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The Original Magazine of the Garden Island

TRANSCRIPT

Page 1: Kauai Magazine
Page 2: Kauai Magazine

Palm Royale at Kilauea BayUltimate Estate Living $14,950,000

PaRadise island RanchAnother Big Beautiful Estate $7,500,000

P r o u d l y S e r v i n g K a u a i f o r o v e r 3 0 Ye a r s !

5 - 5 0 8 8 K u h i o H w y . , H a n a l e i , K a u a i , H I8 0 8 - 8 2 6 - 7 2 4 4 • w w w . b a l i h a i . c o m

Visit for a while and ...

Page 3: Kauai Magazine

aliomanu BeachfRont homeLots of Room for Entertaining $5,450,000

anini on the BeachUnique Beachfront Playground $5,600,000

BaRBaRa l. sloan (R)808.651.0028

[email protected] forever ... Kauai

Page 4: Kauai Magazine

F u l l C o n c i e r g e a n d Va c a t i o n S p e c i a l i s t s

5 - 5 0 8 8 K u h i o H w y . , H a n a l e i , K a u a i , H I8 6 6 - 4 0 0 - R E N T ( 7 3 6 8 ) • w w w . b a l i h a i . c o m

hoaloha, hanalei5 bed / 3 bath home. 2 minute walk to Hanalei Bay.

hanalei ohana, hanalei5 bed / 4 bath home close to town and beaches.

hale miKana, PRincevilleBeautiful 4 bed / 3.5 bath home with private pool.

Ka ehu Kai, hanalei2 bed + loft, 2 bath beachfront cottage.

Offering the finest homes on Kauai’s North Shore

Page 5: Kauai Magazine

King hale, haenaGorgeous 4 bed / 4 bath beachfront home. Stunning ocean views. Newly remodeled.

hale Kai Kane, PRinceville3 bed / 3.5 bath contemporary estate. Very private with luxurious pool.

luXuRy vacation Rentals808.826.8000

[email protected]

Page 6: Kauai Magazine
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publisher H&S Publishing, LLC

Robert M. SELF

information systems Tylar SELF

distribution H&S Publishing

c o n t e n t sA p r i l / M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 2

splashing in paradiseKauai’s countless ocean and river experiences.

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scenic north shore KauaiExploring the rural communities from Moloaa to Haena.

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flying in paradiseDiscovering Kauai’s hidden wonders from above.

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K A U A I M A G A Z I N E E s t A b l I s h E d 1 9 8 0Kauai Magazine is published by h&s Publishing llC. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Publisher is not responsible for any liability associated with any product or service offered by advertisers. All editorial information is deemed reli-able but not guaranteed. Editorial, advertising and business offices are located at 4330 Kauai beach drive, suite G21, lihue, hI 96766. telephone: (808) 212-0100

“Printed using recycled

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taste of hawaiiThe Ultimate Sunday Brunch. June 3, 2012

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hawaiian monK sealMystique of the Endangered Monk Seal.

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10 Kauai Magazine April / May / June 2012 hawaiigateway.com

waterfalls of KauaiThe allure of a tropical waterfall cannot be denied.

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Page 13: Kauai Magazine
Page 14: Kauai Magazine

touring in paradise

Scenic North Shore KauaiExploring the rural communities from Moloaa to haena

Kauai’s North Shore begins where Kuhio Highway (Route 56) gradually ends its northward drive and begins to turn West at Moloaa. To find Moloaa, traveling north from Kapaa, take Kuhio Highway (Route 56) for about ten minutes (you will pass through Anahola), then drive past King Kong’s profile (the big gorilla’s look-alike mountain used in the opening scene of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark). Within another few minutes, turn right on Koolau Road and then right again on Moloaa Road. This trek off the beaten path takes you to Moloaa Bay, located in a secluded valley about two miles off the highway at the end of Moloaa Road (which follows a creek bed). This bay, most famous for the filming of the original pilot of the Gilligan’s Island television series, is one of Kauai’s many isolated beaches, with only a few homes and cottages (many

for vacation rental), and exquisite views of surrounding emerald bluffs, teal seas, and golden beaches. Also filmed here were parts of Seven Women from Hell (1961) with Cesar Romero, Lt. Robin Crusoe (1966) with Dick Van Dyke, and Castaway Cowboy (1973) with James Garner and Vera Miles. Filmmaking aside, Moloaa Bay is great for swimming, snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, and “getting away from it all.”

