In­sider’s guide to Kauai

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page - ERIK BUR­TON KAUAI GUIDED TOURS

GO: You’ll recog­nise Kauai, the fourth largest of the Hawai­ian is­lands, from the movies. It has been a film­ing lo­ca­tion for clas­sics such as South Pa­cific, Gilligan’s Is­land, King Kong and Juras­sic Park. It also has the best beaches. Don’t miss Poipu on the south shore, Waimea Canyon on the west side, Limahuli Gar­den and Pre­serve on the north shore and Hanalei Bay and pier; kauaipath.org; ntbg.org/gar­dens/limahuli.php.

EAT: Make sure you try Kauai’s ap­ple bananas. At Tiki Tacos, you can’t beat fresh or­ganic blue corn tor­tillas. Olympic Cafe is rec­om­mended for ev­ery­thing. For lo­cal food, try SPAM musubi, loco moco (rice, ham­burger patty and egg) and fresh ahi poke (raw tuna salad). Save space for Wailua Shave Ice, sold from a van at Ka­paa. Best of all, have a pic­nic on a beach at sunset; face­book.com/Tik­iTa­cos; olympic­cafekauai.com; wailu­ashave­ice.com.

DRINK: You can’t go past the is­land’s pure wa­ter any time of day or night. Kauai Juice Co is great. For a night out, La Hiki Ola Kava Bar is tops. The lo­cal Koloa Rum has punch, trust me, and Nani Moon Mead is a fine honey wine. Long­board Lager is best for a sunset soiree; kauai­juiceco.com; face­book.com/ lahikikava; koloarum.com; nan­i­moon­mead.com; konabrew­ingco.com/blog/beers/long­board-lager/.

BUY: On Wed­nes­days, head for the mar­ket in Ka­paa and, on Satur­days, go to Kauai Com­mu­nity Col­lege. The Kauai Store sells is­land prod­ucts and Old Ka­paa Town Art Walk is best for arts and crafts. Kala’s Kreations in Ka­paa is rec­om­mended for leis; tast­ingkauai.com/farm­ers-mar­kets; thekauai­s­tore.com; face­book.com/OldKa­paaTown; kalaskreations.com.

EX­PLORE: Marvel at Waimea Canyon then head east to Wailua Falls. Turn north for Ki­lauea light­house and bird re­serve, the Food For­est, Hanalei Bay, Tun­nels Beach, Manini­holo Lava Tube and the Na­pali Coast; kauaiex­plorer.com; go­hawaii/com.au.

STAY: Aqua Kauai Beach Re­sort pro­vides af­ford­able ocean­front ac­com­mo­da­tion with a pool com­plex; Sher­a­ton Kauai Re­sort is set on a beach on the south shore; or try Kauai Beach House Hos­tel on the east side and next to the bike path. On the north shore, a good choice would be a condo or pri­vate home rental; kauaibeachre­sorthawaii.com; sher­a­ton-kauai.com; kauaibeach­house.net; vrbo.com/va­ca­tion-rentals/usa/ hawaii/kauai.

Self-styled “Hawai­ian Banana Guy” Erik Bur­ton is owner of Kauai Guided Tours, which pro­vides pri­vate guided ex­cur­sions around the is­land; kauaigu­id­ed­tours.com; face­book.com/ KauaiGu­id­ed­Tours.

In­sid­ers editor: Graham Er­bacher Graham.Er­bacher@news.com.au

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