HAWAII — South Shore Kaua´i

The South Shore of Kaua´i is its main beach area and the main resort here is Po´ipu. It is very popular because unlike the wet north the sun shines most days. It is also a safe place to swim and snorkel for most of the year. One of the highlights of this area is the Tree Tunnel which you drive through on your way to Po´ipu. It is found on Maluhia Road just as you turn off Highway 50 and it is a mile-long road with mahogany trees that provide a canopy as you drive through.

The sights found here are:
Koloa
Po´ipu
Beaches around Po´ipu
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Koloa Landing
Moir Gardens

Koloa
This village was the site of Hawaii’s first sugar plantation. King Kamehameha III leased the land to Duncan McBryde in 1835. The remains of the sugar mill along with a plaque to the workers is located across the street from the shops in town. Every year the town celebrates Koloa Plantation Days which features a parade, fair, music, games, and storytelling. The buildings in the town were renovated in the 1980s but it still has some of the oldest buildings in Hawaii. The banyan tree in the centre of town is a huge feature. You can pick up brochures in town that show where the historic buildings are if you’re interested. Just out of town on the main road is a field with lots of varieties of sugarcane as well as a few reminders of the area’s sugar past. You will find the field opposite Sueoka Store.

Po´ipu

Po´ipu
Po´ipu is found a few kilometres south of Koloa and is little more than a collection of hotels, condos and rental properties and there is no town as such. You will need to drive to the beaches which are the main attraction here.

Kawailoa Bay

Beaches Around Po´ipu
Around Po´ipu there are a number of beaches that are popular especially with families because the water is calmer here than on the North Coast for more of the year. Just off Hoona Road you will find Baby Beach which is a good beach if you’re travelling with children and opposite the Lawa´i Beach Resort you will find the beach of the same name which is a good snorkelling beach with lots of clear water and plenty of fish to see. A popular place in this area is Spouting Horn Beach Park. If you’re lucky you will see a geyser of water that suddenly shoots into the air with a wooshing sound but sometimes the sight can be less than spectacular as it all depends on the force of the sea rushing into the lava tube here. The best time to come is probably high tide so check on tidal information before you visit. Po´ipu Beach is found near the Sheraton Kauai Resort which is a long stretch of beautiful beach good for swimming, boogey boarding and snorkelling. Po´ipu Beach Park is found at the end of Ho’owili Road and at the point found on the western side of the park you can walk out at low tide to explore the rock pools. The top spots for bodysurfing are Brennecke’s and Shipwreck Beaches but be careful here when the surf is high as it is only for the experienced. Kawailoa Bay which is accessed from Maha´ulepu Beach is a great place to see Monk seals at certain times of the year as well as being a lovely beach.

National Tropical Botanical Garden
Opposite Spouting Horn Beach Park is the National Tropical Botanical Gardens which is a great place to visit if the weather is too hot with its shady areas and lush plants. Included in this garden is the Allerton Garden which you can only visit on a guided tour with a reservation. Information about this garden is found on the website below. The McBryde Garden is another garden you can visit here but by yourself without a reservation. It is only accessed via a tram from the visitor’s centre.
For information about the Allerton Garden visit the website at: http://www.naainakai.org
For information about the McBryde Garden visit the website at: http://ntbg.org/gardens/mcbryde.php

Koloa Landing

Koloa Landing
A short distance from the National Tropical Botanical Garden at the mouth of the Waikomo Stream is Koloa Landing. It was once the largest port in Kaua´i but there is no evidence of that now. Now it is a popular snorkelling and diving spot with deep water that is calm for most of the year. There are lots of fish as well as turtles and the occasional seal.

Moir Gardens
This garden is located on the grounds of the Kiahuna Plantation Resort and non guests are free to come and enjoy it. The garden was created by Alexandra Moir during the time her husband was the manager of Kiahuna Plantation in the 1930s. The garden is home to many rare plants including succulents, cactus, bromeliads, orchids and beautiful water lily ponds with koi fish.