Farther along Koolau Road, after the drive out of Moloaa Valley, a road turns off to the right and will lead you to a parking area above Larsen’s Beach. The beach is long and protected by a reef.

The town just north of Moloaa is Kilauea, a former sugar plantation, where owners, managers, and workers once lived and worked. Their descendants live there still. Also surviving

The uninhabited cliffs and valleys of the world-famous majestic Napali Coast are the focal point of Kauai’s scenic North Shore. Beautiful, curving crescents of sand, towering, misty mountains, and rivers wind-ing through expanses of green, fertile land present a perfect portrait of paradise. The North Shore receives more rain than other accessible parts of the island, which gives this area its lush, almost prehistoric jungle appearance. Exploring the rural communities of Moloaa, Kilauea, Kalihiwai, Hanalei, Wainiha, and Haena is like taking a step back in time. In contrast, the luxurious Princeville Resort and environs welcome you back to the upscale present.

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Mt. Makana from Tunnels Beach

12 Kauai Magazine April / May / June 2012 hawaiigateway.com

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from those days are the old church, several homes, the former school, plantation office building, and general store -- all built of lava rock. The Kilauea Lighthouse and the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge are major attractions here. The Kilauea Lighthouse, the northernmost point of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, was first illuminated on May 1, 1913, producing a double flash every ten seconds. The original tower with its clamshell lens (the largest of its kind in the world) is still intact, but now turned off, replaced by a low-maintenance, more efficient light beacon. This landmark lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 18, 1979 and now houses a museum.

The adjacent Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge shelters albatross, boobies, shearwaters, and other seabirds. The views here are of an ocean and coastline whose awesome beauty has been virtually untouched by man.

Fruit, however, is gladly touched by human hands. Guavas and papayas grown in Kilauea and nearby Moloaa are sold at roadside fruit stands, where you will also find sweet corn and homemade macadamia nut brownies.

West of Kilauea, there are two Kalihiwai Roads leading to the ocean. They were once connected and formed a loop, but the bridge was washed away in a 1957 tsunami. The south Kalihiwai Road leads to beautiful little Kalihiwai Bay (and so-called “Secret Beach”), perfect for beach walking and summertime swimming. The north Kalihiwai Road leads to Anini Beach, with its calm, shallow waters, miles of white, sandy beach and expensive, upscale homes. At Anini Beach Park, you can camp under spreading trees and let the kids swim in the shallows while you snorkel around the reef.

Continuing west, the resort area of Princeville comes into view. After the pastoral scenery of Kilauea, you may be surprised to see an ornate, European-style fountain with elaborate sculptures at the entrance to Princeville. Condominiums, homes, and the luxury Princeville Hotel are built on high bluffs overlooking the ocean. The resort also boasts two excellent golf courses with some of the most exquisite scenery in Hawaii. One way to enjoy the spectacular mountain and ocean views is on horseback or by hiking. Princeville has its own airport and shopping center. There are beaches here, but you must hike down the cliffs to reach them. “Hideaways” is a pleasant little pocket beach and “Queen’s Bath” is a natural pool formed by a lava bench. Below the Princeville Hotel is Puu Poa Beach.

The scenic lookout above the Hanalei National Wildlife

Sanctuary (across the highway from the Princeville Shopping Center) is a visual feast of 140 acres of taro fields. This geometric expanse at the entrance to Hanalei is a patchwork of deep green, bright chartreuse, and chocolate brown, and is the most tangible direct link to native Hawaiian life from the past.

The physical beauty of the North Shore has a dramatic impact on all who are lucky enough to experience it. Sun and rain yield luxuriant vegetation, from the tops of jagged mountains to rolling pastureland and plateaus. Clouds blown against the mountain ridges release their moisture into waterfalls gushing and tumbling hundreds of feet into rivers and streams, and ultimately into the glorious blue Pacific. The beaches are postcard perfect and have been an inspiration to many a songwriter, poet, and artist. Filmmakers and photographers have fallen under the spell of the North Shore, and you will, too.

The North Shore of Kauai holds tight to its Hawaiian history and heritage. Its little communities and families treasure the quaint and quiet lifestyle, yet there is enough room to coexist with a modern luxury resort. The magnificent mountains and ever-changing sea overcome all differences on the North Shore, Kauai’s island on an island.

