Kauai North Coast

Kauai, Hawaii, 28 February 2015

Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

In our first full day on Kauai, we took off for the north coast.  On the way, this is Moloaa Bay, a secluded beach at the end of a side road past a handful of no doubt very expensive houses.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Lagoon, Moloaa Bay.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Kilauea Lighthouse at the north point of the island.  It was a Saturday and the lighthouse was closed so we were only able to get as close as a nearby lookout.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Driving back from the lighthouse, this is a view looking west along the coast.

At the next point there is a hotel complex.  The guidebook said there was a very nice beach there but the hotel complex have closed it off by the simple expedient of buying all the land and not providing any parking for visitors.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

We have driven probably beyond the distant headland you can partly see in the previous image.  We had hoped to visit Limahuli Botanic Garden but unfortunately that was closed as well.  We kept on going to the end of the road and were fortunate to snare a rare parking place in the end carpark.  We are now at Ke’e Beach.  The trees on the edge of the sand are still alive but their roots have been eroded by the tides and storms.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel .

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel .

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

This is a zebra dove, common in Hawaii, an introduced species.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

A grove of trees just behind the beach.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel .

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

The beaches in Hawaii often look idyllic but before you plunge in you should understand the risks – in this case: high surf, rip currents, sudden drop off, slippery rocks, strong current and waves break on ledge.  There was a lifeguard here and while we were at the beach he yelled out over a loudspeaker to warn a swimmer getting too close to the channel.  There is a coral reef here and though it may look calm on the surface, close to the channels through the reef there can be savage currents.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

We took off on the Kalalau Trail along the wild Na Pali Coast.  We were not intending to go far, just to a lookout.  Here is a view looking back towards the beach.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Rain is not unknown here.  A small waterfall beside the path.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

The vegetation is thick enough to provide a serious object to easy passage (in the absence of a path).

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

From the lookout, looking along the Na Pali Coast.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel .

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Hawaii,

A corner of the beach, now on the way back.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Looking up at the steep peaks above us.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

… and at surf breaking below us.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Back down at the beach, this is a moa.  You may have heard of the moa, the extinct giant ratite of New Zealand that could grow to 14 foot tall.  Well, I can confidently say that this is not one of those.  The Polynesians usually brought chickens with them (as well as dogs, pigs and inadvertently, rats) when they settled new islands.  In both Hawaii and Easter Island, and probably other islands, the islanders call the chicken moa.  According to Tim Flannery, the Maori brought chickens with them but they abandoned them and the chickens became locally extinct when the Maori discovered that the moa in their new home were much larger and tastier than the moa they had brought with them.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

Not far from Ke’e beach, a beckoning cavern.  Who knows how far you would get in a canoe.

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel .

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Hawaii, Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Ke'e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Landscape, Moloaa Bay, Photography, Travel

And driving back along the north coast, a viewpoint over farm land and wilderness.

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10 comments on “Kauai North Coast

  1. Jane Lurie says:

    Beautiful Kauai…lovely set. The dove is gorgeous!

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  2. Isaac Yuen says:

    Kauai’s one of my favourite places on earth 🙂 I still have the Kalalau trail as my gravatar after all these years. Thanks for the fantastic photos!

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  3. Looks incredible. Great photos!

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  4. […] Kauai – North Coast […]

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  5. Murray, what a phenomenal “trip” you have taken all of us on!! I never had the chance to visit Kauai when I visited the islands, but heard it was breathtaking. Your beautiful photos certainly support that. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    • Murray Foote says:

      Thanks very much Stacy! Kauai’s definitely very special, though like Maui it takes a bit of research to find a decently-priced good place to stay away from the resorts. I’ve been processing images about three or four posts ahead and I think you’ll find there are some spectacular views to come….

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  6. […] Trail.  This is a spectacular 18 kilometre (11 miles) walk that you enter from Ke’e Beach, as we did for a kilometre or two the previous day.  If you do the full trail, you walk out again the same way.  It can be quite […]

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