South Kauai Region Sights, Tours, & Information
Things to Do & Visitor Tips for South Kauai
The southern side of Kaua'i is warm, dry, and generally arid averaging about 35-40 inches of rain a year. The average temperature is 78F, but don't be surprised if temps get into the high 80's or even 90's in this region. Though far from the popular North Shore and scarcely populated, the South side has a lot to offer. The biggest attractions here are the perfect beaches around the Poipu area, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and Spouting Horn.
The Poipu area stretches around Makahuena Point and is a popular tourist destination, filled with hotels, condos, resorts, shopping, and vacation rentals.
Other towns you'll find on the south side include Kalaheo, Koloa, Lawai, and Omao.
South Kauai Top 5 Things to Do
Best Things to See in South Kauai
#5 Rated in South Kauai
Located in Poipu, this beach got its name from an old wooden ship sunk off the coast that has long since faded into the deep blue. The swimming at this beach is often far from ideal because of strong currents and high surf, but it's raw, natural scenery, relative seclusion, and romantic atmosphere make up for the lack of good swimming. Shipwreck Beach (often referred to as "Shipwrecks Beach") is a great place to catch some sun on a beautiful (and relatively quiet) beach, to hold a private and romantic ceremony, or just to explore the surrounding terrain.
In fact, one of the beach's main highlights is its proximity to Makawehi Point, which is a lithified sand dune. From the east end of Shipwrecks Beach (far left when facing the ocean), there is a trail that leads up to the top of the hill. The trail continues for several miles, following oceanfront cliff tops, skirting the golf course and stables, and finally delivering you at the near end of Maha Ulepu Beach. These cliffs can additionally be a popular area for locals to fish.
#4 Rated in South Kauai
Spouting Horn Beach Park is located on Lawa'i Road in Po'ipu in south Kauai. The ocean attraction can be viewed from the top of a small hill with a guard-rail.
Like other blowholes, Spouting Horn is caused by a hole in a lava shelf. The ocean rushes under the shelf and up through the hole with a mighty force that sends water shooting into the air. What makes this blowhole slightly different is the addition of a second hole that only emits wind and creates an unusual sound.
Spouting Horn puts on quite a show at high tide but is equally entertaining most of the time.
Makawehi Lithified Cliffs
#3 Rated in South Kauai
Whether you're an armchair geologist or simply appreciate Mother Nature's stunning handiwork, you'll want to check out the fascinating Makawehi Lithified Cliffs on Kauai's South Shore.
Located next to Shipwreck Beach in South Kauai, these ancient limestone sea cliffs have been virtually sandblasted by a combination of wind, salt, and water over millions of years.
This entire stretch of Kauai's coastline is also a treasure trove of fossils, petroglyphs, and ancient Hawaiian burial grounds.
National Tropical Botanical Garden
#2 Rated in South Kauai
At the end of Lawa'i Road is one of the most magnificent gardens on Kaua'i, the National Tropical Botanical Garden. It is actually two gardens in one: the 252-acre McBryde Gardens and the 100-acre Allerton Gardens.
The Allerton Gardens were once a private estate and are full of fountains, lush greenery, and interesting flowers. The McBryde Gardens are adjacent to the Allerton Gardens and are home to the world's largest collection of native Hawaiian flora.
Tours of the garden are guided and normally last two to three hours. Visitors must check-in at the Visitors Center across the street from Spouting Horn Beach Park.
#1 Rated in South Kauai
Poipu Beach is the star when it comes to the south shore of Kauai. This beautiful curve of white sand is 50 ft. wide by approximately 1,000 ft. long.
The beach is actually split into two small bays; one section is ideal for small children and beginner snorkelers while the other section is better suited for swimming, snorkeling, and even surfing when the surf is up. The sandbar separating the two bays is often home to the endangered monk seal; however, we encourage you not to approach them.
Poipu Beach ultimately makes this list due to its diversity and popularity.