Anini Beach

Hanalei Bay

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Page 16: Kauai Magazine

hanalei RanchIncredible offeringRare opportunity $15,000,000

PRinceville acReageKapaka Road ranchettes $695,000

hanalei colony ResoRtNorth Shore’s beachfront condos $585,000

maKana aKuaSecluded cove beachfront $3,625,000

KePuhiBest beachfront deal $1,395,000

P r o u d l y S e r v i n g K a u a i f o r o v e r 3 0 Ye a r s !

5 - 5 0 8 8 K u h i o H w y . , H a n a l e i , K a u a i , H I8 0 8 - 8 2 6 - 7 2 4 4 • w w w . b a l i h a i . c o m

michael R. schmidt (PB)808-652-6000

[email protected]

Page 17: Kauai Magazine

Ruth s. maRvin (R, Bic)808.652.4422

[email protected]

PRinceville golf couRseHome with Tradition and Style $959,000

PRinceville ocean view Tucked Away Ocean View Home $995,000

Pali Ke Kua at PRincevilleUnits #13 & #139 $439,000 and $549,000

PRinceville golf couRse luXuRywith Swimming Pool $1,250,000

affoRdaBle hanalei livingwith Short Walk to Beach $875,000

two vacant lots at PRincevillewith Bali Hai Views $345,000 and $360,000

5 - 5 0 8 8 K u h i o H w y . , H a n a l e i , K a u a i , H I8 0 8 - 8 2 6 - 7 2 4 4 • w w w . b a l i h a i . c o m

P r o u d l y S e r v i n g K a u a i f o r o v e r 3 0 Ye a r s !

Page 18: Kauai Magazine

Kealia Kai develoPeR’s lots12 Remaining lots starting at $995,000

P r o u d l y S e r v i n g K a u a i f o r o v e r 3 0 Ye a r s !

5 - 5 0 8 8 K u h i o H w y . , H a n a l e i , K a u a i , H I8 0 8 - 8 2 6 - 7 2 4 4 • w w w . b a l i h a i . c o m

moloaa Bay Ranch170 Pristine Acres $20,000,000 or Lots starting at $750,000

Visit for a while and ...

Page 19: Kauai Magazine

PRince couRse PeRfection Positively Stunning $1,389,000

Kalihiwai Ridge acReage Nature at its Best $689,000

Plantation at PRinceville Comfortably Spacious $399,000

laRsen’s Beach aRtistRy Private with Short Stroll to Beach $1,250,000

Kilauea Bay oceanfRont20 Oceanfront Acres $3,900,000

elegant PRinceville homePrice Reduced $1,495,000

Beach Bungalow with Bay viewsPrice Reduced to $824,000

ultimate PRivacy on 5 acResStunning River Views from Every Room $2,495,000

BaRBaRa l. sloan (R)808.651.0028

[email protected] forever ... Kauai

Page 20: Kauai Magazine

splashing in paradise

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Kauai's countless ocean and river experiences

Splashing in Paradise

Kauai has many great surfing spots

continued on page 20

A trip to the Garden Island is not complete without some time spent in, on, or under the water. The Pacific Ocean’s turquoise waters surrounding the island and Kauai’s sparkling clear inland streams and rivers beckon whale watchers, anglers, boaters, divers, surfers, and other water sport lovers. The dilemma may be what to dive into first.

18 Kauai Magazine April / May / June 2012 hawaiigateway.com

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whale-watching cruisesA whale-watching ocean tour is an intimate way to

experience the awesome Humpback Whale and enjoy the variety of Kauai’s beautiful landscapes from an off-island perspective. Every fall, Humpback Whales leave their Alaskan feeding grounds to journey to the waters of the Hawaiian Islands to sojourn for the winter, mate, birth, and nurse their young. (Whales think that Hawaii is romantic, too!) Whale-watching cruises give you an up-close and personal encounter with these magnificent mammals from about November to March, when Humpbacks are most prevalent.

You can choose to whale-watch from aboard catamarans, zippy rubber zodiac rafts, cruise vessels, and sail boats. Some tour companies offer dual-powered (motorized and sailing) catamarans for snorkeling, whale watching, and sunset cruises. Some provide the more extreme rigid-hull zodiac inflatables.

Be sure to bring a camera. A waterproof disposable camera is a good idea, as well as a towel and an extra set of dry clothes, because you will get wet. Binoculars will help with closer observation of whale activity. For best viewing with binoculars, use 8x40 or 7x50 magnification. If you don’t have sea legs, consider taking nonprescription or homeopathic motion sickness prevention medication before getting on any ocean craft. Hawaii winter wave swells can be immense and the sea ride can get quite bouncy.

