The oldest of Hawaii’s volcanic islands, Kauai is known as the ‘Garden Isle’ for its alluring flora and postcard-worthy topography.
Situated northwest of Oahu, it is home to the Waimea Canyon State Park, a popular destination for tourists due to its hiking trails. The picturesque island is also popular with film producers. The lush surrounds have lent their looks to films such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Nawiliwili Harbor is on the southwest side of the island, a short 10- to 15-minute bus ride from Lihue Airport. Along with being a passenger terminal, the port is also the major cargo port for the island.
Nawiliwili Harbor is 5 kilometres southeast of Lihue, at the mouth of the Huleia Stream. Transportation to Lihue is easy, with free shuttles operated by the shopping centres in town, and bus services operating regularly. The luxury Kauai Marriott Resort is only 2 minutes away via bus/shuttle, or a short 10-minute walk.
Used primarily as a cargo port, there are no facilities at the terminal itself. It is not far from Lihue however, and there are pickup points for taxis, shuttles and buses. Alternatively, it is a short walk to the nearby shopping centres in Lihue, which have ATMs, restaurants, shops and internet access, as well as opportunities to make tour bookings or grab a souvenir.
How To Get Around
A free shuttle is provided from major shopping centres in Lihue every day there is a ship docked, whilst the Kauai Bus has 9 routes around the island.
- Currency - the currency in Kauai is the American dollar. 1 dollar is made up of 100 cents, however they are often known by their colloquial title. Coins come in 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half dollar) and 1 dollar. Notes come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars.
- Time Zone - Kauai uses Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time. It is -10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Kauai has a mild climate, with high rainfall levels on the mountain ranges. Mt Waialeale is one of the wettest places on Earth, with an average of more than 11,500 millimetres of rain per year. Average temperatures for the region range from 22 degrees Celsius in February to 26 degrees Celsius in August.
- Waimea Canyon State Park - known by some as The Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Waimea Canyon is 16 kilometres long and 900 metres deep, located on the northwestern side of the island. It boasts spectacular panoramic views, largely due to the rich colours of the rock and plant life.
- Golf - there are numerous golf courses in Kauai, with Puakea Golf Course and Kauai Lagoon Golf Club located within a 10-minute taxi ride from the harbour. Both are set within the stunning greenery of Kauai, with the Jack Nicklaus-designed Kauai Lagoon Golf Club sitting right on the water’s edge.
- Hawaii Alive Luau - in its 53rd year, this family run luau is held every Monday night at the Kauai Marriott on Kalapaki beach. Featuring dancers, drummers, singers, fire performances and traditional Hawaiian cuisine, it is one of the best luaus in Hawaii.
- Kauai Backcountry Adventures - this former sugar plantation in Lihue has been converted into an adventure tour paradise. A seven-part zipline tour offers a unique perspective on the mountain landscape, with a history of the area provided by the tour guides. There is also a tubing adventure down the hand dug irrigation tunnels and canals of the old plantation, dating back to the 1800s.
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