Hawaii 2012 - Day 4: North Shore - Kalalau Trail

Kauai Travel Blog

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Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Today we had planned a visit to the North Shore of Kaua'i. The North Shore is, like on the other islands, always a bit tricky since it normally gets the trade winds that bring in clouds. These clouds are pushed against the high mountains and drop there water causing a lot of rain. Not today, we were lucky with a sunny start.

Our first visit was to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located on a peninsula at the most northern point of Kaua'i. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The sited also houses the decommissioned Kilauea Lighthouse which is kept as a monument. Until 1976 the lighthouse guided many ships safely along the rugged coast of Kaua'i. It even brought the slightly deviated pilots of the first (1927) Trans Pacific flight back on course.

Kalalau Trail
The peninsula and surrounding lands are now a bird refuge. The steep rocks and nearby rocks in the sea offer perfect conditions for all kinds of birds. Amongst them the Ua'u (the Hawaiian Dark-rumped Petrel) and of course the Ne'ne (Hawaiian Goose (the official Hawaiian state bird).

We followed the road westbound via the town of Hanalei (where we had a delicious fresh fruit smoothie) to the Ha'ena Beach Park. Not for the beach, but for the Maniniholo Dry Cave. This "cave" is actually an old Lava Tube that got broadened by the force of crashing waves in the times the sea level reached until the tube's entrance. The cave is now almost 300 meters (980 ft) deep.

View from the Kalalau Trail
It was even deeper in the past until a tsunami in 1957 deposited a lot of sand inside. Very special.

Today's main attraction was actually the reason why I wanted to visit Kaua'i, the Kalalau Trail. This 18-km (11 miles) long trail dates back to the 1800s. It is still the only way to reach the Kalalau Valley (see yesterday's blog entry) over land. The trail is located in the Na Pali Coast State Park and winds through a lush jungle, closely packed against the steep hills sometimes high above the wild sea. One is only allowed to hike the first 6 miles, the remainder may only be hiked after obtaining a permit. Failing to do so may be punished with huge fines and even a court appearance.

We were, because of our visit to the other highlights, late again.

Kalalau Trail
So we could only hike the first two miles, to Hanakapi'ai Beach. You do not want to end up on this trail in the dark! The trail is just perfect. I won't even try to describe it. At Hanakapi'ai Beach we encountered an unusual resident, a cat! We continued along for half a kilometer, along some huge fern-like plants, ascending 50 more meters (164 ft) and headed back. The sun started setting giving those beautiful colors again. Another close call: when we returned at the car we had to change shoes in the dark.

More pictures below. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten foto ook vertoond wordt. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net

cicie says:
Nice pictures:)
Posted on: Nov 20, 2012
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Kilauea Point National Wildlife Re…
Kilauea Point National Wildlife R…
Kalalau Trail
Kalalau Trail
View from the Kalalau Trail
Kalalau Trail
Kalalau Trail
The Blue-Blue-Green characteristic…
The Blue-Blue-Green characteristi…
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Re…
Kilauea Point National Wildlife R…
A Nene in Kilauea Point National …
A Ne'ne in Kilauea Point National…
A young Uau in Kilauea Point Nati…
A young Ua'u in Kilauea Point Nat…
A Nene in Kilauea Point National …
A Ne'ne in Kilauea Point National…
A Fregate bird above Kilauea Point…
A Fregate bird above Kilauea Poin…
Kilauea Lighthouse in Kilauea Poin…
Kilauea Lighthouse in Kilauea Poi…
The Smoothie Shack in Hanalei
The Smoothie Shack in Hanalei
Between Hanalei and Haena Beach P…
Between Hanalei and Ha'ena Beach …
The Maniniholo Dry Cave in Haena …
The Maniniholo Dry Cave in Ha'ena…
The Maniniholo Dry Cave in Haena …
The Maniniholo Dry Cave in Ha'ena…
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Along the Kalalau Trail: this does…
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The unexpected resident of Hanakap…
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Kee Beach (the trailhead of the K…
Ke'e Beach (the trailhead of the …
The Kalalau Trail until just behin…
The Kalalau Trail until just behi…
The Kalalau Trail until just behin…
The Kalalau Trail until just behi…
Kauai
photo by: hauteboy