5 Things to Do on Kauai: The Garden Isle

Kauai is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki on Oahu. Known as the greenest of the Hawaiian Islands aka The Garden Isle, Kauai is also known for its movie appearances in the Jurassic Park series, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tropic Thunder. And you can see why it has been used for so many movie locations, its natural beauty is breathtaking to say the least. Whilst most tourists go to Oahu (Waikiki) and maybe Maui as a second island, there are not as many that venture to, in my opinion, the most beautiful Hawaiian island. Here are 5 things to do in Kauai that I enjoyed on my trip last week.

1. Waimea Canyon

Known as the ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ and aptly so. It is absolutely breathtaking and if I had longer there I would do some more hiking in this area. It was worth the windy drive up to the Canyon and there are lots of places to pull over and catch a peak. You may even be lucky enough to spot a mountain goat hanging out on the side of the Canyon. I would recommend packing a picnic to stop and eat along the way. This awe-inspiring Canyon was one of the greatest things to do on Kauai!

2. Sunset Napali Coast Cruise

The afternoon cruise left from Port Allen, a 30 minute drive back down from Waimea Canyon. We headed out on a Sunset Cruise with Holo Holo Charters and the staff were fantastic. The swell was massive at that time of year so a lot of people were seasick and they had buckets ready left, right and centre. I luckily was not seasick so I enjoyed the food on board which was Mexican style and delicious. If you don’t get seasick easily this is a great way to see the Napali coastline during your stay on Kauai.

3. Helicopter

If there is one thing you do in Kauai this is it! It is the only way to see all of the Napali Coast and really gives you an overview of the island. We flew over Waimea Canyon, Jurassic Falls and even what they say is the “wettest place on Earth” Mount Waialeale. We went with Blue Hawaiian helicopters who were part of the Jurassic Park series filming. I also recommend requesting the front seat which we luckily got but it just depends on final weights. Make sure you pack a camera and get the video at the end, this is something I will cherish and one of the best things to do on Kauai.

4. Tubing

Such a fun experience for the adventurous and young at heart! With Kauai Backcountry Adventures we travelled to an old sugar plantation in the jungle where we tubed in the freezing cold water through 5 underground tunnels. On the last tunnel, they turned the lights out so we could float in the dark. They give you helmets, gloves and water shoes (glamorous crocs) to wear for the trip. Definitely one of the top 5 things to do on Kauai and you only have to be older than 5 to participate.

P.S. The tour guide will ban you from saying the F (freezing) and C (cold) words so don’t even think about complaining about the temperature of the water.

5. Take a drive down the Tree Tunnel to Old Koloa Town and Poipu Beach

Once you turn off the highway, you make your way straight into the Tree Tunnel, a magnificent tree lined road which shades the way for about a mile towards Koloa Town and Poipu Beach. Stop for a shaved ice in Old Koloa Town which is a quaint little town before you hit Poipu Beach. Spend the afternoon swimming at Poipu or even check out Spouting Horn Blowhole.

Which is your favourite Hawaiian Island? Have you been to Kauai? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Sally Cochrane

Sally is a Brisvegas (Brisbane, Australia) born travel blogger and founder of Travel Blog Squad, an online community for travel bloggers. Among many other experiences, she has skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia, woken up before dawn to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat and attended university in Mexico. Hola! Her non-travel-related interests include tea (of any and every kind), TED Talks and running at her local Parkrun.