If you want to indulge in some of the lushest scenery on earth, then “The Garden Isle” is for you.
Kauai (“ka-wah-ee”), the most northern and oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, has Hawaii’s greenest scenery and only navigable rivers. Featuring an abundance of rainforest and waterfall terrain, The Garden Isle is a mecca for hikers, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
The Garden Isle’s central volcanic peak, Mt. Waialeale (5148 feet), is the wettest spot on earth and receives an annual rainfall in the vicinity of 420 inches a year. This tremendous rainfall over the years has eroded much of the soil from the higher levels and has deposited much of it on the leeward sides and created very flat areas call alluvial plains.
These plains are very, very flat and the water which rushes from the top in giant cascading waterfalls calms to a gentle presence when it hits the flat plains below. Here the water winds and turns for miles through the jungle to its eventual destination in the ocean.
The Garden Isle is the only Hawaiian Island that has such rivers and it is an incredible treat for those who choose to enjoy river cruises.
The tremendous rainfall in the Northwest coast mountains has produced the most remarkable sheer valleys, razor sharp ridges descending to the sea and most amazing array of waterfalls to be assembled anywhere in the world.
The extreme sea and wave action has also had a tremendous effect upon Kauai’s spectacular coastline producing this 11 miles on Kauai’s northern shore referred to as the Na Pali coast.
Perhaps Kauai’s greatest attraction, dubbed “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, is Waimea Canyon.
The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500 feet deep. It was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mount Waialeale’s summit. It has been the backdrop for many films and T.V. shows including South Pacific, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Fantasy Island.
But don’t think all of Kauai is thick with rain forest. Kauai’s southern and western sides are dry and sunny with long stretches of white-sand beaches that are ideal for sunbathing and water sports …
For swimming conditions, the North Shore is tops in summer and the South Shore in winter. Hanalei Bay on the North Shore is the island’s most popular summer beach, while Poipu, on the South Shore, has a string of beautiful golden-sand beaches that swimmers flock to in winter.
The Garden Isle offers many world-class activities such as scuba diving, luaus, snorkel and dinner cruises, whale watching, sport fishing, horseback riding, parasailing, helicopter tours, and many more exciting, tropical adventures.