This page last updated: 10 July 2000


::: MAPS OF HAWAII - Island of Kauai :::

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Kauai color 150

Kauai, located 66 miles northwest of Oahu, rises to one main central peak named Mt. Waialeale at about 6,000 feet, considered by many to be "the wettest place on earth." From the early 19th Century, Kauai was nicknamed the "Garden Isle" for its abundance of fruits and vegetables and also for its lush vegetation. Its principal harbor is at Nawiliwili Bay, 98 miles from Honolulu and located on the eastern side of Kauai so subject to some problems in strong trade winds. Other landings were located at Hanalei Bay on the north, Koloa on the south and Waimea on the southwest. Overland travel from Hanalei to Waimea via Kapaa, Lihue and Koloa was a relatively simple task in the last half of the 19th Century. Terrain on the northwest Na Pali Coast, however, was (and is) impassable. A horse trail crossed the mountains between Hanalei and Waimea but most people took the longer, safer and less arduous trip around the east shore of the island. Kauai remained independent of Kamehameha I until its king agreed by treaty to join the kingdom Kamehameha assembled by conquest in the other islands. Settlement of Kauai by non-Hawaiians began in 1820 although some beachcombers were there earlier. For details about overland mail carriage on Kauai, see Islands of Kauai and Niihu Routes under Overland Mail Routes and for detail about the town postmarks found on Kauai, see Islands of Kauai and Niihau under Town Postamrks.

Kauai is 551 square miles in size and is the northernmost inhabited island of the chain. The privately owned island of Niihau is located 15 miles off the south west coast of Kauai. Niihau land size is 72 square miles and it is the westernmost inhabited island. Niihau fell under administrative authority of Kauai. Principal communication with Niihau was by private boat between Nanopapa landing on Niihau and Waimea, Kauai.

Hanalei and Environs

Hanalei is on the north shore of Kauai. This map shows the prominent Hanalei Bay with Princeville and Waioli. The town of Hanalei is at the inner most point of the Bay and is 30 miles from Lihue.

Kauai Hanalei color 200

Kilauea to Wailua

Stretching along the eastern shore of Kauai are several towns. Kilauea, at the northern end of this image, is 8 miles east of Hanalei. Going south, one comes to Anahola (10.9 miles from Hanalei), then Kealia (14 miles from Lihue and 16 miles from Hanalei) and Kapaa before coming to the river at Wailua.

Kauai Kilauea to Wailua color 200

Lihue and Koloa Environs

Nawiliwili Bay is the prominent Bay on the eastern shore. Lihue is situated just inland. Koloa is seen on the south shore, 10 miles from Lihue. Going west from Koloa, one comes to the towns of Wahiawa, Eleele (7 miles from Koloa), Hanapepe (9 miles from Koloa) and Makaweli at the western edge of this map.

Kauai Lihue and Koloa color 200

Waimea and Environs

From Eleele on the eastern edge of this map, one travels west to Waimea (8 miles from Koloa) and then on the Kekaha and Mana (10 miles from Waimea).

Kauai Waimea color 200

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