture. Moreover, the themes provide an insight to Hawaii’s history providing a combination of education and recreation throughout the course. Additionally, throughout the the course, tropical plants are displayed and origins of the plants are provided.
Themes include: In the Beginning,
Journey to the islands,
Explorers in Hawaii,
Cultural diversity and Hawaiian Cultural renaissance
A great place to take pictures of the keiki
Both native and invasive plants are present in the garden, providing an insight and education to Kauai’s plant diversity. Nestled within a tropical botanical garden, the lush scenery and beautiful tropical flora creates a beautiful setting and provides a truly unique experience for both kama’aina and visitors. In addition, there are water features and a koi pond that provides a tranquil setting for those looking for a place to relax.
Fun for the Whole Family
Water hazards, pipe shots, obstacles and different slope grades make the putting style green a fun and challenging experience. Choose your own putter and colored ball. Let the adventure begin at Kauai Mini Golf!
The South Side Visitors Center is located near the Spouting Blowhole just across the street. At the South Side Visitors Center, visit the grounds and check out the many beautiful flowers and native Hawaiian plants. In addition, amenities at the South Side Visitors Center include: restrooms, picnic area, snack shop and store. Furthermore, the South Side Visitors Center is a gateway to Allerton and McBryde Gardens Tour (two gems that exist only on Kauai).
National Tropical Botanical Gardens
While only 5 National Tropical Botanical Gardens in the world exist. There are three National Tropical Botanical Gardens on the island of Kauai. One is at Limahuli on the North Shore while the Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden can be found on Kauai’s South Shore. Both Allerton Garden and McBryde Gardens can be accessed at the South Side Visiors Center.
Probably, popularized by the film industry, the Moreton Bay fig trees that find their home in the Allerton garden is a major tourist attraction. Featured in blockbuster movies such as the original Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean, many flock to the garden for picture-taking of the trees and artifacts on the property. The Allerton Garden rests between the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden offering spectacular views. While visiting the Allerton Garden, a beautifu landscape of native and endangered plants await. In addition, hidden gems only found at the Allerton Garden include: Diana’s fountain, the three pools, the mermaid room and the riparian area.
Information and Pricing for Allerton Gardens
The Allerton Garden tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours. Ticket prices for adults is $50.00; Children 6 to 12 is $25.00 and children under 5 are Free.
Another tour offered is the McBryde Garden. The McBryde Garden lies in the southern part of the Lawai Valley and has 50 acres of diverse plant collections for visitors to explore. The McBryde Garden is a self-guided tour. In addition, the McBryde garden includes: the Spice of Life Trail, Canoe Plant Garden and Biodiversity Trail. At the Biodiversity Trail learn and discover the evolution of plants for the past 400 million years. With that being said, the McBryde Garden is a great place for your future Botanist or Biologist to visit.
Furthermore, many plants from tropical regions around the world are brought to the garden for research and cultivation. As a result, the McBryde garden offers the largest collection of native hawaiian flora in existence. Consequently due to the expansive land area, expect the tour of duration for the McBryde Garden to be approximately 1.5 hours.
Information and Pricing for McBryde Gardens
After departing the South Shore Visitors Center, a shuttle will drop you off at the McBryde garden. Tour the garden at your own pace and catch a return shuttle to the South Shore’s Visitor Center. Ticket prices for the McBryde Garden: Adults $30.00; Children 6-12 $15.00 and Children under 5 are Free.
Allerton Garden: Sunset Tour
The Allerton Garden also offers a sunset tour. Allerton Garden at Sunset; Adults $95.00; Children 6-12 $45.00 and Children 5 and under Free. Consequently, the guided tour must be a minimum of four participants. Tour times 3:30-4:30. Additionally, The Sunset Tour comes with a tour of the Allertons property with beverages and a light dinner. Once for the rich and famous, Allerton Sunset Tour provides all with an opportunity to admire, indulge and unwind
Free Hula Shows: Thursdays from 2:00-2:45pm
National Tropical Botanical Garden invites you to experience a traditional hula show by Kauai’s award winning Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinaala. The show highlights the wahi pane (sacred places) of Kauai with intriguing stories of our Hawaiian people, their connection to and dependence on plants both wild and cultivated. Hula shows are free to attend and is a great opportunity to visit the gift shop and register for a tour at one of the nearby Allerton and McBryde Gardens. Taking a tour earlier in the morning and watching the hula show in the afternoon is recommended.
