The rural communities of Moloa‘a and Kīlauea lay in the
ahupua’a of Ko‘olau. Due to its isolation, the beach community
of Moloa‘a is often overlooked by visitors. Just ten minutes
north of Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a Bay is a great place for swimming,
snorkeling or reading a book. Unlike the rocky beaches of
Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a offers golden sand and turquoise water.
Kīlauea is a former sugar plantation town. The most
frequented visitor attraction here is the Kīlauea Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is located on a 203-acre national wildlife refuge.
Many migratory birds such as the Pacific Golden Plover, the
Laysan Albatross, and the Nēnē propagate here. Sometimes
you may even see humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals and
IMAGES: NATHAN SEBAS TIAN
Six small beach towns make up the district of Halele‘a.
Kalihi Wai is the first and is primarily known for its surf break.
Kalihi Wai means “with a stream” and how fitting being that
it’s next to one. Spend an afternoon kayaking up Kalihi Wai
‘Anini Beach is just across the river. A bridge once
connected the two towns until a tidal wave washed it away
in 1957. Vacation homes line the beach here and the ocean
stays relatively calm due to a wide fringing reef surrounding it.
Windsurfing is very popular here.
Up the road is Princeville, the Bel-Air of Kaua‘i. This lavish
town sits on a plateau that extends from the upper mountains
to lower sea cliffs. A short hike down one of these cliffs will
take you to Queens Bath, a large protected saltwater pond.
Princeville offers many amenities that Hanalei doesn’t (like a
gas station) so fill’er up and head on down to Hanalei.
For the truly adventurous, the district of Nāpali is only
accessible by foot. The majestic park and coastline consists
of streams, cascading waterfalls, dramatic sea cliffs, lush
verdant valleys and amazing views. If you plan on doing
the 22-mile round trip hike to Kalalau Valley, be prepared.
First and foremost, secure a camping permit. Second, pack
your bags rationally and third train If 22 miles is a bit too
adventurous, there are many enjoyable day hikes around the
area. Remember, always check the weather conditions before