Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn is located in Poipu, a blowhole that sends raging sea water into the air.

The Spouting Horn blowhole  is one of Kauai’s natural wonders that is a must see when visiting the Garden Island. Located on the sunny south side of Kauai it can be found at the end of Lawai Road. The Spouting Horn is one of the most famous places to take pictures at. Many have caught the blowhole at times where the sunlight and weather provided them with rainbows in the spouts mist. In addition, many have taken pictures of the magnificent Spouting Horn blowhole as it shoots up water 30-50 feet high as an amazing background family picture.  As waves roll onto the shelf, pressure from the wave under the shelf creates an eruption through a hole located on the top of the shelf. The enormous pressure below the shelf is corralled into the hole and exits at the top creating a spout that can shoot up to 50 feet high. The bigger the swell or wave, the more likely the spout will blow higher.

The sound of the blowhole is also an experience one cannot ignore.  A story that has been passed down from my grandfather to my sons is a tale about a mystical mo’o (large lizard like creature) that got stuck under the shelf.  Legend has it that many years ago there were large lizards (mo’o) that lived throughout the island. During this time, there was a conflict between the mo’o from Niihau and one of the mo’o from Kauai.  Being smaller, the mo’o from Kauai hid under the shelf as he was afraid of the larger mo’o from Niihau, so he hid beneath the shelf. However, he remained stuck under the shelf and was never able to get out.  Feeding on fish, sea creatures and humans that come close to the hole or surrounding waters, the mo’o resides under the shelf. The sound of the blowhole is due to the heavy breathing of this lizard, such like a dragon that is trapped in a cave.  When he is upset, the water spits out higher. The kids always seem to get a kick out of the story and get a little scared. Like many tales, this story has a lesson for keiki and keeps them from trespassing the fenced area where dangerous ocean conditions can be catastrophic.   Sharing the story makes the whole viewing of Spouting Horn blowhole more dramatic.

During the summer months, the blowhole is usually firing at its peak as large south swells are common.  Ample parking can be found near the Spouting Horn Blowhole and there are amenities such as restrooms and water fountains.  In addition, souvenirs and handcrafted items are sold by vendors daily near the lookout.

The Spouting Horn blowhole used to be a lot larger in the past and could shoot up water higher on a more consistent basis.  I was told by elders that the original blowhole shot up higher and farther than 50 feet, however the plantation managers blew the hole because the salt water was getting on the agricultural land ruining their crops.  Until this day, only the smaller blowhole exists.

Since the Spouting Horn blowhole is near the edge of rocky cliffs, a fence was installed at the lookout to keep people from trespassing. It is important to follow the precautions so that no one gets hurt and to make sure that keiki are safe.  At one time, when many people were ignoring the fenced areas, it was voted as one of the most dangerous places to visit in Hawaii. Before the fence was built, many people would walk right next to the blowhole for pictures and to get wet from the mist.  Since it is not worth the risk for you or your keiki, viewing the Spouting Horn blowhole from the lookout will definitely give you an experience you can remember.




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