Plan your Trip
Allerton Garden is intermingled with the McBryde Garden. However, the Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden are separate tours. Significantly, The Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden tours both depart the South Shore Visitors Center every hour from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the top of the hour.
The South Shore Visitors Center is on 4425 Lawai Road, Koloa, HI. It is located before reaching the Spouting Horn Blowhole on your right hand side. For reservations or inquiries call 808-742-2623
In Conclusion, before heading to the gardens, please be prepared as the weather can be unpredictable on Kauai. Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather and terrain. In addition, the following items are suggested: comfortable walking shoes, rain and sun protection, water bottle, insect repellent.
When you are driving on Koloa Road coming from or heading to Koloa, have you ever wondered why all those cars are parked on the side of the road for? From passing, it looks like there are some food trucks and some people eating shave ice. But why are there are a lot of people walking in and out of the warehouse? What exactly is going on there? The answer is Warehouse 3540. A hidden gem on the Southside of Kauai, Warehouse 3540 is a creative community marketplace where there are great gifts and products made by locals on the island. It is a great stop for shopping and a great place to get those one of a kind gifts from local vendors. At Warehouse 3540 get a special gift for yourself or for the special people back home. Warehouse 3540 is a must see on the Southside of Kauai.
Don’t Judge the Book by it’s Cover: A Creative Space Indeed
It was a surprise going into the warehouse as I never knew that the Warehouse was transformed. Yeah I heard stories about how cool and hip this place was, but I didn’t realize how cool it was until actually going in. As a local, my first thought was that it was an abandon space and people were going to be selling stuff, like a garage sale or something. Not only was I caught by surprise with the numerous pop up shops and variety, I was astounded by the mix of artists, designers and up and coming entrepreneurs here on the island. One of the things that surprised me the most was the functionality of space of the warehouse and what they had done to this building that was once falling a part. The layout of the warehouse made total sense and the marketplace theme fits perfectly into our LOCAL culture. The open floor plan of the warehouse allows for vendors to sell their local products in a casual atmosphere. Shopping here was quite peaceful and the vendors were very friendly and willing to talk story. There was a lot of space to walk around and there was a lot of items to see. It was definitely a “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” experience.
Location and Parking
Located on 3540 Koloa Road, near the intersection of Koloa Road and Iwipoo Road. For Safe Parking for the keiki, it is recommended that you find parking in the back or directly in front of the warehouse.
Friendly and Passionate Local Vendors
I found that the vendors were very passionate about their products and were willing to share their stories of how they came up with the products they are selling and there inspirations. There was no pressure to buy products and the vendors looked very happy to be there, engaging everyone with a smile and even posing for pictures when asked. Warehouse 3540 is definitely L.O.C.A.L (Loving Our Community And Lifestyle) and a recommendation for all visiting Kauai.
What You will Find at Warehouse 3540
Reva Canali Baby: Handmade Baby Products
Live Hawaii Gallery: Oceanic Fine Arts and Prints
Aphrodite’s Treasures: All kinds of goodies and souvenirs
West Kauai Farms
Janath Collections Kauai: Vintage Kimono Handbags, etc.
Kahanananea: Soaps and Local handmade products
Workshop: Artist studio and Storefront featuring Machine Machine, Naisish Handmade and Goofy Foot Press
IVY & CO.: Mixes Retro Hawaiana with Hip Accents
Navy Dylan: Slinging Art, Home Decor and Unique Gifts with a Purpose
Lily Koi: Exclusively Designed Pearls and Jewelry
Robin McCoy’s Fine Arts
Ocean Paper: Beautiful artwork that represent our island and lifestyle
Dark Roost Coffee: Coffee, Latte, Cappuccino, Americano, Espresso, Chai, Tea
Tommy’s Sharpening Service: Tom Renaltner has Knives and will sharpen cleavers, serrated knives, food processor blades, etc.
