With its rugged coastline, azure waters and lush rainforest, the Hawaiian island of Kauai is the perfect honeymoon destination for lovers of the outdoors. Also known as the Garden Isle, it’s the fourth largest island in Hawaii and the oldest in the Hawaiian archipelago.
So pack your bags, set your watch to island time and rent some wheels – there is so much to discover!
Take an aerial tour. Fasten those seatbelts – we’re heading skywards! A helicopter tour is the best way to truly appreciate Kauai’s spectacular geography. From hovering above steep canyons, to dipping into verdant valleys, marvelling at cascading waterfalls and cruising along the famous Na Pali Coast, a honeymoon helicopter flight promises to be an unforgettable start to married life.
Mauna Loa Helicopters offers private flights, so you and your love can enjoy the views sans other tourists. After an extra thrill? Opt for a ‘doors off’ experience and feel the wind rushing through your hair – just try not to look down! For a luxury option, try Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and enjoy Bose headsets, a spacious interior and panoramic windows.
Best for: Keen photographers.
Sail away: Fruity cocktails, a luxe mega yacht and your true love by your side; this is honeymoon bliss! For seafaring spouses, a sunset dinner sail along the dramatic Na Pali coastline is a fantastic way to explore, with equal parts of relaxation and adventure!
Capt. Andy’s takes tours aboard its deluxe catamaran fleet departing from Port Allen Harbour. Spot sea turtles bobbing in the waves, hang out on the deck, enjoy the views and tuck into a chef-prepared three-course dinner. The knowledgeable crew will point out striking geographical elements along the way (think caves, blow holes, natural arches and lava tubes) and if you ask nicely, the skipper might even let you take the wheel for a moment or two!
If a sunset expedition is not for you, book a snorkel tour or rafting experience – there is definitely something for every kind of sailor.
Best for: Ocean lovers who don’t mind salty hair and sea spray.
Zip through the treetops: If you and your love have always wanted to try ziplining, then Kauai is an amazing place to give it a go! Boasting truly cinematic backdrops (parts of Jurassic park and Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed here), it’s certainly a scenic spot to enjoy a bird’s eye view.
Join a tour with Outfitters Kauai, which offers a variety of zipline treks, including tours with extra activities like hiking and kayaking. The ‘Zipline Trek Nui Nui Loa’ takes place on the sprawling Kipu Ranch, the filming location of The Descendants. This tour will appeal to both novice (and nervous!) zipliners and seasoned ‘zippers’ alike, and its varied course includes suspension bridges and tandem lines – so you can wave at your partner as you whiz by!
Best for: Movie buffs and Go Pro enthusiasts.
Morning: Start your day with a caffeine hit at the Kauai Coffee Company – located near old Koloa town on the island’s south shore.
The expansive plantation is home to four million coffee trees – making it the largest coffee farm in the United States! Take a self-guided stroll around the plantation and sample the estate-grown brews; try the ‘Kauai Blue Mountain’ for a wake-up call, Hawaii style.
Afternoon: For lunch on the run, drop into Bubba’s Burgers for an all-American burger with a little aloha. Try the most popular burger on the menu, the ‘Double Bubba’ – hold the lettuce and tomato (the way the locals like it) and wash it down with a shake.
Evening: Named after historic surfing legend and Olympian Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Duke’s is a must-visit. Nestled on the shores of Kalapaki Beach, downstairs is the Barefoot Bar, serving island-style cocktails and casual Hawaiian eats, while upstairs is an authentic open-air restaurant plating up Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Ask for your fish ‘Duke’s Style’ and don’t forget to save room for dessert – Hula pie!
At the end of an adventurous day, it’s time for a little island-style relaxation, and Kauai has no shortage of honeymoon-worthy accommodation.
Kauai Marriott Resort is a beachfront, tropical haven with landscaped gardens, an 18-hole golf course and spa. Kick back by the epic swimming pool, enjoy a dip in the ocean or partake in the free activities like hula performances and yoga.
Images by Anika Reynolds.
For the ultimate in seaside elegance, check in to the St. Regis Princeville. Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment and enjoy candlelit private dining before retreating to your opulently appointed suite – ahh.
Image via St. Regis Princeville
On the South Shore lies the Sheraton Kauai Resort, a picturesque island hideaway, with low-rise accommodation no taller than a coconut tree. Take an after dinner beach walk with your love and regale the day’s events by the fire pits at the Ocean Courtyard lounge – perfect.
Image via Sheraton Kauai Resort
Ms Chinoiserie Says: The perfect honeymoon get-away for romance, adventure and the aloha spirit!
About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!