I went on this trip also with Brayden ! We flew into Lihue airport and at the airport we rented a jeep wrangler (red – named her Ruby) from Alamo right outside the airport. It costed us around $50 USD/ day. Ruby was our baby during this trip and we wouldn’t have survived without her!
We camped at a few different spots at which you can get permits for via the website: http://www.kauai.gov/Camping
To camp at the infamous Kalalau beach (can only be reached by hiking or boat) along the Napoli Coast, permits can be obtained from this website: https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/welcome.html
-Kauai beach house hostel for our first night, which was alright but I almost preferred camping on the beach for $3/night. See link: http://www.kauaibeachhouse.net
Things to do:
-Waimea Canyon Lookout – tons of day hikes or overnight hikes you can do around here
-Polihale state park – camp on this beach and have drinks with a fire – there was no one on it and that’s what made it so amazing
-Visit Hanapepe beach / Poipu Beach
-We drove the whole island (you can do this in a few hours) and beach hopped
-Camp at Anahola, Polihale (need permit from the government link), Hanalei Bay, and have fires/drinks/bbq every night
-Go swimming in the Queen’s bath (about a ten minute walk into this trail)
-Go snorkelling at Tunnels Beach (I kid you not, I have never swam with so many turtles at once! There were like 30 just along the beach front and it was such an incredible day)
-Hike the Kalalau Trail (we did this over 3 days, 2 days hiking (Day 1: hike all the way in + detour to waterfalls, Day 2: lay on the beach for one whole day and explore, then Day 3: hike all the way out). An alternative option is to camp about half-way in approximately 6 miles and then hike the other half during the morning of your second day, however we wanted to maximize our time on the beach and did it within one day). The first day in took us about 7 am to 630 pm with barely any breaks + 4 mile detour to check the waterfalls. It was a big day but so worth it! Please let me know if you have any other questions about this trail!
What I wish I knew/did:
Make sure you plan in advance your camping permits if you want to do the Kalalau hike – this books out so far in advance! There are only 3 ways to see the Napoli coast as you cannot drive it (helicopter, hike, or kayak/boat). I also wish we had some time to do some surfing but we really wanted to just relax after doing the hike!
Also note: credit Brayden for setting up the tent/getting us hot water to cook our dinners/ and making sure I never quit!