Looking for Something to Eat?
Not only is Warehouse 3540 a great stop for shopping, it is a one stop shop where you can get something to eat. While there, you can get some food from Kickshaw’s and Kauai Poke Co. Kickshaw’s is a family favorite which we feel everything on the menu is worth a try (The Awesome Burger is 100% Awesome). Even if just wanting to stop by for some food, these two food trucks are worth the stop at Warehouse 3540. Not that hungry…cool off with some shave ice.
Glass Beach is located on the West Side of Kauai and can be found near Port Allen. Off the beaten path, Glass Beach is near other west side attractions. Furthermore, when visiting Glass Beach take the opportunity to visit the Kauai Coffee Visitors Center, Hanapepe Swinging Bridge and Salt Pond Beach.
Glass Beach offers children an opportunity to explore. In addition, children become fascinated with the glass pebbles and washed up remnants from the Pacific Ocean. An old dumping site, Glass Beach is off the beaten path but is visited by many L.O.C.A.L fishermen and families. Therefore, families visit Glass Beach to collect the glass for making art or for use decorations. Moreover, some people find glass at Glass Beach and sell it.
Types of Glass found at Glass Beach
Smooth rocks and other materials are found in the sand. These treasures are smoothed and weathered by the ocean and other natural elements.
Different variations of sea glass have been created by broken bottles and other materials that are churning in the sand. Created by the movement of the waves over a long period of time, the glass pebbles are left on the beach and mixed into the sand. Therefore, the glass pieces are fine and can be as small as a grain of sand. In addition, other pieces are large and smoothed out from the ocean. The weathering of the glass gives it a unique look. Additionally, different colors can be found as you sift through the sand.
Stacked Rocks: Cairns
Rocks (or cairns) that are stacked up can be found towards the western end of the Glass Beach. A cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. Made for a variety of purposes from prehistoric times to the present, many stacks can be found on this little beach. A popular activity among tourists, these cairns can be found all over the island. When you visit Glass Beach, many cairns can be found. Therefore, our boys decided to build their own. Additionally, this made searching and exploring the beach for flat rocks a great activity.
Glass Beach Lookout
Driving up the red dirt road past the main beach area will take you up the hill to a cemetery and lookout of Glass Beach. The lookout will provide views of the Pacific Ocean, Salt Pond and the refineries. In addition, there is also a small blowhole that erupts when swells are large. However it is not as magnificent as the Spouting Horn Blowhole on the South side. On the shelf below, car parts and other items can be found. However, it is rather dangerous to go down with your keiki as large crashing waves can sweep you out to sea. Besides that, there isn’t much for kids to see.
Not a Great Place for Swimming
Glass beach is off the beaten path. In addition, Glass Beach is not a kid friendly beach to swim at. Glass Beach is more for exploring the little reef ponds and for searching for glass. Moreover, Glass Beach is a perfect hideaway beach day for a picnic. At Glass beach keiki can climb up the rocks and there is a good amount of space to run around. However it you are looking for a safe place to swim, Salt Pond is right down the road.
When we we visited glass beach the past two times, it was a surprise to see other visitors there. Glass Beach is not usually a recommended beach for hotel guests or first time vacationers. However, there was still plenty of space to enjoy a secluded beach in paradise.
Save Glass Beach for our Keiki
One of the concerns is that the glass at Glass Beach is beginning to disappear. When visiting Glass beach as a keiki, I remember that the beach was covered with glass and different colors of the weathered gems. However, the glass has disappeared and the blue and green colors of glass that used to cover the beach, is now hard to find. Whether it be locals or visitors taking the glass as a souvenir or for personal use. It is concerning because if all the glass is being taken from Glass beach, then Glass Beach will no longer exist. Therefore, please be mindful about taking glass and leaving glass there for future generations coming to visit this extraordinary beach. Furthermore, remember that pictures of the glass that you find can capture the moment just as well.
