Kauai is Hawaii’s oldest island, and like the rest of Hawaii, it had an explosive (read: volcanic!) beginning. Kauai is the golden oldie of Hawaii’s islands, having been formed over six million years ago by the Pacific plate making moves. Captain James Cook was the first European to arrive on Kauai’s shores in 1778. Despite being the oldest island, Kauai was the last to join the Kingdom of Hawaii, coming onboard during King Kamehameha’s reign in 1810.
On Kauai, you can visit some of the locations from Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, like the base of Mount Wai’ale’ale, where the gates of the park once stood. Even better, take a helicopter tour to Manawaiopuna Falls, the waterfall famously featured in the movie. You can also soar over inaccessible areas of the island: emerald mountains, deserted secret beaches, waterfalls and volcanoes. It’s a land that seems older than time itself.
The Na Pali coast has towering sea cliffs that rise as high as 4000 feet, and you can check ‘em out with a boat tour or a guided kayaking trip in the Pacific Ocean. Keen hikers can take on the Kalalua Trail, a 17km track that starts at Kee Beach and finishes at Kalalua beach, crossing five different valleys on the journey.
Waimea Canyon, also known as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific", is one kilometre deep, filled with crags and gorges, and has a number of hiking tracks. Hanalei has both art galleries and wetland taro farms that form patchwork fields when you view them from the Hanalei Valley Overlook.
In Kauai’s small towns like Lihue and Hanalei, you’ll come across little shops selling authentic Hawaiian crafts and goodies. There are bigger shopping malls too, like the Kukui Grove Center, which has live music on Friday nights.
The dining is equally diverse, ranging from fine dining with sunset ocean views to open-air casual spots surrounded by waterfalls to small-town farmers markets with fresh goods. Enjoy that local seafood!
Book one of our cheap flights to Hawaii to get to Honolulu and then get a connecting flight to Lihue Airport on Kauai. You can get around Kauai by public transport, tour bus or taxi, but it’s worth renting a car for ultimate freedom. And when you take your pick from our Kauai accommodation, ultimate freedom is yours!
Hotels in Kauai start at AU$210 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.