Whales abound in the waters all around Kauai, putting on a show with playful behavior such as fin slapping, lobtailing (slapping the tail fluke), and breaching (jumping out of the water). Don’t be surprised to see a school of Spinner dolphins, traveling in parallel pairs along your tour boat, rhythmically leaping out of the sea. Baby dolphins flip themselves into the air with abandon alongside their parents. You may also spot albatross and Boobies (birds which nest and hatch in the caves of the Na Pali cliffs).

surfingSurfing, boogie boarding, kite-surfing, and windsurfing are

popular water sports on Kauai. If you have a favorite board, you can check it as airline baggage (for an extra fee) or you can rent gear on island.

Key spots for surfing include: Polihale; Major’s Bay at Barking Sands; Davidson’s at Kekaha; Pakalas; Poipu Beach; Lawai Beach (also called PKs and Acid Drop); Shipwrecks; Nawiliwili Harbor; Hanalei Bay; Tunnels; and Cannons. Check with local lifeguards and surfers for a report on conditions and be aware of dangerous currents, increasing swells, and rip currents.

Windsurfing/kite-surfing spots include: Salt Pond; Mahaulepu; Anini Beach; Hanalei Bay; and Y-Camps (YMCA at Haena). Check local surf shops for wave and wind conditions.

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snorkeling, diving, tubing, and swimmingBeneath the kayaks’ paddles, the surfboards’ swooshing

fins, and the touring catamarans’ bouncing pontoons, lives a cool, quiet blue world that belongs to Kauai’s abundant sea life. Diving and snorkeling tour operators provide instructions on how to use their equipment and even how to get great photographs and videos of your sea adventures. Some of the best snorkeling locations are: Koloa Landing; Lawai Beach; Poipu Beach Park; Lydgate Park; Tunnels Beach; and Kee Beach. Grab a snorkel, mask, and flippers for an afternoon, and enter Kauai’s enchanted underwater world.

“Tubing” Tours are a unique experience. Plan to get wet. Tubing takes you on a guided tour through jungles and tunnels using former sugar plantation irrigation waterways while you “float on air,” relaxed on an inner tube. Tubing is an effortless way to tour some of the island’s otherwise inaccessible areas.

kayakingAre you ready to dip your paddle in clear fresh water

fed by sparkling waterfalls? Or would you rather explore sea caves, cliffs, and waterfalls and then snorkel in a secluded bay or lagoon amid tropical fish? Or both? Then a kayaking tour is the perfect activity for you.

Millions of years of erosion and weathering have created more plains and rivers on Kauai than on any other Hawaiian island. Kauai’s six rivers are the only navigable rivers in Hawaii: Waimea; Hanapepe; Huleia; Wailua; Kalihiwai; and Hanalei. Via river kayaking, you can discover tropical rainforests, woods, and swampy jungles amidst a profusion of colorful flowers and butterflies.

Most kayak tour operators offer waterfalls tours combining a perfect blend of paddling, hiking, swimming, and picnicking at places like Secret Falls up the Wailua River.

fresh-water fishingAnglers may be surprised to learn that freshwater fishing

for trout and bass on Kauai’s rivers, ponds, streams, and reservoirs is remarkable. You can trout fish at Kokee State Park (on Kauai’s west side) in designated streams, reservoirs, and “ditches.” Trout fishing season begins with a 16-day period in August and continues on weekends and holidays through September. Large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, and the exotic South American peacock bass have been caught in Kauai’s reservoirs.

Fishing licenses are required and available online at http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/licenses.htm. For more information, call the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources at (808) 274-3344.

deep-sea fishingIf you are hooked on deep-sea fishing, both exclusive

and shared charter trips are available. Shared charters reduce your cost, but fish caught on shared trips are divided among passengers. Excursions can vary from several hours long to up to two-day overnight adventures to remote fishing spots around the island. On these exciting excursions, you fish for ono, billfish, ahi, mahi-mahi, and more.

For fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, surfing, sailing, whale-watching, Kauai is happy to bathe you in multiple water sports. Whatever ways you choose to get wet – in, on, or under the water – the experience is bound to be therapeutic in the magical waters surrounding Kauai. W

Taste of Hawaiithe “Ultimate Sunday Brunch”

The Taste of Hawaii is one of Kauai’s signature annual fund-raising events, billed as the Ultimate Sunday Brunch, featuring 50 food stations staffed by some of the best chefs in all of Hawaii who cook their cuisine for you “live” on the beautiful grounds of Smith’s Tropical Paradise alongside the Wailua River on Kauai. Here, you sample culinary delights all afternoon, and then let the chefs know what you think.

Dishes include island-style specialties such as: shrimp, scallops, beef, veggies, pasta, salads, desserts, and more. Beverage stations include: beer, wine, coffee drinks, juice, soft drinks, and water.

Shoppers can visit the silent auction between bites to find bargains and Kauai souvenirs. Music performed at several bandstands throughout the park completes the festive, upscale garden-party atmosphere.

The Taste of Hawaii is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kapaa, a non-profit network of business professionals who raise funds to do charitable works on Kauai and overseas.

Tickets for the flat-fee, all-you-can-eat event areavailable through the Rotary Club of Kapaa.For more information, visit their website at

http://www.tasteofhawaii.com .

This year’s Taste of Hawaii will be held onSunday, June 3, 2012

from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

hawaiigateway.com April / May / June 2012 Kauai Magazine 21

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22 Kauai Magazine April / May / June 2012 hawaiigateway.com

the following are guidelines forobserving seals, should youencounter oneon your beach visit:

ALWAYS – Stay well behind barricades or signs around a basking seal on the beach, and at least 100 feet from seals in unmarked areas.

REMEMBER—To maintain a much greater distance from a mother and pup, or any seal that appears disturbed or agitated.

ALWAYS—Pass outside barricades, and never between a seal and the shoreline.

REMEMBER—That you should never approach or attempt to feed a seal on the beach, while swimming, or from a boat.

ALWAYS—View quietly. Do not throw sand, stones, objects, or make noise to induce movement and create photo ops.

REMEMBER—All marine wildlife—seals, sea turtles, dolphins, and humpback whale—require distance, quiet, and respect for proper viewing.

ALWAYS—Photograph seals from the proper distance and never use flash photography in their presence.

REMEMBER—To advise children of proper behavior. An agitated 400 to 600-pound animal can bite or cause other serious injury.

ALWAYS—Report any seal harassment—at the beach, in the water, or from a boat operator— to the 24-hour Monk Seal Hotline at (808) 651-7668.

REMEMBER—State and federal laws. Harassment or disturbance of a Hawaiian Monk Seal can incur fines exceeding $25,000 and up to 5 years imprisonment. Hawaiian Monk Seals are protected under two federal laws: the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. In addition, protection is provided by the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, which includes most of the seal’s current breeding islands. Your respect for the well-being and survival of these natural treasures of Kauai will ensure their presence during your next visit and for generations to come.

The Hawaiian Monk Seal, found only in Hawaii, is one of the most critically endangered marine mammals on earth. Despite births in recent years, the estimated population on Kauai is less than 30. Happily, monk seals are being sighted around the main Hawaiian Islands with increasing regularity. Though Hawaiian Monk Seals do not migrate beyond their Hawaiian chain home, some individuals move between colonies and do inhabit the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the tiny islands and atolls that lay to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Many believe Monk Seals get their name from their monk-like preference for solitude; others think that the loose skin around the seal’s neck resembles the hood of a monk’s robe. Ancient Hawaiians apparently thought neither and named the seal Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, which means “dog that runs in rough waters.” Monk seals are sometimes also referred to as “living fossils” because, as the oldest living members of the pinniped order, they have remained virtually unchanged for 15 million years.

Adult monk seals measure about 4-7 feet in length and weigh between 400-600 pounds. Unlike many other seal species, female Hawaiian Monk Seals are usually slightly larger than the males. Adult coats are light gray to brown in color, with lighter coloring on the chest. The maximum age for the species is 25-30 years, however few seals live that long. Causes of death today include shark attack, entanglement in marine debris, and male seal aggression.

Mating occurs in the water, and is rarely observed. Females give birth on beaches near shallow waters, which provide protection from sharks. Females give birth for the first time at five to ten years of age. A newborn pup is jet black in color and weighs about 30 pounds. The pup’s loose, velvety skin cloaks its body like an over-sized coat. The mother seal nurses her pup for a period of five or six weeks. During that time, she is constantly at her pup’s side and does not eat. At the end of the nursing period, the depleted mother leaves her pup to tend to her own nutritional needs. The pup lives off fat reserves for awhile, but must soon learn to hunt and catch its own food.