Directions to Glass Beach
If driving west on Highway 50 drive towards Port Allen.
Turn left on Waialo Road towards Port Allen where you will see a McDonalds
Turn left of Aka Ula road (road just before reaching the ocean)
Drive down the road which looks like you are in an industrial area
Aka Ula will turn into a dirt road
Continue driving and make a right turn on the next dirt road
Glass beach will be just ahead
Remember to follow the beach safety guidelines, check surf and weather reports for current conditions, and observe posted signage. Keep a constant watch on keiki who are playing in or around the water. Never leave children unattended. Small children should wear safety floatation devices unless they are avid swimmers and are being closely supervised.
Opaekaa Falls is located on the east side of Kauai in the town of Wailua. The waterfall is visible from a lookout and is great for all ages. Ample parking is also available as well as restrooms. Furthermore, there are picturesque views and photo ops of the Opaekaa Falls and Wailua River. Unlike many waterfalls on Kauai, Opaekaa Falls does not require a hike and is easily accessible. In addition, there are handicap accessible ramps and sidewalks that are great for strollers.
Opaekaa in English is translated into “rolling shrimp”.
An abundance of shrimp in the stream was how the waterfall got its name. The Opaekaa Falls is a quick stop off to the side of the road in Wailua. Therefore, if you are trying to get in as much as you can within a short period of time it is a great place to visit. The views of the Opaekaa Falls is from a distance. However, the natural beauty is worth a look if you do not live in an area where there are waterfalls. In addition, since it is free of charge the Opaekaa Falls will not disappoint.
Opaekaa Falls is a 151 foot tall, 40 foot wide waterfall that cascades down to a hidden pool.
Two Lookouts: Opaeekaa Falls and Wailua River
There are picnic tables and shade across the street where you can view the Wailua River. Directions to the falls cannot be missed as it is on signage heading toward the area. Turn up to Kuamoo Road (580) and travel up the hill to the lookout which will be located on the right hand side. The drive from the main Highway is about two miles up Route 580. The Wailua River State Park is across the street from Opaekaa Falls Lookout. You will see informational boards at the Wailua State Park providing descriptions of the area.
Poliahu Heiau is also located in the State Park. The Heiau is a temple dedicated to Ku. The temple was created by hand where stones were brought up from the river below. The area was known for religious ceremonies and rituals. As you visit please respect the sacred site. Stay outside of the heiau and do not climb on the walls.
Wailua is known as a political and religious center of Kauai in ancient Hawaiian times as well as today. The area was where the Hawaiian chiefs and priests built their houses and temples. The area is a sacred place where many of the births of chiefs occured in the area. The ahupuaa (Hawaiian Land Division System) of Wailua is the largest on Kauai. With an abundance of water and fertile valley floors, this area provided great farming and hunting. There was also plentiful fish for fishermen in the freshwater as well as ocean nearby. The resource of the land provided a thriving abundance of food for its people and was very self-sustainable.
The use of the area has changed over time. A great agricultural area with fertile soil and an abundance of water, the landscape evolved with the times. In the 1600s the land was terraced for taro farms. In the 1800s the same terraces were used by Chinese and Japanese farmers for growing rice. In the 1900s the land was used for raising cattle and horses.
Located on the Wailua River State Park grounds is also an old cemetery. Entrance to the cemetery is at the bottom of the hill up a flight of stairs near the HoloHoloKu Heiau.
Hula is symbolic in Hawaii. In the Pacific Islands, Hula is part of the culture that has been passed down from ancient times to the present. Hula is often depicted as a way of life in the islands. Furthermore, it is a tradition passed down from generation to generation and is an artform that is embedded into the Hawaiian and LOCAL culture.
