Kauai, Hawaii, United States - Cendrine Marrouat Photography

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I was in Kaua'i at the end of 2017. It was my second visit to Hawai'i in three years.

Maui is beautiful, so I had high expectations about Kaua'i. Let me tell you this: I was not disappointed. The whole island has so much diversity! The landscape and weather change all the time!

Also known as the "Garden Isle," Kauaʻi ([kɐˈwɐʔi] in Hawaiian) is the oldest and fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Legend has it that Hawaiʻiloa, the Polynesian navigator who discovered the Hawaiian Islands, named it after his favorite son.

According to Kauai.com, "Like the other islands, Kauai was initially inhabited roughly 1500 years ago by the same Polynesian adventurers who completed their nearly 2000 mile sea voyage on outrigger canoes when they first landed on the shores of the big island of Hawaii. Here they stayed undisturbed for around 500 years, until a second wave of sea-canoe travelers appeared, this time from Tahiti (which was also originally settled by Polynesian sea-canoe explorers). It was from the Tahitian arrival that the current Hawaiian gods, belief structures and many traditions evolved."

Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge

The century-old lighthouse stands at the edge of Kīlauea Point, 55 metres above the ocean. It was recently restored.

Established in 1985, the goal of the refuge is to preserve and enhance seabird nesting colonies. Many species of birds co-exist in the area, including laysan albatrosses, red-footed boobies, red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, and migratory shorebirds such as the kōlea. A small population of endangered nēnē were reintroduced on the refuge in the 1990s.

Visitors can also observe marine mammals and reptiles there...

For the complete list of animals living in the area, click here.

The nene, or Hawaiian goose, can only be found in Hawaii. It is also the official bird of the state.

Maniniholo Dry Cave

Maniniholo Dry Cave is named after a fisherman who belonged to the Menehune, Kaua'i's mythical little people. This ancient sea cave is at the bottom of a steep cliff. Its roof lowers as you reach its back and there are ancient drawings inside.

Surfers at Ha'ena Beach

Waimea Canyon State Park

Do you know that Kaua'i has the largest canyon in the Pacific?

Waimea (meaning "reddish water" in Hawaiian) Canyon, or the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is 16 kilometres long and 900 metres deep. A number of geological events have chiseled it over a period of 5 million years. One of them is erosion with the Waimea River and extreme rainfall on Mount Waiʻaleʻale, one of the wettest places on earth.

The peak receives an average of 11,500 mm of water every year! 

Red Dirt Waterfall

On the road to the canyon, you will find Red Dirt Waterfall. It's an amazing spot but it is easy to miss. There is no sign anywhere. 

The red soil gives the spot a very Mars-like appearance

Wild chickens

There are thousands of wild chickens on Kaua'i. They are everywhere! And you can hear the roosters crow every minute of the day. 

But it did not use to be that way. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki swept across the island and destroyed all the coops. The fowl were released and have proliferated ever since. 

According to Modern Farmer"All domestic chickens are descendants of a bird called the red junglefowl, native to various parts of, mostly, Southeast Asia. Domestic chickens these days are mostly so far removed from the red junglefowl that they can hardly be compared with it, but the Hawaiian chickens are a little bit different. Polynesians brought red junglefowl with them when they settled Hawaii, and only cross-bred them with domestic chickens following Captain Cook’s landing on the archipelago in 1778. So the Hawaiian chickens are pretty recently developed from their wild form."

The usual joke is that feral chickens are the “official” birds of the island.

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