cliffs, caves, and coves on Kauai’s north shore

A day of exploring Kauai’s north shore gave us another amazing variety of scenery on this lovely garden isle.  Winds and waves out of the Northern Pacific batter the northern coast of the island creating some stark geography of alternating cliffs and coves.

kilauea lighthouse-

This picturesque lighthouse situated above steep cliffs that drop off the northeastern tip of the island is part of a large national wildlife refuge.  Unfortunately, the area was closed for trail maintenance, but we could see dozens of tropic birds, red-footed boobies, and frigate birds gliding along the cliff faces of this small cove.

hanalei-kauai north shore-

In Hanalei, we discovered a series of sea caves, one of which had some decorative hoodoos at its entrance.

hanalei-kauai north shore-

The kids thought the hoodoos needed some embellishment.

Hoodoo before...

Hoodoo before…

hanalei-kauai north shore-

Hoodoo after reconstruction…

hanalei-kauai north shore

Finally it was time for a swim at Ke’e beach in Haena State Park, the end of the road along the north side of the island.

Instead of swimming I went for a climb up the Kalalau trail that takes adventurous hikers 11 miles along the Napali coast.  This is some of the most rugged and picturesque scenery on the island, and I wanted to see the view from the top of the trail.  The climb wasn’t bad, but the wind at the top just about blew me off the trail.

hanalei-kauai north shore

Not bad on a sunny day, but this trail would be treacherous during a rainstorm because it often dips right next to the edge of the cliff.

hanalei-kauai north shore

This was as far as I went since I knew the swimmers would be waiting for me below.

hanalei-kauai north shore-

A view around the corner looking up the trail toward the cliffs ahead. I had to lean against a rock to get protection from the wind that was shaking the camera (and me) too much to take a clear photo.

hanalei-kauai north shore

A little thrush I met along the way, with such a pretty song and bright white tail feathers.  Not a native Hawaiian bird, unfortunately — this one was introduced from India or southeast Asia because of its lovely song.

5 thoughts on “cliffs, caves, and coves on Kauai’s north shore

    • Thanks, Mike. Apparently there are very few native Hawaiian birds remaining on Kauai, so most of what we see in the lowlands and beaches are introduced species. There is one swampy area higher up in the rainforest where there are some native Hawaiian birds, but that is of course off limits to the average tourist.

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