Archive for May, 2014

Kauai Is A Bird Lovers Paradise! + Last Chance To Enter

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Bird Watching on Kauai

The Garden Isle is home to a wide variety of birds with over 80 different species found here, making it a bird lover’s paradise. Many of the species on Kauai are rare and endangered, found nowhere else on the entire planet.

If you’d like to view some of the island’s beautiful birds, here are some of the best spots to do just that.

01Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

The once endangered Nene, or Hawaiian Goose and the state bird of Hawaii, can frequently be seen at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the northernmost point of the island. The Kilauea Lighthouse is also part of this 203-acre refuge which includes spectacular views of the rugged coastline, a seabird sanctuary and a National Marine Life Sanctuary. This is where you’ll find the biggest colony of seabirds across all of the main islands throughout the Hawaiian archipelago.

The protected refuge is a nesting area for many native Hawaiian bird species and is the best place to see numerous seabirds like Great Frigatebirds, Red-footed Boobies and the Laysan Albatross.  The magnificent Laysans frequently soar by at eye level, with this refuge one of the few places in the world where one of these glorious birds can be witnesed. Migratory shorebirds like the kōlea can also be seen from August through May.

Kokee State Park

Most of the native forest birds are found above an elevation of 3,000 feet within native forest habitats such as those found at Kokee State Park on the island’s west side, 15 miles north of Kekaha. To see some of the rarest forest birds on earth, hike along the Pihea trail through Alakai Swamp, watching for the crimson colored i’iwi, also known as the Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper. Typically, this area will reveal at least 6 of the 8 endemic bird species including the i’iwi, moa and apapane.

There are miles and miles of hiking trails in the park to explore and watch for rare Hawaiian birds. By stopping in at the Kokee Natural History Museum you can find out more about the local flora and fauna.

Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

The Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge on the north side of the island was created under the Endangered Species Act to protect five endangered native Hawaiian birds including the Hawaiian goose, the stilt, coot, moorhen and the Hawaiian duck. At least 45 other bird species can also be seen here, including 18 non-native species.

The Nene can often be seen on the grassy areas between the taro patches along the banks of the river. The bird gets its name for the sound, “ney, ney,” that it makes. You might also glimpse the black-crowned night heron, white coots, moorhens, stilts and koloa ducks near the river. The stilt is usually easy to spot with long pink legs that allow it to wade through the taro ponds.

The Hawaiian Moorhen also stands out with its bright red forehead known as the frontal shield. Its neck and head are black, with feathers varying from bluish-black to slate-gray with white under-tail feathers. The Moorhen is a critically endangered species, numbering less than 1,000 birds, living mostly on Kauai and Oahu, including the taro patches of Hanalei where they are frequently seen.

Last Chance to Enter

All good things must come to an end.  Our sweepstakes for a free one week stay in our Beachcomber at Hideaway Cove Poipu Beach ends the end of this month.  So, if you don’t want to miss out, now is the time to enter.  You’ll win a $1260 credit, which can be applied to the accommodation of your choice.  So come with a friend or bring several friends and stay in one of our two or three bedrooms.  We hope to see you soon at Hideaway.  Good luck to everyone.


Snorkeling On Kauai

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Snorkeling is not only easy to learn, many visitors say that seeing the incredible marine life is the highlight of their vacation on Kauai. The Garden Isle offers numerous snorkeling spots with many located off some of the nicest beaches on the island. From rare species of brilliant colored fish to green sea turtles, squids, rays and more, you’re bound to be entertained for hours in these spectacular waters.

Guests of Hideaway Cove have access to snorkel gear available to rent, including a mask, snorkel, fins, “no fog goop,” and a card that identifies local fish.

If you’ve never been snorkeling before, it’s very simple to learn, but you might feel more comfortable joining a tour with guides that can help you learn the proper technique as well as point out the myriad of marine life that you’ll find below the water’s surface.

For those who go out on their own, keep in mind that where and when you snorkel will make a big difference in the experience. You’ll want to look for calm waters without waves that are protected by reefs. Tropical reefs and corals are where you’ll find the fish. Kauai offers many protected snorkeling areas that are ideal with the reef areas offering an abundance of diverse fish populations. Keep in mind that the water is typically calmer at low tide and in the morning.

Some of the best spots on Kauai to snorkel include:

10Ke’e Beach

Snorkeling at Ke’e Beach is like being inside a giant aquarium with the ocean lagoon protected by a reef where a great diversity of fish and other marine life can be seen. This is the last beach accessible by car on the north shore and best utilized during the summer with calmer ocean conditions. It is a popular spot that can get pretty crowded, so you may want to arrive early for a better experience.

Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach offers a little more privacy while still teeming with marine life. It’s known as one of the best snorkeling spots on the island due to the undersea rock formations that include a labyrinth of underwater lava tubes. The cove has a shallow inner reef that is ideal for beginners and children, while the more adventurous can swim out further to the outer reef. Either way, snorkelers are practically ensured of spotting dozens and dozens of tropical fish and occasionally even a sea turtle.

The beach itself is very picturesque, and the surrounding area was the setting for the 1958 film, “South Pacific.” It’s best to snorkel here in the summer, as the currents can be quite strong here during the winter, even when the water appears to be safe.

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is a great place for children and beginning snorkelers to learn with its protected, shallow area. The best snorkeling can be found just to the west of the tombolo, a narrow strip of sand running out to Nukumoi Point. This is the only beach on Kauai’s south shore that has lifeguards seven days a week.

Lydgate Beach

Lydgate Beach, located on Kauai’s east shore between Wailua and Lihue is another good spot for novices to learn to snorkel as it includes a lava rock wall that encloses a small lagoon where fish can be seen. There are lots of activities for kids here as well, including an amazing community-built playground.

Salt Pond Beach

Salt Pond Beach on the west shore near Hanapepe offers a crescent shaped cove protected from the waves by an offshore reef.  The rock outcropping near the salt ponds are filled with lots of marine life.