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."
The Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail is the last area of accessible coastline on the south shore that has not been developed. Stretching from Shipwreck Beach to Punahoa Point (6 kilometres), it features sand-dune cliffs, secluded coves, dunes, petroglyphs, Kiawe trees, and limestone formations. The ocean is also in full view.
The beach is great for whale watching in the winter. Monk seals also love hanging out there.
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