Know Before You Go, Shaka Guide's North Shore Kauai Driving Tour
You’re about to go on an awesome adventure through the North Shore of Kauai and beyond, but there are a few things you should know about the tour before you get started.
- Due to a recent landslide near Hanalei, the road has limited public access. Click here and scroll down to "Hanalei" to see the times that the road is open for public access. Please expect long delays and plan accordingly based on the public access times.
- The tour can be started in Kapa’a or Princeville and is completed in a loop, ending where you began.
- Entrance to Ha’ena State Park is limited. You must reserve your entry and parking or shuttle in advance. It costs is $5 per person to enter and $10 to park (parking is extremely limited). You can also take a shuttle from a nearby park if you cannot get a parking reservation. The shuttle costs $30 round trip. Entrance for Hawaii residents is free. Without a reservation the road is closed passed Hanalei. Make your reservation up to 30 days in advance here: www.gohaena.com.
- Kilauea Lighthouse is closed on Sunday through Wednesday. It’s open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Advanced reservations are now required at Kilauea Lighthouse. Entrance is $11 for adults and free for children under 16. Make reservations here.
- Limahuli Botanical Garden closes at 4 p.m. and has a $20 entry fee for adults; it’s free for children under 17.
- Anini Beach and Tunnels Beach are great snorkel spots. Pack your own gear or rent in Princeville and Hanalei (respectively).
What to Expect!
To Get An Early Start
Depending on when your voucher time slot is, we recommend starting the tour before 10:00 a.m. If you’re planning on hiking the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail, you’ll need to do that in daylight. This is one of the last stops on the tour. Otherwise just plan to hike the first half mile for a great view of the Na Pali coast.
To Spend 6-8 Hours Exploring
This tour only takes about a half-day -- 4-6 hours -- to complete, but you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the beaches, hikes, and garden.
To Be Active
There are only three hiking trails on this tour, but one, the Kalalau Trail, is one of the most adventurous in Hawaii. There’s no way you could hike the whole thing on your tour with us (it’s 11 miles!), but if nothing more we recommend you hike the first half mile.
To Beach Hop and Snorkel
This tour features eight beaches! We’ll take you to some remote spots where you might have the beach entirely to yourself. These are really special spots and we’re excited to share them with you! Not to mention, there are two beautiful beaches (Anini and Tunnels) that are perfect for snorkeling.
Try Local Food
There aren’t too many food spots on this tour, but at the end of the day we’ll guide you to Banana Joes where you can grab a delicious Pineapple Banana frosties.
Sure, we’ll share the stories of the places you’re visiting, but on the entire return trip we’ll tell you the tales of King Kamehameha the Great and his attempts to conquer Kauai’s King Kaumualiʻi to unite the Hawaiian Islands.
How much you spend truly depends on what you do along the tour route, but here’s a breakdown of some costs:
- $10.00 per person: Lunch
- $5.00 per person: Local snack
- $10.00 per vehicle or $30 per person: parking OR shuttle to Haena State Park (past Hanalei)
- $5.00 per person: entrance to Haena State Park (past Hanalei)
- $11 per adult, free for 16 and under: Kilauea Lighthouse
Here’s our packing list for this tour. It may seem a little long, but remember, what you bring depends on the activities you choose to do for the day.
- Hiking Clothes
- Water Bottle
- Bug Spray
- Bathing Suit
- Snorkel Gear (pick up at ABC store)
- Sun Glasses and/or Hat
- Car Charger *Very Important*
- Phone Mount
In Hawaiian the word malama means “to take care” and the word aina means “land.” When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you practice this and pick up your trash; respect the marine life, plants, and animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe. Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources for generations by respecting the land and culture when you visit.
And remember... when visiting Hawaii, always be sure to be a responsible and safe tourist! Here are 10 Ways to be a Safe and Responsible Traveler in Hawaii.
We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more help planning your day check out our North Shore Kauai Driving Tour suggested itinerary.