Monk seals feed at night, largely on fish, eels, octopus, and lobster. In the daylight hours, seals spend much of their time sleeping. When on land, these air-breathing sea mammals may look lethargic, sick,or even dead. In reality, the seals come ashore to get their much-needed rest and should not be disturbed or approached.

Hawaiian Monk SealMystique of the Endangered Monk

Hawaiian Monk Seal

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24 Kauai Magazine April / May / June 2012 hawaiigateway.com

Kauai is famous for its waterfalls, many of which have appeared in feature films such as Jurassic Park (Manawaiopuna Falls, accessible only by helicopter) and Six Days Seven Nights (accessible on ATV tours of a former sugar cane plantation). Many of Kauai’s falls are easy to access by car or on foot. Here are the best-known falls to get you started:

wailua falls, wailua valleyThe twin Wailua falls will be recognized as the establishing shot

for the television show “Fantasy Island.” Swimmers may often be seen in the pool at the bottom or farther down river. Getting there: Take Kuhio Highway north out of Lihue, past Wilcox Hospital, down to the bottom of the hill. Turn mauka (towards the mountain) on Highway 583 and proceed to the falls.

oPaeKaa falls, wailua homesteads A lacy splash of waterfall that can be thunderous during a

storm, Opaekaa Falls is one of the most well known on the Garden Island. Getting there: From Lihue, take Kuhio Highway north; turn mauka (towards the mountains) on Kuamoo Road. You can drive right up to the lookout for the waterfall, on the right.

waiPoo, waimea canyonAlong the way to this waterfall, you are treated to breathtaking

views of the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” patches of beautiful wild ginger, and the occasional goat and nene (Hawaiian goose). Getting there: A 2-3 hour strenuous hike starting at the 15-mile marker on Waimea Canyon Road brings you to the top of the two-step plunge of Waipoo Falls.

hanaKaPiai falls, north shore Stunning views of the Na Pali Coast along the Kalalau Trail are

a bonus on the way to Hanakapiai Falls. The reward for a trek to this waterfall is a long, silvery ribbon of water gushing into a large, cool pool, into which you may be happy to throw yourself after the 4-mile hike. This is tropical paradise, complete with large flat boulders for sunbathing, and fringing trees for shade. The hike is a strenuous and fatiguing up-and-downhill two-mile trip inland from Hanakapiai Beach, itself a challenging 2-mile coastal hike from the trail head at Kee Beach. Getting there: Take Highway 560 towards the North Shore. Park at the end of the road at Kee Beach, which is a slow 10 miles past the Hanalei River bridge.

Waterfalls of Kauaithe allure of a tropical waterfall cannot be denied.

Its raw power reaches deep into the soul and connects to a place that spans far back into our collective

memory, when we were closer to nature. Waterfalls are inspirational, romantic, and exciting -- much the opposite

of daily life’s cement, steel, asphalt, glass, and plastic.

Opaekaa Falls

Page 27: Kauai Magazine
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Kauai is blessed with wild, untouched natural beauty unlike anywhere else on earth, much completely inaccessible except by air. Ninety percent of the island is not accessible by land vehicle, and 70 percent is inaccessible by foot. Flying tours provide panoramic views of the island’s visual treasures, among them, Manawaiopuna Falls, a location for Jurassic Park, the countless cascading falls of Waialeale Crater, and the famous Napali coast, with its verdant, razor-thin cliffs.

A trip around the island by air helps visitors understand the geography and decide which sides of the island they want to explore further. From the air, a passenger observes that Kauai is a mini-continent with micro-climates ranging from desert on the West Side, to the primeval Alakai Swamp above the emerald Napali cliffs, to the Waimea “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” one of Kauai’s natural wonders.

helicoptersYou can embark on one of these exciting flightseeing

excursions in a number of ways. Helicopter tours are the most common method with most companies departing from Lihue (Central) . Others depart from Hanapepe (West Side), , and Princeville (North Shore). Some helicopter tour companies provide noise-canceling headphones with music piped in and narration from the pilot.

