Hawaii Guide

Camping on Kauai Kauai

Camping on Kauai

You can do some great camping on Kauai, as the island is littered with sites and facilities which offer visitors the chance to enjoy Kauai's natural beauty to the full.

Camping is a fantastic way of enjoying nature and also has the advantage of being the cheapest way of staying on Kauai for a vacation. Hikers in particular may prefer the camping option as this allows them to explore more of the island on foot. The famous Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali region takes a few days to complete so people camp often in the park. There is nowhere else to stay overnight as this area is largely uninhabited.

Permits are required for camping. Kauai is very focused on eco tourism and issuing permits is one way of monitoring visitor activity. Once you have decided where to stay, you need to contact the relevant authorities for a permit. For state campsites contact the Division of State Parks, 3060 Eiwa Street, Room 306, Lihue, HI 967766, or call them on 808 274 3444. The requirement to have a permit is strictly enforced so do not try to go camping without one.

To stay in county camping sites you need to contact the Division of Parks and Recreation, 4444 Rice Street, Room 150, Lihue, HI 96766, or ring them up on 808 241 6660. It is preferable to apply for a permit in advance as camping sites can get booked up, particularly from May to December.

The state run camping area at Na Pali is the most popular campsite so needs to be booked months in advance. However camping out does not get much better than this Kauai's northwest coast is spectacular and completely wild so it is a chance to see pristine wilderness and experience something naturally unique. Botanists will have a field day with the incredible range of unusual tropical plants to be found there.

Top Rated Camp Spots

Polihale State Park is a beach camping area in a dramatically beautiful location. The beach allows swimming in the summer. Surfing can be done here although it is not the best place the island has to offer. Another popular activity is fishing. The camp grounds are at the south end of the beach and benefit from facilities such as wash rooms, showers, picnic and barbecue areas, and access to drinking water. The nearest main town for shopping is Waimea.

Kokee State Park, up in the mountains in west Kauai, has several camp grounds. One of these is private and can be contacted at Kauai YWCA, 3094 Elua Street, Lihue, HI 96766, tel: 1 808 335 6060. Kokee can get cold in the evenings so bring plenty of warm clothing and cold weather gear. Winters can be cold and rainy so bring stout shoes and protective clothing. The scenery is beautiful in the Kokee State Park and it can be quite pleasant to have a break from the heat.