I share the Pacific ocean with my much larger friends, humpback whales. As interesting as I am to look at, I know that most tourists come to see the whales and not the monk seals, and I don’t blame you – seeing a whale breach out of the ocean is majestic
I’ve shared a few tips on whale spotting before. Here, I want to provide you with some of the islands best look-out locations for whale spotting. With your trusty monk seal at your side, you’re bound to see a few amazing things here in Kauai.
Between Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii, Kauai delivers the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to whale watching. Statistically, you will see more whales on Kauai than the other islands. So, if you are intent on seeing whales while in Kauai, be sure to book your trip between January-March (high season) and check out these locations. For best results, visit in the morning between 9:00 am and noon.
Here are two places with frequent occurrence of whale spotting.
NORTH SHORE: Kilauea Lighthouse
Located on the Kilauea peninsula which gives this treasured lighthouse its name, the Kilauea Lighthouse may offer one of the most breathtaking and engulfing ocean views Kauai has to offer. As you can imagine, the panoramic view from a peninsula is expansive, providing plenty of angles. While you’re there, you may want to check out the lighthouse and the surrounding wildlife preserve. Tickets are $5.00/person (no charge for kids under 15), open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Tuesday – Saturday, closed Sunday, Monday, and all federal holidays.
For a history of the lighthouse, go here.
“Kilauea Light 2008” by United States Coast Guard, PA3 Michael De Nyse – U.S. Coast Guard photo ID 081029-G-0314D-001
SOUTH SHORE: The Mahaulepu Makauwahi Nature Trail
Like the Kilauea Lighthouse, the Mahaulepu Makauwahi trail is a treasure in and of itself; whale watching is just a perk. The 3 mile (one way) path stretches from Keoneloa Bay to Kawailoa Bay with plenty of geological surprises along the way (see here for more detailed information). I suggest stopping at the Makauwahi Cave – Hawaii’s largest limestone cave. So, get your hike on while watching for whales! Making a game of it will make the walk exciting for the entire family.
“Mahaulepu” by DarTar – Own work.
For more reviews on where the best whale watching locations are, go here.
Information gathered from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. They gather whale-sighting data from multiple points on Kauai during January, February, and March and publish it annually. The most recent report (January 2013) is pictured below.