Flights from the Lihue Airport typically start out over Nawiliwili Harbor and the Menehune Fish Pond. According to legend, the pond was built overnight by the Menehune (little people) who inhabited Kauai before the Polynesians arrived. The helicopters then pass along Haupu Mountain Range, heading

continued on page 26

Napali Coast sunset

FlyingIn Paradise

discovering Kauai’s hidden Wonders from Above

Visitors to the Garden Isle naturally want to absorb as much of paradise as possible. Those who arrive on Kauai by jetliner get just a glimpse of the island’s breathtakingly gorgeous landscapes. However, to view the gushing waterfalls and emerald rainforest of the remote interior requires a smaller form of transportation that provides a closer perspective. A trip to the Garden Island is not complete without some form of an airborne adventure -- one of the three experiences of Kauai’s air-land-sea activity trifecta.

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inland and westward over Hanapepe Valley, Olokele, and the dramatic Waimea Canyon. One company offers a special Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure at Manawaiopuna Falls, seen in the movie Jurassic Park. Depending on the time of day, the intensity of the sun, and the presence of clouds casting shadows, the variegated colors in the canyon’s layers range from fiery orange and rust red, to glowing copper and bronze, to pastel hues of taupe and terra cotta.

The incredible remote valleys of the Napali coast come into view next. Knife-edge ridges separate the lush valleys where the Kalalau, Hanakoa, and Hanakapiai waterfalls plunge hundreds of feet into streams on their way to kissing the ocean. Sea caves and a hanging valley have been carved out of the coastline by the incessant, pounding surf.

Leaving Napali, the chopper passes Mt. Makana, the peak portrayed as the island Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific. Below you can see Kee Beach at the end of the road on the North Shore and the beginning of the eleven-mile hiking trail to Kalalau Valley. Kee Beach is also the site of well-known beach scene between Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain from the television mini-series the Thorn Birds.

The helicopter next soars over Hanalei Valley, the home of rainbows and patchwork quilts of taro fields, passing by more sparkling waterfalls on its way to the center of the island. In the center of Kauai, Mt. Waialeale -- known as “the wettest spot on earth” with over 400 inches of rain annually -- is also the location of Kawaikini Peak, 5,243 feet above sea level and the highest elevation on Kauai. From above, you can spot the “Blue Hole,” actually a pool, at the base of Mt. Waialeale, and the result of the convergence of two streams and a waterfall.

Flights departing from Princeville soar over the Hanalei Valley, the Napali Coast, and Waimea Canyon. One helicopter company provides tours of the “forbidden” island of Niihau, a private island off the west shores of Kauai (and ancestral home of Hawaiian musician Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole, known for his medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”).

Helicopter tours are operated on a weather-permitting basis and reservations should be made in advance. Some companies will arrange custom tours or photo charters to specific sites. Partly cloudy skies with a little rain shouldn’t keep visitors from taking a flight. A veil of mist behind a pali (cliff) accentuates its razor-sharp edge and, as everyone knows, sun and showers are the ingredients for Kauai’s world-famous rainbows (and sometimes double rainbows).

fixed-wing airplanesA slower, more relaxed adventure by air is via a small, fixed-

wing airplane or an open cockpit biplane. Fixed-wing air tours are 45 minutes to one hour long and cover the entire island of Kauai. Also available are private charter biplanes, departing from Lihue, which allow customized flights. These planes are built to emulate aircraft from the 1930s and 1940s, but with modern modifications for safety and comfort. Standard, pre-designed sightseeing flights of the island from 30 minutes to one hour long are also available.

ultralightsFor those who have dreamed of being able to fly, the

Ultralight “Trike” – an open-air two-person engine-powered hang glider -- emulates the experience. The Ultralight is as close to real flying (as in, “I’m a bird!”) as you may ever experience. Combine the thrill of this open-air, wind-in-your-hair ride with Kauai’s spectacular scenery and you have an experience better than any dream. The craft is stable, considered to be safer than hang-gliding, features the latest digital instrumentation and global positioning systems, and is engine-powered. The Ultralight takes off and lands on regular runways and has parachutes onboard for safety. If you’ve seen the movie Fly Away Home, the contraption that Jeff Daniels flies to lead a flock of orphaned Canadian geese home (though not on Kauai) is an Ultralight. For incredible images of Kauai taken from the vantage point of an Ultralight, check out the video, Extreme Kauai, available at http://www.bestbookshawaii.com.

One of the main reasons visitors choose Kauai as their vacation destination is the island’s incomparable natural beauty. x

Having traveled to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to find Kauai, experiencing the Garden Island from above can be the literal highlight of a dream Hawaii vacation.

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