No trip to Hawaii is complete without a visit to the gloriously lush island of Kauai. Called the Garden Island, Kauai has some of the most breathtaking scenery, rich, verdant vegetation and a wealth of waterfalls.
This is a spectacular 800ft waterfall that cascades down the Waimea Canyon. Drive up along Highway 550 to the museum and park, stopping along the way at designated lookout points to view the falls and take pictures. The Waipoo Trail Hike, a popular 3.2km round trip takes you through lush rainforest and along the rim of the canyon to the top of the waterfall. The trail is easy, so you can take kids along.
These are the most difficult to get to if you’re hiking. The Hanakapiai trail is two miles long, with spectacular views of the Na Pali Coast. Once you get to Hanakapiai Beach it’s another two mile trek to the falls. This is a trip that requires an early start. The Hanakapiai Falls are 300 ft or more of gloriously cascading water; well worth a visit. The trek is not suitable for children.
This is a two-tiered waterfall, just north of Lihue. The drive from Lihue takes you along Highway 56. Turn left at Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. A short drive uphill will get you to the falls. This is a trip that’s suitable for families with young children, since there’s no hiking involved.
The Uluwehi Falls, also known as the Secret Falls, are on the east side of Kauai. The trail to the falls is on the Waialua River. Travel by canoe or kayak to the start of the trail. Since it is very muddy and slippery, take hiking boots, sports sandals or tabi. The hike itself takes around 45 minutes each way. It’s a great family adventure, which will give the kids an opportunity to paddle in the river.
Opaekaa means ‘rolling shrimp,’ and it’s said the falls were named for the shrimp in the stream. You can drive up to the falls so it’s a trip suitable for young children. The views of the Waialua Valley are spectacular, as are the falls themselves.
This is an ancient caldera, one of the wettest spots on earth and a sacred site in Hawaiian culture. In Hawaiian Mount Waialeale means ‘rippling water,’ or ‘overflowing water.’ Set in the centre of Kauai it towers 5,158 ft., and is the remnants of a shield volcano. The summit is very remote. A helicopter tour to Waialeale will take you to the summit, and if the weather is good, right into the crater.