HAWAII · KAUAI
Kauai - with the Grand Canyon of the Pacific
Kauai is the oldest of the big islands farther to the west away from the rest.
Mount Waialeale (5243 ft high), densely covered by rain forests, is the centre of the island, which is almost always surrounded by clouds. Its peak is the wettest point in the world - the average rainfall per year amounts to 500 inches. This makes the island a Garden of Eden. But on the white, sandy beaches there is as much sunshine as elsewhere on the islands.
Thus there are many connoisseurs who love Kauai.
The Na Pali Coast in the northeast of Kauai is a steep cliff. You can only see it properly either from the sea or from a helicopter. In this area Waimea Canyon ends, which Mark Twain with some exaggeration called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There are several lookouts granting a wonderful view over the colourful rocks and the lush vegetation among which wild goats and pigs live.
The Kukui Trail follows the valley in the canyon.
Near Wailua, a town at the coast, "Paradise Pacifica" is situated at the only navigable river of the islands It is a huge park with palm trees, pavilions and lagoons. A small train takes the tourists around, so that they dont have to walk.
Niihau, west of Kauai is a small charming island. Niihau has been privately owned since the 19th century by a family of ranchers. They only tolerate 200 residents on the island.