Leave a Footprint in the Sand at Maha‘ulepuKaua‘i

MAHA‘ULEPU, the last undeveloped shoreline on Kaua‘i’s southern coast, is much more than an exquisite beach and favorite windsurfing spot. This 2,900-acre wilderness area is populated with rare plants and endangered animals.

Maha‘ulepu tells the story of 5 million years of change to Kaua‘i’s land and waters. It was here that King Kamehameha sent his troops in 1796 in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the island. Most of the 1,200 outrigger canoes carrying his 10,000 bravest warriors sunk or were turned back by a series of vicious storms.

As if Maha‘ulepu’s geological and cultural significance were not enough, it’s also a place of scenic beauty where you can snorkel or swim in the reef-protected waters of KAWAILOA BAY.

The HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL, a threatened species, also makes frequent visits to this coastal area. Be sure to stay at least 100 feet from these 400- to 600-pound wild animals.

Maha‘ulepu, owned by a private company, is a 2-mile car trip from the end of Po‘ipu Road. Gates open at 7 a.m. and close promptly at 6 p.m. Cars may be towed if vehicles are not removed beforehand.