HAWAII — Lihu´e

This is the capital of Kaua´i but the town itself is rather small and uninteresting. It is better to travel up and down the coast to find your accommodation and sightseeing.

The sights found here are:
Kaua´i Museum
Wailua Falls
Lihu´e Lutheran Church
Kalapaki Beach
Menehune Fishpond Overlook
Ninini Point
Grove Farm Homestead
Kilohana Plantation
Hanama´ulu Beach Park
Kipu Falls

Kaua´i Museum
This interesting museum will give you a good overview about the history of Kaua´i. If your interest is quite deep you can take a guided tour but you will need to make reservations for this. The displays include how Kaua´i was formed, native flora and fauna and early Hawaiian artefacts. The museum is small compared to those you may have visited elsewhere but it is a good way to spend an hour or so on a rainy morning or afternoon.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.kauaimuseum.org/cgi-bin/kauai_museum.pl?action=home

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls
These falls are found just north of Lihu´e on Highway 583 at the southern end of the Wailua River. The falls are around 25 metres high and are twin falls. If you visit after rain you could be lucky to see a rainbow off the falls which is a very pretty sight. The best view of the falls is from the Wailua Falls Bridge. You can hike to the bottom of the falls but this can often be slippery and dangerous.

Traveller's Tip

The best time to visit the falls is the morning as early as possible. The view of the sun shining on the water is spectacular.
  • The falls featured in the opening scenes of the TV series Fantasy Island.
    Lihu´e Lutheran Church

    Lihu´e Lutheran Church
    This is the oldest Lutheran church in Hawaii and the original was built by German immigrants in 1885. It was rebuilt in the original style in 1982 after a hurricane destroyed the old church. It is unusual because inside it looks like the deck of a ship.
    For information about this church visit the website at: http://www.lihuelutheran.com

    Kalapaki Beach

    Kalapaki Beach
    This lovely sandy beach is found in front of the Marriott Hotel and has excellent swimming as well as many facilities. It is popular with both locals and visitors. There is a footbridge that takes you from here to Nawiliwili Beach Park. From here you can see the lighthouse on Ninini Point as well as boats on Nawiliwili Harbour including some of the large cruise ships that call in here.

    Menehune Fishpond Overlook

    Menehune Fishpond Overlook
    The Menehune Fishpond is found a short way up Hulemalu Road. It was built nearly 1,000 years ago to catch fish and according to legend it was built in one night by the magical Menehune people who were little people who lived in the forest. The Fishpond is located near the Hule´ia National Wildlife Refuge which was established in 1973 to provide wetlands as a nesting and feeding habitat for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. The refuge is closed to the public but you can view it from the Overlook or if you take a river tour along the Hule´ia Stream.

    Ninini Point

    Ninini Point
    This is quite a spectacular sight with the waves crashing on the rocks and the huge lighthouse overlooking Nawiliwili Bay. The lighthouse is occasionally open to visitors if there is a volunteer on duty so make sure you check if this is the case if you want to climb to the top. The road out to the lighthouse is a dirt road for most of the way and passes through a golf course but the view at the end is worth the trip. From the point you can see a small beach — Running Waters Beach which you can access by returning to the golf course and parking there. You can then follow the signs that say ‘Shore Access’ to the Whaler’s Brew Pub and turn right and follow the signs for a short but steep walk to the beach but it is not a safe beach for swimming.

    Grove Farm Homestead
    This plantation museum allows you to experience a day in the life of an 1860s sugar planter and is a good example of a sugar-plantation homestead with its period furniture and artefacts. Grove Farm was one of the earliest of Hawaii’s sugar plantations. You can only visit the homestead by taking a tour which you must reserve in advance. The tour is informative and relatively inexpensive and worth doing if you have a couple of free hours away from the beach.
    For information about Grove Farm Homestead visit the website at: http://www.grovefarm.net/tour.htm

    Kilohana Plantation
    This is a restored plantation estate that provides a glimpse of life in the 1930s and is now home to a restaurant, shops and tropical gardens. There are carriage and train rides to take visitors on a tour around the plantation as well as regular Hawaiian luaus. If you’re interested in pottery there is a pottery shop behind the main house where you can watch demonstrations.
    For information about Kilohana Plantation visit the website at: http://www.kilohanakauai.com

    Hanama´ulu Beach Park

    Hanama´ulu Beach Park
    Hanama´ulu Beach Park is found a short distance from Hanama´ulu a small village that was supposedly the birthplace of Kaua´i’s folklore hero, Kawelo who was a warrior and champion spear thrower. It is part of Hanama´ulu Bay which is protected from rough seas making it a safe place to swim in calm if somewhat murky water. The park has good facilities including a campground but you do need a permit to camp here.
    For information about camping permits visit the following website at: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/camping

    Traveller's Tip

    If you are a movie fan and especially a John Wayne fan you may recognise that his movie Donovan’s Reef featured Ahukini Pier in Hanama´ulu Bay.
    Kipu Falls

    Kipu Falls
    This is a popular spot with locals and visitors with its rope swings of varying heights tied to trees and used for jumping off from the rocks surrounding the falls. This can be a rather dangerous experience as there are sharp rocks so if you plan to do this be careful. The area becomes very crowded on weekends so the best time to visit is early or late on a weekday. To get here you need to take the Kipu Road off Highway 50 and it is a short walk to the falls.