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Alternative-Hawaii

ISLAND OF KAUAI

EAST SIDE DRIVE GUIDE

Waterfalls, Beaches, Sacred River Valley, Heiaus, Hawaiian Village, Arboretum, Hindu Monastery

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Created by: Alternative-Hawaii.com
  • All drives start from Lihue International Airport.
  • Approx. 39 miles from Start to End of Drive.
  • Approx. 1-1/4 hours driving time from Start to End of drive excluding time spent at "stops".
  • For your safety, please observe Cautionary Notes on drive "stops" below.
  • Set Odometer to Zero between "stops" below.
  • All distances are to the nearest tenth of a mile.
  • Do not leave valuables in vehicle or unattended.
(Click on PHOTOGRAPH to view Stop on Tour.)

STOP 1: WAILUA FALLS OVERLOOK PHOTOGRAPH
START: LIHUE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 6.2 Miles / 15 Mins.
WATCH FOR: Maalo Road (Left Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Exit airport on Hwy 570 (Ahukini Road) & go approx. 1.5 mi. to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 56 & go approx. 0.8 mi. to Hwy 583 (Maalo Road) at Kapaia Village
  • Turn left onto Hwy 583 (Maalo Road) & go 3.9 mi. to Wailua Falls Overlook

The double Falls tumble 80 feet over a severe cliff into a large round pool. One of Hawaii's most beautiful cascades - featured on TV's Fantasy Island.

Caution: Tough and steep trail down to the Falls - exercise caution.





STOP 2: LYDGATE STATE PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: WAILUA FALLS OVERLOOK
DIST/TIME: Approx. 9.8 Miles / 20 Mins.
WATCH FOR: Sign - Lydgate State Park on Hwy 56  
 ROUTE:
  • Return 3.9 mi. on Maalo Road to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 56 (heading north) & go 5.3 mi. on Hwy 56 to Leho Road (right side - past Wailua Golf Course)
  • Turn Right onto Leho Road & go short way (0.4 mi.) to Nalu Road
  • Turn right on Nalu Road & go short way (0.2 mi.) to beach parking
One of the most popular beach parks on Kauai - attracts many swimmers, picnickers, campers, fishermen, surfers, divers, and beachcombers. Its sand - bottomed pools are considered one of the safest swimming sites on the island.

Note: Lifeguard Services, pavilion, shelters. Kamalani Playground for children. Restrooms.




STOP 3: POLIAHU HEIAU
(WAILUA RIVER STATE PARK)
PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: LYDGATE STATE PARK
DIST/TIME: Approx. 2.8 Miles / 7 Mins.
WATCH FOR: Former Coco Palms Resort (left side - across river mouth at Kuamoo Rd.)  
 ROUTE:
  • Leave Lydgate beach parking lot & return to Hwy 56
  • Turn Right onto Hwy 56 & go approx. 1 mi. to Kuamoo Road (left side - just after crossing the Wailua River mouth - opposite former Coco Palms Resort)
  • Turn Left onto Kuamoo Road & go 1.2 mi. to Poliahu Heiau (left side)
One of 7 recorded heiau (religious sites) along the Wailua River. Situated on a bluff and believed to have been a luakini (sacrificial) site. Interpretive signs on the oceanside of the heiau. A brochure is available upon request from the State Parks office in Lihue.

Note: Wailua River State Park includes boat excursions at marina section on south bank; historic sites; scenic overlooks; waterfall vistas, fishing & picnicking. Riverboat cruise (fee charged) to Fern Grotto (an unusual fern-clothed cave set in a tropical garden).The Wailua Complex of Heiau (places of worship) is a National Historic Landmark and includes remains of heiau, puuhonua (places of refuge), birthstones and bellstone at this once important seat of chiefly power. Dining and gift shopping at marina section.

Caution: Please show respect for Hawaii's sacred sites and stay on designated trails - help preserve Hawaii's past for the future.




STOP 4: OPAEKAA FALLS LOOKOUT PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: POLIAHU HEIAU
DIST/TIME: Approx. 0.2 Mile / 30 Seconds
WATCH FOR: Sign - Opaekaa Falls  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue up Kuamoo Road short way (0.2 mi.) to pkg. lot for Falls Lookout (right side)
Cascading into the Wailua River - these lacy Falls flow year round - a Wailua landmark.

Note: Restrooms.




STOP 5: KAMOKILA HAWAIIAN VILLAGE PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: OPAEKAA FALLS LOOKOUT  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 0.1 Mile / 30 Seconds
WATCH FOR: Sign-Kamokila Hawaiian Village  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue up Kuamoo Road very short way (0.1 mi.) to entrance to Kamokila Hawaiian Village (left side - just past Opaekaa Falls Lookout)
Experience a traditional Hawaiian village of the past and you will come to understand how close to nature and how totally self-sufficient were the ways of the Hawaiian people.

Note: Self-guided tour with interpretive signs and map. Nominal admission fee. Open daily. Picnic tables. Tel. 823-0559. Inquire about their Outrigger Canoe tours on the Wailua River. Restrooms.




STOP 6: KEAHUA FORESTRY ARBORETUM PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KAMOKILA HAWAIIAN VILLAGE  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 4.8 Miles / 11 Mins.
WATCH FOR: End of the Road  
 ROUTE:
  • Continue up Kuamoo Road 4.8 mi. to the arboretum at the end of the road.
Developed as an outdoor nature classroom that illustrates the benefits of forest management. The Arboretum has examples of both native and introduced tree species including groves of painted gum trees, scattered ohia lehua and dense tangles of hibiscus.

Note: Wayside picnic & stream pool swimming area. The scenic Kuilau-Ridge Trail (2.1 mi.) starts about 100 yards before the Arboretum.




STOP 7: KAUAI AADHEENAM
(KAUAI'S HINDU MONASTERY)
PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KEAHUA FORESTRY ARBORETUM  
DIST/TIME: Approx. 2.5 Miles / 7 Mins.
WATCH FOR: An "A-frame" house (Right Side)  
 ROUTE:
  • Return part way (2.4 mi.) down Kuamoo Road to Kaholalele Road (an "A"-frame house is on the corner - right side)
  • Turn Right onto Kaholalele Road
  • Go short way (0.1 mi.) to the monastery's Information Center at the end of road (at 107 Kaholalele Road).
A 458-acre Hindu monastery that includes a temple, meditation sanctuary, botanical gardens and ponds. The sacred Wailua River winds through the tropical grounds.

Note: Temple is open daily. Tours of the monastery offered approx. once per week. Call ahead for time of tour, tel. 822-3012.

Caution: Please show respect - wear modest clothing when visiting the monastery.




STOP 8: ANAHOLA COUNTY PARK PHOTOGRAPH
LEAVE: KAUAI AADHEENAM
(KAUAI'S HINDU MONASTERY)
 
DIST/TIME: Approx. 12.4 Miles / 14 Min.  
WATCH FOR: Sign - Anahola Road (beyond Mile Marker 13)  
 ROUTE:
  • Return 4.2 mi. down Kuamoo Road to Hwy 56 (Kuhio Hwy)
  • Turn Left onto Hwy 56 (heading north) & go 7.4 mi. to Anahola Road (right side)
  • Turn right onto Anahola Road & go 0.8 mi. to County Park
A pretty sandy beach park popular with local residents.

Note: Tent camping. Lifeguards on weekends & holidays. Showers & Restrooms.

Caution: Extremely dangerous ocean conditions occur during periods of high surf including a pounding shorebreak and powerful rip currents.


END OF DRIVE - RETURN TO LIHUE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


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