Swimming at Wailua Falls – Kauai

Swimming at Wailua Falls – Kauai

Kauai, Wailua FallsWailua Falls, located on the East side of Kauai was so alluring that we visited it twice. These waterfalls are extremely easy to access, you can literally drive right up to the top of them.  After we got out of the car and looked at the bottom of the falls we could see people swimming… way down there and this made me crazy! I wanted to swim down there too! How did they get there? I wanted to try it. If you look at the picture you can see them swimming (above) it looked so fun but how do we get there?

I had noticed a bunch of cars back about half a km down the road so we headed that way and found a little trail down the hill. This trail was CRAZY steep. You literally had to use tree roots as a ladder to inch you way down the hill. It took us about 40 minutes to climb to the bottom but we made it, BUT then we were faced with the river. (picture below)

River at WailuaAt first walking along the river seemed like an easy task. We were wrong! After slipping and sliding we decided to turn back. At that moment we came across of group of young Australians who told us that we had chosen the “hard way” and there was an easier way than walking along the river.

As it was getting late in the day so we decided to head back to the hotel and try again tomorrow. Climbing up the hill was actually easier and faster than climbing down. My kids were exhausted and so was I. The next day we returned and looked for the “easy” trail that the Aussies had told us about. It was right near the parking lot at the top of the falls. It was not marked, there was a “keep out” sign and just a little indication of a path. For those of you looking for the way down, if you stand and look at the falls, the path is just at then end of the guard rail to your right.

When you get down the hill, which is extremely steep, probably steeper than the trial we used the previous day, the deafening roar of the falls tells you how close you are. When we got to the bottom there were some local Hawaiians there, they had climbed down barefoot! They said it was the way they always did it and laughed at us all covered in mud from sliding down on our bottoms.  We had a beer with them and celebrated our victory in making it to the poolkauai waterfall

Swimming in the pool at the base of the falls was one of the greatest travel experiences I have ever had. It was beautiful. The water was cold and refreshing after a grueling hike down. The waves from the tourists way up above reminded me of how I had waived to the swimmers the day before as I looked down and hoped I could do the same.Wailua Falls at the bottom2

Wailua Falls, was a definite highlight for our family. The thrill of swimming beneath such amazing beauty is something I will never forget.

TIPS: Must be strong on your feet, strong balance and able to climb.

The second time we did the climb, we literally wore bathing suits and T shirts only. That way we could scoot down on our bottoms when needed.

Leave your valuables in your hotel!

Take some drinks for a victory celebration when you get to the bottom! Aloha.

Queen’s Bath, North Shore Kauai

Queen’s Bath, North Shore Kauai

Queens bath 4I heard about Queen’s Bath from a friend of mine. It is located on the north shore of Kauai in Princeville. It is pretty hard to get to and I would not recommend a visit for people with kids under 7 or Adults who are not strong hikers.

On the day we went it was a little rainy and the trail down to the Queen’s bath was slippery and pretty treacherous. My husband and son had to help carry  a women back to the top of the hill when she discovered half way down that she couldn’t mQueens bath waterfallake the decent without falling. It really made me think that you have to get out and explore the world while you are still able to do so. That is why if you are reading this blog and are heading to Kauai and are still fit and able to, visit the Queen’s bath! Walking down to the Queen’s bath you pass some gorgeous waterfalls.  You also pass this scary sign…

Queens bath 5The day we visited the Queen’s Bath the tide was low but there was still some crazy wave action in the nearby inlet. Basically this is a place you should not visit October – April or when the waves are high as high waves that have literally washed people out to sea.  Disclaimer! While I think the Queen’s Bath is an amazing experience it is DANGEROUS so don’t go if the conditions are not right. We were there in August and it was nice and safe that day.

So what is the Queen’s bath? Basically it is a natural tidal pool that is formed in a lava shelf on the side of a hill. When the tide is high the surf comes crashing in through an inlet, refreshing the pool and bringing fish, and crabs and other marine life into it. It is basically a natural saltwater swimming pool in the most beautiful setting ever. It is called the Queen’s Bath because the Queen of Hawaii used to bathe here. Below is a picture of me snorkeling in the pool.

Kauai, Queens Bath

Queens bath 1The water is clear and filled with marine life. (Left) We took masks and snorkels so that we could have a good look. Other people there borrowed ours. Remember to take yours with you. Queens bath 2

Queen’s Bath is one of those special places that takes a bit of work to get to but because of this it is not over run with tourists and feels like a private paradise.Queens bath 10

Tip:Take water, towels, mask. Please leave no garbage!

Not for those with out strong mobility and balance.  We came across many people halfway down that were turning back. Be aware of your hiking ability.

Location: Princeville, Kauai.

ALOHA!

Breakfast in Kauai, Hawaii.

Breakfast in Kauai, Hawaii.

Kauai is one of the places in the world that you really do have to see to believe. I had seen it before, I just didn’t know it. Jurassic Park, The Descendants, Soul Surfer and many other movies have used Kauai as its setting and it is obvious why. Kauai is absolutely beautiful. This was my third trip to the Hawaiian islands and there is no doubt that my absolutely favorite Hawaiian island is Kauai.

Kauai, Poipu BreakfastWe were active in Kauai, we did not spend a single day just lying on the beach. Kauai is for adventure! If you are looking for more of a lying around on a beach, Hawaiian holiday I would suggest Maui. (Blog article on Maui coming soon) Kauai is for explorers. Don’t get me wrong there are tons of gorgeous beaches in Kauai but the island has so many safe, beautiful, relatively accessible one of a kind natural “attractions” it would be a shame to miss them.

Pictured left is my family and I eating breakfast in Po’ipu.  There is a food counter in nearby Koloa at the Sueoka’s Grocery store called Sueoka’s Snack Shop. For $7 per person we had bacon, eggs, toast etc. Trust me this is the cheapest breakfast on Kauai. It is a quick drive to Po’ipu beach from there and you will find yourself eating in breakfast in paradise and out on the road ready for adventure.

Kauai, Shipwreck Beach

Over the next few days I will cover off what I think are the top five “must do” activities in Kauai because, man its cold outside and I need to think about somewhere hot 🙂 Here is a shot of my kids playing in the waves at Shipwreck beach right outside of our gorgeous hotel the Grand Hyatt…..Until tomorrow… Aloha.

Kauai, Victoria