Roadtrip around Kauai - Polihale and Queen's Bath

In 2017 we visited the islands of Hawaii for 17 days. Snorkeling, driving, hiking, exploiring everthing that the islands of O'ahu and Kauai had to offer. To make things easier to read and write, we have grouped everything in our travels into city locations and not exactly by time. We visited Hawaii before, back in 2012, where we traveled around Maui for 8 days. You can read about our Maui adventure here!

We landed in the Island of O'ahu, where we stayed for 4 days then flew to Kauai for a longer visit. We ended the trip in O'ahu again before flying back home.

* O'ahu, Waianae - (Yokohama Bay, Kaena Point State Park)
* Kauai, Hanalei - (Tunnels Beach, Cannon's Beach, Makua Beach, Ke'e Beach)
* Kauai, Hanalei part 2 - (Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast)
* Kauai, Polihale - (Polihale State Park, Queen's Bath, Waimea)


One of the neatest things about the Hawaiin islands is how different they geography and nature can vary from one side of an islands to another side. When we went to Maui in 2012, we made it a point to drive around the entire islands and it was our first true experience of seeing how much the land can change in such short distance.

We were currently staying in Hanalei and we had heard that Polihale we a pristine and secluded beach just 13 miles away, but due to the mountaints, was impossible to get to. During our research we found that it may be possible to hike through the mountains, but is very dangerous, and requires permits that are booked months and possibly years in advance.

So with the time we had, we decided to make a road trip!
When considering the scenic drive, the places you can stop at along the way, and the experience from it, a two hour drive was really nothing at all, about the equivalant of driving out of Los Angeles during rush hour. We had originally considered renting a tent and sleeping overnight at Polihale State Park, but decided against it as it seemed too complicated and risky at the time. We also choose not to bring any of our snorkeling gear, because in our research we read that Polihale State Beach was too dangerous to snorkle in, as it was mostly an area that was constantly hit by large waves.


We would come to regret that decision immensely.

Our departure was in the early morning, with our first stop along the way to be Queen's Bath, a large sinkhole surrounded by igneous rock on the coast of Princeville, creating a unique natural pool.
Driving through Hanalei, feels like driving through the Amazon Tropical Rainforest.
Princeville is a rather populated residential area with large beautiful homes nestled side by side next to each other. There is a small area inside the residential area that leads to Queen's bath. It's kind of cool having such a unique little trail right in your backyard.
This little guy and its mate were chilling near the stream.
We arrived pretty early, but almost as soon as the sun was up people were heading down to the area to go swimming.
There were small little pools near the back of the rocks were water had collected but wasn't disturbed often and had no way to drain out. They were rather fascinating to look at.
Nearing Kappa, the geography and landscape already began to change.
Once passed the Southern tip of the island the geopgraphy begans to change again, the foliage becoming sparse and the rocks becoming exposed and changing to deep reds.
Traveling up the western coast, the land begins to flatten again, and the beach becomes much like the Southern California coastline, with long stretches of sandy beaches.
Eventually the pavement ends and there is a short distance drive the rest of the way, however this drive takes a rather LONG time due to the condition of the road which is full of holes and rocks. There were several times that we wondered if we were going the wrong way or made a wrong turn somewhere. Luckily enough the sign to the park soon appeared.
I wouldn't make this drive without an suv or truck of some kind, but with great care and time it can be done in a normal car. It is, regardless of the amount of time it takes, well worth it, as the beaches were some of the most secluded beaches we saw, with gorgeous almost pristine waters.
The waves in the area were no worst than we had seen elesewhere, and deeply regretted not bringing any of our gear.
After spending some time looking over the waters we headed towards the nearest town to find some grub, stopping in Waimea.
Some fish tacos at Island Taco sounded perfect after the long trip we had.
The tacos were delicious, with thick fresh chunks of lightly grilled fish and homemade tortillas.
Delicious shaved ice can be found a short walk down the street at JoJo's shave ice.
Also pick up some Mochi cake if you see them. Great snacks!

Next we will move to wrap up our time in Kauai!