Kauai is thought for its lush rainforests and spectacular mountains. Picture / Getty Photos
Often called Hawaii’s Backyard Island, Kauai has relaxed cities, hip eateries and surroundings straight out of a movie set, writes Brett Atkinson
Gas up for a Kauai kayaking journey with espresso and a jalapeno, egg and mozzarella breakfast sandwich on the Ardour Bakery Cafe. Mornings are additionally the most effective time to choose up the cafe’s fresh-from-the-oven baking, particularly pecan sticky buns and cinnamon malasadas (Portuguese-style doughnuts).
Hire kayaks from close by operators, together with Kayak Kauai and Wailua Kayak & Canoe to journey up the Wailua River, Hawaii’s longest navigable river, and a sacred royal location to native Hawaiians. Experiences incorporating an elective 3km return forest stroll to the 30m-high Uluwehi waterfalls take round 4 hours. Guided journeys are additionally obtainable.
From the Wailua River on Kauai’s busier east coast, it is 5km north to Kapa’a Previous City, with a vibrant roll name of historic picket shopfronts that includes good locations to purchase artwork together with wooden carvings, pictures and glassworks. Really helpful from the huddle of meals vans on the northern finish of city are Al Pastor Tacos’ Mexican flavours.
Proceed north previous the rugged surf-fringed arc of Kealia Seaside Park to Kilueua Level. Free excursions to the highest of Kilueua’s historic lighthouse are supplied on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the close by Kilueua Level Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is a avian haven for red-
footed boobies and the large wingspans of Laysan albatrosses. Throughout Hawaii’s winter from Could to November, maintain an eye fixed out for humpback whales.
After a swim at Hanalei Bay – verify with locals for the most secure situations alongside the seashore’s 3km stretch – discover the retro and classic treasures on sale on the Yellowfish Buying and selling Firm. Hanalei’s greatest spot for pau hana (actually, “end work”) drinks is the raffish Tahiti Nui tiki bar. Keep on for dwell Hawaiian slack key guitar music from 6.30pm, or enterprise alongside the street for island-influenced ramen and shared plates at Ama. Try to rating a backyard desk with mountain and waterfall views.
Kick off a day exploring Kauai’s extra distant western aspect with espresso at Lihue’s hip Aloha
Roastery. There’s additionally an onsite bakery dishing out nice breakfast snacks together with kougin-amann pastries and chocolate brioches.
Be a part of an journey self-driving an ATV (All Terrain Car) on the crimson dust roads of the ranch the place scenes from the Jurassic Park films have been filmed. Excursions with Kipu Ranch Adventures additionally take within the riverbank the place Harrison Ford escaped on a rope swing in
Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. Whilst you’re there, ascend a hilltop for views of the right seashore from the George Clooney movie, The Descendants.
Be dazzled by the collection of 30 completely different pokes obtainable at Waimea’s long-established Ishihara Market grocery retailer. Native favourites on the retailer, first opened in 1934, embrace spicy ahi tuna poke, and seafood salads full of shrimp, oysters and octopus. Safe an outside picnic desk earlier than setting off on one of many South Pacific’s most interesting drives.
Negotiate the Waimea Canyon Drive, stopping at lookouts for waterfall vistas, and persevering with to the top of the street at Pu’u o Kila for spectacular views of the verdant cliffs lining Kaua’i’s Na Pali coast.
Cease in on the Discuss Story Bookstore within the historic plantation city of Hanapepe. Essentially the most western e-book store within the US has loads of titles by Hawaiian authors, and relaxed looking is inspired. On Friday nights, Hanapepe’s galleries are open to 9pm for the city’s weekly art-night avenue competition. Should you’re staying for dinner, sushi and bento bowls from the cool and compact Japanese Grandma cafe are an important diversion.
For a second run at pau hana Kauai-style, refresh with lemongrass and wasabi-laced shrimp and island cocktails amid the retro fashion of Mamahune’s Tiki Bar on the Hilton Backyard Inn. Positioned again on the island’s east coast, Mamahune’s funky environment embrace a pretend mini volcano and sweeping views of close by Wailua Bay.
Proceed 3km additional north throughout the Wailua River to the fashionable Hukilau Lanai. A fusion menu consists of lobster with native goat cheese and macadamia nuts, or candied tuna with a espresso and chipotle sauce. Highlights of the attention-grabbing drinks listing are brews from Lihue’s Kaua’i Beer Firm and island-crafted mead with native pineapple, limes and honey.
Getting there and round
Hawaiian Airways have direct flights from Auckland to Honolulu with frequent 40-minute onward flights to Lihue airport on Kauai. Visitors is comparatively gentle and roads well-marked on Kauai, and renting a automotive is beneficial.
The place to remain
Beside the Wailua River, Fern Grotto Inn’s self-contained cottages are conveniently positioned for exploring all components of Hawaii’s Backyard Island.
For extra on Kauai, see gohawaii.com/islands/kauai