I came back from Hawaii a week ago and I already miss waking up in a tent every morning ready to spend my days outdoors. Backpacking through Hawaii going from one camping site to another is indeed choosing an adventurous lifestyle but also choosing to let one marvels by nature every day. Rare are the chances of going on a trip such as this one where one gets a tan (or perhaps a sunburn) and hike while it's only 9 degrees outside. During those two incredible weeks, we hiked, climbed mountains, saw volcanoes, swam in the ocean, saw snow and even took a diving class. Crazy eh? But so much fun.
I shall write several articles about the trip throughout the coming weeks and today, we're kicking off with a 5-day itinerary in Kauai. The latter is an island perfect for outdoors enthusiasts where one can easily extend their trip if you wish to go on several hikes. Since we only had two weeks and wanted to visit two islands, we had to limit our time there to 5 days. Too short? Not really. During those 5 days, we were able to see the main attractions without feeling like we were running out of time. We rented a car in Lihue and the latter became an outstanding ally amid the journey. Since the public transit isn't quite developed on the island, I'd truly recommend you in renting a car according to your needs in order to save time and see everything. Also, the Garden Island instantly became a favourite for me and my friends, Karo and Julie! Can you believe that only 3% of the island is occupied by men? Crazy! PS: To see more pictures of the trip, I'm inviting you to follow my Instagram account: www.instagram.com/camille_dg
T-minus one day – Flight and overnight in Lihue
We landed really late (after 9pm) on the first night. We then chose to sleep in Lihue before taking the car at 6am the next morning to Wameia. Once in Lihue, we realized how the national parks with camping sites weren't the best ones of the island. It was simply to stay overnight and regain our strength. If you arrive early, I'd recommend to head straight away in the Wameia region.
Day 1 – Lihue at Waimea Canyon & Koke'e State Park
Since we left Lihue quite early, we were ready to see the canyon as soon as we arrived. The latter is indeed impressive. It is possible to make the trip by car and stop at different locations in order to enjoy the view or several hikes are offered if you wish to explore the canyon by foot. Be warmed that Hawaii often calls for rain. You then need to dress according to those weather changes. We traveled to Hawaii in the middle of February, meaning winter in this region requires you to wear a sweater or even a coat as soon as you get to higher ground. On that night, we weren't too far from Wameia.
Day 2 – Waimea at Hanalei
On our second day, we woke at 5:30am in order to go to Hanalei! I'd recommend you to to head to Hanalei Valley Lookout before sunrise since there won't be anyone in sight that will spoil the view. On that day, you have to choose 2 or 3 things you wish to do in the area: see Tunnels Beach? Go kayaking in Hanalei river? Head to Queen's Bath? Visit Princeville? See Kilauea's lighthouse? You get to choose according on the current weather.
Day 3 and 4 – Kalalau Trail
I shall write a complete article about my hiking experience on the famous "Mile 7" in the near future. The latter requires a minimum of 2 days (unless you're a real machine that doesn't want to enjoy the beach part towards the end of the trail) and asks of you to be in a good shape. It was one the main highlights of this whole Kauai trip.
Day 5 – Exploring the surroundings of Hanalei
After spending two amazing days on the Napali coast by walking 22 miles back and forth from Kalalau, you'll need to unwind. Now's the time to do one of those wanted activities listed on "Day 2" that you haven't done yet. 3 villages located in the surroundings are also quite worth the visit: Hanalei, Koloa and Kapaa! Just an idea.
PS: All pictures are mine and all camping equipment was provided by MEC.