Hula represents its people, the diversity of the Polynesian Pacific as well as tells a story of who the people are. Furthermore, Through hula, stories are shared from the past that link its people to their ancestors playing a crucial role connecting its people to sustaining a vibrant culture.
Hula can express the feelings and emotions of a person, describe a place and its importance or can tell you of a story of an old event. Hula is an art form that is respected by its people as a way of life. Hula is a cultural practice that honors the past, invigorates the present and looks toward the future to preserving a way of the people through song and dance.
Free Hula Shows
On Kauai, there are many opportunities to see Hula being performed at Luau’s. However, if you you are interested in seeing the Hula for free, four options should be on your to do list.
Poipu Shopping Village; Every Monday and Thursday at 5:00 pm
Coconut Marketplace; Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and Saturdays at 1:00 pm
Hyatt Regency: Saturdays at 6:00 pm
NTBG: South Sides Visitors Center; Every Thursday from 2:00-2:45 pm
Free Hula Shows that are offered on Kauai provide you with an opportunity to see different cultural dances from the Polynesian Islands. In addition, Hula dancers exhibit their talent by showcasing their skills with dancing different types of dancing styles from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands. These dances include Hawaiian dances (kahiko and auana) as well as Maori dances, Tahitian dances, Samoan dances and Tongan Dances.
The dancers are adorned with the different cultural dress as well as use many different instruments. Dancers also perform to live music, played by extraordinary musicians that provide and awe inspiring performance. Entertainment is done from ages young to old, and the shows provide a quality representation of its cultural presence on Kauai.
Actively participate in the dances when hula dancers ask for volunteers to come and join them. Be prepared to learn how to dance hula and learn some of the basic movements required to dance one of the many popular songs of Hawaii. It’s an opportunity for you to get a first hand experience of the Hawaiian culture. Learning to dance is also a great conversation for you to share with family and friends. Learning the Hula may help you to define Hawaii in your own words/hands to tell the world about its culture and its people.
Hula at Poipu Shopping Village
At Poʻipu Shopping Village, join Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina`ala on an exciting journey through over a thousand years of rich tradition. A well-renowned Hawaii musician Keola Worthington, shall sing and share stories from humorous or of Hawaii old and new, accompanied with the award winning gracious Hula maidens. The Show is located at center stage and open to the public. Every Monday and Thursday at 5:00 pm
Hula at Coconut Market Place
If you’re looking for free, lively and fun Hawaiian entertainment for your whole family, visit Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa for an authentic Hula Show every Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.
Hula at Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa
On Saturday evenings at 6:00 pm, the Hyatt Regency puts on a hula show for its guests and visitors in the main lounge seating area. The picturesque backdrop of the Pacific Ocean during sunset provides an astounding view of watching the hula live. Dancers mesmerize its visitors with their beautiful garments and flawless movements. The live music accompanied by skillful dancers provide an atmosphere that allows all to experience the special beauty of Kauai. A perfect way to end your day, take a step back and enjoy the Hawaiian culture . Watch the hula, enjoy cocktails and have dinner.
Hula at NTBG: South Side Visitors Center
Every Thursday from 2:00-2:45 pm the National Tropical Botanical Garden invites you to experience a traditional hula show by Kauai’s award winning Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinaala. The show highlights the wahi pane (sacred places) of Kauai with intriguing stories of our Hawaiian people, their connection to and dependence on plants both wild and cultivated. Hula shows are free to attend and is a great opportunity to visit the gift shop and register for a tour at one of the nearby Allerton and McBryde Gardens.
Poipu Shopping Village; Every Monday and Thursday at 5:00 pm
Coconut Marketplace; Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and Saturdays at 1:00 pm
Hyatt Regency: Saturdays at 6:00 pm
NTBG: South Sides Visitors Center; Every Thursday from 2:00-2:45 pm
For Hula Lessons or Luau Recommendations: Connect with Kauai With Keiki
Kauai’s weather ranges from 75-85 with not much change in season or from day to night
Ocean temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees
Kauai’s coastline is 111 miles; it has more accessible beaches than any of the other Hawaiian islands.
