Thursday May 12, 2016
Taking a trip to Hawaii this year? Hopefully you have some time to make it to the Garden Isle, Kauai. If you do, make sure you make the drive up the North Shore, home of dramatic cliffs, gorgeous beaches, and lots of fascinating wildlife.
From the airport, you’ll travel north on Route 56, a coastal highway that crosses over the Wailua River and the several busy small towns before transitioning to a more rural and scenic landscape, with stunning views of the island's rugged interior mountains. The highway turns west and narrows after Anahola (site of a very beautiful beach loved by locals), where it passes by our organic farm up at the northeast corner of the island. The road then travels through Kilauea and Princeville before dropping down into Hanalei Valley.
This gorgeous coastal drive only takes an hour or two if you don’t stop (impossible given the scenery, we promise), so it makes a great day trip even if you’re spending the bulk of your time on Kauai in the south part of the island. Here are some stops you’ll have to make along the way.
We recommend starting your day with a 10am free tour of our organic noni farm, located on beautiful Kaakaaniu Plantation. We’re located just a few miles south of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, so there’s lots of wildlife to see on our land, as well as many gorgeous native plants. Our Organic Noni Farm & Wellness Tour is very highly rated on TripAdvisor — here are just a few testimonials from 2015.
You’ll also learn about noni fruit, which we grow on the farm and turn into Noni Fruit Leather and Noni Lotions. Noni fruit is known to help with a wide variety of health issues from diabetes to high blood pressure to pain and inflammation to skin ailments. We’ll share everything we know about this unusual fruit, including the growing body of scientific research about this fruit’s properties and traditional usages. We also spend about a half hour on our organic processes- mulch, compost, vermiculture and compost teas. Things that we do on a very large scale that you may do on a small scale in your home garden.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
Here you can see many different species of birds, including possibly Laysan albatross. Many of these birds are very rare, or don’t often appear in the large numbers that frequent the wildlife refuge. There are also sea turtles, spinner dolphins, monk seals and, if you’re especially lucky, humpback whales! It all depends on the season and what the animals are up to.
Kilauea Point is also home to a very photogenic lighthouse, which you can tour if you plan ahead.
If you’re familiar with the musical South Pacific, this beach town might look a little familiar — it’s where the movie was set!
Hanalei is a small town on Hanalei Bay, where you can have a nice meal, do a little shopping in the gift shops, check out the beach, or even surf or kayak.
The town itself is also very historic and worth checking out. You might particularly enjoy the Waioli Mission House Museum, located in the historical district in Hanalei. This 1837 missionary home and estate offers a vivid picture of rural life on Kauai 160 years ago. Remember the old 50’s song “Puff the Magic Dragon”- that song talks about Hanalei Bay being Puffs home!
From Hanalei continue on the main highway and finish the drive to “the end of the road,” as far as you can drive on the northshore to Ke’e Beach. A beautiful scenic drive past many white sand beaches, lush green jungle growth and magnificent vistas of the mountains and ocean. And not to mention numerous little one way bridges! Stop at the Dry Cave and Wet Cave if these peak your interest before arriving at Ke’e Beach. Although very often extremely overcrowded Ke’e Beach is a beautiful destination for a morning or afternoon snorkel, picnic on the beach or perfect spot for watching a beautiful evening sunset. Whichever you choose you won’t be disappointed!
What are your favorite sights on the North Shore of Kauai? Let us know in the comments!