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Alternative-Hawaii



ISLAND OF KAUAI

NORTH SHORE DRIVE GUIDE

National Wildlife Refuges, Lighthouse, Beaches, Russian Fort, Taro Farms, Mission House Museum, Botanical Garden, Wet & Dry Caves

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Created by: Alternative-Hawaii.com
  • All drives start from Lihue International Airport.
  • Approx. 47 miles from Start to End of Drive.
  • Approx. 1-3/4 hours driving time from Start to End of drive excluding time spent at "stops".
  • For your safety, please observe Cautionary Notes on drive "stops" below.
  • Set Odometer to Zero between "stops" below.
  • All distances are to the nearest tenth of a mile.
  • Do not leave valuables in vehicle or unattended.
(Click on PHOTOGRAPH to view Stop on Tour.)

STOP 1: KILAUEA POINT
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
PHOTOGRAPH
START: LIHUE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 24 Miles / 45 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Kilauea Town  
 ROUTE:
  • Exit airport on Hwy 570 (Ahukini Rd) & go short way to Hwy 51 (Kapule Hwy)
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 51 (heading for North Shore)
  • Go approx. 1.7 miles to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Continue approx. 20 miles on Hwy 56 to Kilauea town
  • Turn right onto Kolo Road & go 1 mile to Kilauea Road
  • Turn left on Kilauea Road & go 0.6 mi. to the Refuge parking lot

One of the most spectacular sections of shoreline in the Hawaiian Islands. The Refuge, established in 1985, is one of the best places to view the nesting colonies of Central Pacific seabirds against a dramatic backdrop of steep cliffs plunging to the ocean. Built in 1913, Kilauea Lighthouse stands as a monument to Hawaii's colorful past - placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Note: Open daily. Visitor Center & Bookstore. Nominal admission charge. Tel. 828-1413. Restrooms.





STOP 2: ANINI COUNTY BEACH PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KILAUEA POINT
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
 
DIST/TIME: Approx. 5.3 Mile / 15 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: 2nd Turn Off for Kalihiwai Road  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Kilauea Point Nat'l. Wildlife Refuge Entrance
  • Go 0.6 mi. on Kilauea Road to Kolo Road
  • Turn Right onto Kolo Road & go 1 mi. to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 56 & go 2 mi. to "2nd" turn off for Kalihiwai Road
  • Turn right onto Kalihiwai Road & go short way (0.3 mi.) to Anini Road
  • Turn Left onto Anini Road & go 1.4 mi. to Anini Beach Park
Secluded beach, far from town. Site of one of the longest and widest fringing reefs in the Hawaiian Islands. Good area for snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.

Note: Camping is allowed in the Park with County permit. Scenic drive beyond park along ocean to end of road (approx. 2 miles round trip). Restrooms.

Caution: Dangerous rip currents during periods of high surf.




STOP 3: RUSSIAN FORT ALEXANDER PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: ANINI BEACH COUNTY PARK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 6.2 Miles / 13 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Entrance to Princeville Resort (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Return 1.7 mi. to Hwy 56
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 56 & go 2.3 mi. to entrance to Princeville Resort
  • Turn Right into Princeville Resort
  • Go 2.2 mi. on Princeville Road to pkg. lot at end of road (by Princeville Hotel)
  • The ruins of Russian Fort Alexander are under the gazebo to the left of the parking lot
The fort is a reminder of Russia's short-lived adventure (1815-1817) in the Hawaiian Islands. Information is available on site. Little remains of the fort but the view of Hanalei Bay is spectacular.

Note: The Princeville Resort is a combination resort and residential community occupying several thousand acres along the sea cliffs between Anini Beach and Hanalei Bay.




STOP 4: HANALEI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE OVERLOOK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: RUSSIAN FORT ALEXANDER  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 2.3 Mile / 7 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Scenic Overlook (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Return 2.2 mi. on Princeville Road to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 56 & go short way (0.1 mi.) to Overlook (left side)
Beautiful sweeping vistas of Hanalei Valley and the sea, especially at sunset. A National Wildlife Refuge established in 1972 for endangered waterfowl - where most of the taro in Hawaii is grown. The Hanalei River is designated as an American Heritage River.




STOP 5: WAIOLI MISSION HOUSE MUSEUM &
WAIOLI HUIIA CHURCH
PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: HANALEI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE OVERLOOK  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 2.8 Miles / 7 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Green Church on Left Side (Waioli Huiia)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Hanalei Valley Overlook & continue 2.8 mi. on Hwy 56 to the Waioli Mission House (Left Side)
The Waioli Mission was established in 1834. The mission hall is the oldest surviving church building on the Island of Kauai. The Waioli Huiia Church, completed in 1912, reflects the American Gothic architectural style so popular in New England. The shingled church has a belfry tower which houses the old mission bell. The 1837 missionary home and grounds faithfully capture rural life on Kauai during that era. Both buildings are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Note: Free admission. Waioli Huiia Church is open daily, tel. 826-6253. Waioli Mission House Museum is open during weekdays, tel. 245-3202. Inquire about guided tours of the Waioli Mission House.




STOP 6: LUMAHAI BEACH PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: WAIOLI MISSION HOUSE MUSEUM  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 1.7 Miles / 4 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Dirt Shoulder Pull Off (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue on Hwy 56 & go 1.7 miles
  • Pull off at shoulder on the road (right side). Trails lead down to beach.
One of Kauai's most popular North Shore beaches - its beauty has provided the background for many movies, the best known being "South Pacific". The beach is 3/4-mile-long, very wide, and backed by lushly vegetated cliffs.

Caution: Lumahai has no protective reef - frequent high surf causes extremely dangerous water conditions. Occasionally, during the summer, the eastern end of the beach is safe for swimming.




STOP 7: MANINIHOLO DRY CAVE PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: LUMAHAI BEACH  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 4 Miles / 11 Mins.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Haena County Park  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue 4 mi. on Hwy 56 to the Maniniholo Dry Cave (opposite sign for Haena County Park)
A grotto of trees and jungle of vines - an ancient sea cave allegedly dug by the mythical menehune (Hawaiian elves). This is a dry cave without water.




STOP 8: LIMAHULI GARDEN AND PRESERVE PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: MANINIHOLO DRY CAVE  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 0.7 Mile / 3 Min.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Limahuli Garden (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue 0.7 mi. on Hwy 56 to Limahuli Garden (left side - at entrance to Haena State Park)
One of three National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai. Backdropped by towering peaks sculpted by eons of wind and rain, tours of these lush 1000+ acres of garden and rain forest preserve offer visions of natural beauty and intriguing Hawaiian culture. Walk the land where taro still thrives on ancient lava rock terraces. Learn about native plants of the Islands, the plants brought by the Polynesians, and introduced species invading Hawaii's natural habitats.

Note: Open Tues-Fri & Sun. Access restricted to self-guided & guided tours. Reservations & fee required for guided tours. Tel. 826-1053. Restrooms.




STOP 9: HAENA STATE PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: LIMAHULI GARDEN  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 0.1 Mile / 1 Min.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Park Entrance  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue a few yards to Haena State Park
Site of Kee Beach, a small, sand-bottomed lagoon popular with swimmers and snorkelers. The park includes a large number of ancient ruins of archaeological importance. Viewing of the Waikanaloa and Waikapalae Wet Caves - 4,000-year-old sea caves. Trailhead for the 11-mile Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali Coast is located within the park.

Note: Camping with County permit is only allowed at adjacent Haena County Park. Restrooms.

Caution: During periods of high surf, particularly during the winter and spring, dangerous water conditions occur near shore.


END OF DRIVE - RETURN TO LIHUE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


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