Kauai’s West Side Kekaha beach spans to Polihale and is the longest stretch of beach in the State of Hawaii
The islands that you can see from the westside of Kauai is Niihau, Lehua and Ka’ula
Over 90% of the land on Kauai is used for Conservation and Agriculture
70% of the island is inaccessible by foot
Kauai is the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain
Kauai is the 4th largest island
Kauai is the northernmost island in the Hawaiian Island Chain
Kauai is 552 square miles; with a diameter of 32 miles and a widepoint of only 25 miles
Kauai’s Mt. Waialeale is the Wettest spot on Earth, averaging 450 inches of rain per year
Kauai has more rivers than any of the other Hawaiian islands:
Kauai has the only navigable rivers in the state and the longest river is Wailua river at 19.2 miles
There are eight major waterfalls on the island
The highest waterfall on Kauai is Waipoo in Waimea Canyon falling 800 feet
Kauai’s highest mountain is Kawaikini peak at 5,243 feet
The Na Pali Cliffs reach heights of 2,500 feet
Waimea Canyon is approximately one mile wide, 3,600 feet deep and ten miles in length.
There are over 5,000 plants and animals that live on the reefs of Kauai
Kauai has the largest protected population of nene goose (Hawaii’s state bird)
The two native mammals on Kauai and endemic to the Hawaiian islands is the hawaiian hoary bat and the hawaiian monk seal.
Chickens run wild on Kauai after Hurricane Iniki destroyed many of the farmers Chicken coops and got loose. The chicken is the unofficial bird of Kauai as you see them all over the island.
Kauai has no native land reptiles or amphibians and one of the only islands that do not have mongoose.
There are more pigs than people
Most populated town on Kauai is Kapaa
Kauai has over 1 million visitors a year; ⅓ of the people on Kauai are tourists or visitors
Captain James Cook was the first modern visitor that landed on Kauai’s Waimea beach on January 19, 1778
Kauai is the home of the legendary Menehune. Two places to visit on the island to see the menehunes work is the Menehune ditch next to the Waimea Swinging Bridge in Waimea Valley as well as the Menehune Fish Pond located near Nawiliwili.
Kauai Coffee is the largest plantation in the United States
Kauai grows more taro than any other island
Products of Kauai include: Coffee, fruit, vegetables, taro, beef and hawaiian salt
There are no buildings higher than a coconut palm tree. Kauai’s building code has a four story limit on vertical construction.
There have been over 60 movies filmed on the island with popular movies: Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, 6 days 7 nights, Fantasy Island and Indiana Jones to name a few.
There are nine golf courses at seven locations on Kauai. Four public courses, four resort courses and one private course.
You cannot drive around the island; Na Pali Cliffs and Waimea Canyon make it nearly impossible to build a road to connect West and North shores
Polihale is the furthest west that you can drive on the island; the end of Highway 50 is before the sugar cane dirt road to Polihale
Maluhia Road Tree Tunnel that goes to Koloa and Poipu has 500 eucalyptus trees that stretch for three miles
Most Locals will say Kaumualii Highway instead of Highway 50; Also when getting directions most will use landmarks (i.e To get to baby beach in Kapaa, when you see the Shrimp Station, turn right by the Texaco. Go straight until you see the one way road).
Moku and Ahupuaa signs are placed around Kauai noting cultural land divisions that were used as part of the history and culture of Kauai and Niihau. Check out the link for more information: www.kauainuikuapapa.com
The Wailua Falls is located near Lihue, nestled 4 miles in. Turn on to Maalo Road off Highway 580. Continue driving until you find your destination. The road to the waterfall is a very scenic drive of Kauai’s countryside. You will pass a couple of cemeteries. You will also pass Grove Farm land, nurseries, and family ranches. When you see the Reis Family Ranch gate and pass through a little tunnel, you know that you are getting very close.
