The Nā Pali Coast

Photos by Na Pali Riders

Each of the major islands that comprise the island chain and the 50th State of Hawaii have characteristics that are specific, or special, for each island. Each of the islands that comprise the State of Hawaii are unique in their own way, such as the active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii, the road to Hana and the Haleakala Crater for Maui, while the gathering place (Oahu) has Waikiki, the North Shore and Diamond Head Crater. For Kauai, also known as the Garden Island of the Pacific, the major feature is certainly considered by most this magnificent Nā Pali Coastline.

This area is the found on the northwestern side of the island and is marked by steep and rugged cliffs, as well as many picturesque beaches, coves and volcanic caves. The area is also full of wildlife from the many dolphins and whales that frolic in the waters along the coast to the Hawaiian Monk Seal and sea turtles that also abound in the clear and multi-colored water of the Pacific that surrounds the island. It should be on everyone’s bucket list as a place to visit. With the cliffs that rise dramatically to about 4000 feet from sea level, many experience a spiritual connection, or achieving “chicken skin” (local Hawaiian term for “goose bumps”) when viewing the magnificent coastline.

Cascading waterfalls wind through tropical rainforest and the verdant green valleys as the water makes its way out to sea.  Mystical, magical sea caves leave you spellbound.  There are pristine coral reefs abundant with marine life.  There are also, of course, the many dolphins and humpback whales (during certain times of the year) which perform great acrobatic feats in the ocean.

To visit Kauai and not spend any time visiting the Nā Pali Coast is not recommended. The sheer awe that one usually experiences while seeing this coast either via hiking or helicopter, or using the best way (in this writer’s opinion), via the water from a raft or boat.

“Nā Pali” translates from Hawaiian to “the cliffs” which is one of the most majestic areas in the world. It is around 15 or so miles of a very rugged coastline, as noted, located on the northwest shore of Kauai.

Even if you have never actually been to the Nā Pali Coast of Kauai, you more likely than not, have seen its splendor if you have seen some of the following movies – King Kong, South Pacific, or Jurassic Park, to name a few as all were filmed, at least in part, on Kauai.