Lush river valley with riverboat cruise (fee charged) to Fern Grotto, an unusual fern-covered cave set in a tropical garden; scenic vistas of attractive waterfalls ‘Opaeka‘a Falls and Wailua Falls) and the Wailua River Valley. The Wailua Complex of Heiau (National Historic Landmark)–remains of heiau (places of worship), pu‘uhonua (places of refuge), and birthstones at this once important seat of chiefly power in old Hawaiʻi. Picnicking in riverside coconut grove; and dining and gift shopping at Wailua Marina.
Huleia National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is approximately 241 acres and was established in 1973 under the Endangered Species Act to recover threatened and endangered species including the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck, Anas wyvilliana), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis), ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt, Himantopus mexicanus) and the nēnē (Hawaiian goose, Branta sandvicensis). Managed wetlands within the Huleia River Valley provide for the birds’ lifecycle history requirements. In addition, 26 other bird species (18 of which are introduced) also use the Refuge.
The Refuge is located in a relatively flat valley along the Hulē‘ia River bordered by a steep wooded hillside. This land was used for wetland agriculture including taro and rice but is managed today as a refuge for wildlife.
In order to protect the endangered species that live in Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge, it is closed to the public but can be viewed at an overlook maintained by the State of Hawai‘i at the historic Alakoko (Menehune) Fishpond.
Hā’ena State Park is located at the northwestern extent of Kuhio Highway on Kauai’s north-shore. The park offers viewing of restored lo’i kalo (taro field, as well as, the spectacular Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park. The park also offers beach-related activities including shore fishing and swimming at Ke’e Beach. Hā’ena is also home to the trailhead of the world famous Kalalau Trail [11 miles], as well as, Hanakāpīʻai Falls trail [4 miles].
All visitors need a prebooked parking pass to get in. There is also a shuttle service you can pick up from various north shore locations.