The 85 foot waterfall can be seen at a lookout with a short drive through some of the backcountry of Kauai. It is important to know that the waterfall is at a dead end of the road. There are no outlets. This means that traffic and parking can be a concern with the limited space. Be prepared to wait a while for an open parking space. Also, expect a crowd.
Iconic Double-tiered Waterfall
The waterfall itself is worth the 4 mile drive in. It is the best and closest view of a waterfall that you can get without going on a hike, kayak ride, or spending extra money to go on a tour. Easily accessible to all visitors, this waterfall has been a landmark on Kauai since becoming popular by shows such as Fantasy Island in the 70’s. It is an iconic symbol of the Garden Island’s lush beauty. Since the show aired, many people flocked to get a chance to see this amazing double-tiered waterfall that feeds into the Wailua River. It is here, that many people get a chance to listen to the power of the running water. This brings a sense of calmness and relaxation. The natural scene reminds you that you are indeed in paradise.
Patience is a Virtue
Remember that when visiting Wailua Falls you are on vacation and in no rush to get anywhere. Be patient if there is a wait and be friendly and kind to others who are enjoying the same thing you are. You will definitely get that perfect shot of the waterfall you are looking for. If you are lucky, you may even catch a rainbow on the waterfall that can sometimes extend out from the baseline of the falls in the mist.
Please follow all posted signs near the Falls to keep you and your family from danger. Please watch over keiki as this is a busy road with many cars going in and out of the parking lot. Also, note that the railing is well protected. Howeve,r your child should not climb the rock wall to prevent any serious injury.
It also should be noted that there are hiking trails that can take you to the bottom of the falls where you can swim in the 30 foot pool. However it is not recommended by us or county officials as it can be dangerous and life threatening with the ever changing weather conditions, muddy trails, and steepness of the trails.
Salt Pond Beach Park, which is named for its traditional Hawaiian salt collecting beds, is located on Kauai’s western shore. If you are traveling along Hwy 50, heading west from Kalaheo, after passing Hanapepe town turn left onto Lele Road or Hwy. 543. Protected by natural lava rock ridges as waves break outside the reef, Salt Pond Beach is perfect for little keiki. Shallow pools and lagoons are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and tidepooling. Furthermore, this lifeguarded beach offers amenities such as restrooms, showers, and pavilions.
Adjacent to the Salt Pond Beach are the The Salt Flats. This delicate area is restricted, unless you have been invited by a member of a salt making family. Making pa’akai or Hawaiian sea salt is an ancient cultural practice that is passed down from generation to generation. Kauai is the only place in Hawaii that makes salt according to the ancient traditions which are all done by hand.
Looking from a distance, you may see the salt patch or lo’i filled with rows of oval salt beds which are lined with clay. These shallow beds allow for the evaporation of seawater and produce this prized sparkling salt. Held in respect, the salt is never sold; it is only given away. The Hawaiian salt is used for cooking, seasoning, preserving food, medicinal purposes and in cultural blessings. The season runs from May-September; the amount of harvested salt depends on many natural variables such as the sun, ocean tides and weather conditions.
Salt beds, Hanapepe
On the Salt ponds side of the beach, the beach in this area is reddish-golden from the clay that lies beneath the water. If you want to access this part of the beach, it is recommended that you walk from the main beach. Although you may see vehicles lined up on the sand and parked along the fenceline, please avoid trying to park here (If you do access the beach from the back side, do not drive right on the beach as it damages the sand dunes that protect the salt patches from high surf.) A paved parking lot that is next to the salt beds can be used.
At this part of Salt Pond Beach, my sons were entertained by the red and greyish clay in this area. They were running it through their hands and trying to break it apart with rocks. Also, there were many fish in this lagoon as my husband took the boys to look at the different types of fish found in the shallow waters. We were even able to Find Nemo (a clownfish) that happened to come in with the tide and a plethora of other reef fish.
Salt Pond is a great choice for a day at the beach with your keiki.