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H2Oplanet

best shooting locations/subjects in Kauai, Hawaii???

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I will be in Kauai for two weeks visiting my son and I will have significant leisure time for shooting topside and underwater. I plan to bring a wide range of lenses (8mm to 500mm), 2 cameras (1Ds Mk II), tripod, and one housing. I will not be bringing SCUBA gear so I will be limited to shallow UW shots and split shots (snorkeling only). I will be staying in the Princeville area and hope to day hike around fairly accessible areas of the island. Given that information, any subject and/or location recommendations?

Edited by H2Oplanet

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Since you will be on Kauii, take a dive boat to see the Monk Seals. They are very friendly and unusual

Steve :blink:

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I've been to Kauai a few times now and only once to scuba. It quickly became apparent to me that I could see just as much with a mask and snorkel that I could with a tank on my back. We always stay at Poipu Beach on the other side of the island, south, from Princeville. Poipu has gorgeous reefs that are in 0 - 15' easily snorkelable from the beach. Just my opinion...

 

But if the scuba fever hits you, get on a boat that will take you over to Ni'ihau. Definitely the best scuba on "Kauai". The ride across the channel is rough so bring a seat cushon! :-) The boats leave out of Port Allen/Hanapepe.

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I definately agree about Ni'ihau. I live on Oahu and the stories I hear about the diving on there are legendary. Though I haven't been able to make the trip, if I could make one dive, that would be it. I hear corals (a dimishing attraction in hawaii) are the main focus there.

 

I also agree with princville. I have stayed there many times... absolutely my favorite. A bit of a drive from Poipu, but worth it. If you drive to the end of the road on that side, you will find Ke'e beach park. If I remember right, I snorkeled the western end of it and found incredible structure there. ledges from 10-20 ft. tall. Pretty abundant fishlife, but definately a snorkel spot (and very crowded at times).

 

Aside from snorkeling, take your camera and cruise the Na Pali coast. Incredible stuff. the summertime is much calmer and the ride there will be much smoother than most other seasons. Even the ride to Ni'ihau should be calmer.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone... always amazed at the experience base on this site. In addition to topside and snorkel shooting, it is apparent that a day trip on SCUBA to Ni'ihau has potential for fun and productive shooting. I understand that the monk seals are endangered and protected... do operators/enforcers permit approaching these animals... In general, how well do the monk seals respond to divers/snorkelers? :):blink:

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we went to kauai last year. I don't think you are allowed to approach monk seals. one came ashore near our hotel and the area was roped off.

 

the "tunnels" dive site near princeville had many turtles you could see free diving, sharks in caves, and some great natural light shots in the "tunnels" that you could probably get free-diving, alot of the dive site is pretty shallow (20ft). get there early to get parking.

 

 

if the swells are hitting the north coast you can try the same thing at koala landing at the south shore.

 

scott

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Ni'hau is where the monk seals will be approaching you. I had several come within a foot or two, lay down on a rock and stay there while I filmed.

Steve :huh::D

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Seems you have the wet side covered. How about hike info?

 

I would suggest a drive to KoKe'e state park. Its an easy drive on paved road, albiet at the farthest point on the island from you by road. It has a 4000 ft view of Kalalua valley if the mist is not there. Its breathtaking and the most photo's spot on the island, most likely.

Here is a link to the park.

 

http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kaua...x.cfm?park_id=7

 

Also great, is a hike on Cliff trail and Canyon trail in that park. Here is the map link.

 

http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/broc..._state_pa15.pdf

 

On Canyon trail, you have rain forest on one side and 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific' (M. Twain) on the other side. Its a nice hike but bring food and water. We went on for hours down that trail and never saw one person after the first 45 min. at the steam crossing.

The park map shows that trail being shorter than we found. Could have changed since I have been there or we were continuing on unmarked sections or we were really SLOW. We went on until we met Ditch trail and it was a great long day hike. there is no water on those trails after the first stream however so bring it with you.

 

We loved the beach at sunset at the far end of Barking Dog Sand Beach on the west side. You can watch the sun fall into the ocean. We followed little signs along roads in sugar cane fields to find it. There were 16 of us there at sunset..sharing the 16 mile beach. there are no signs to get out so make certain to 'follow the tiny crowd' leaving or you might make a night of it.

 

All my data is from 1991 but it was memorable enough to be like yesterday. So hope it helps.

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As for topside stuff definitely get "The ultimate Kauai guidebook" from wizard publishers. (wizardpub.com) You can find it in any decent bookstore. Great tips on easy hikes and great suggestions for "adventures". Waimea canyon will be a long drive but well worth it. Sunset from the next to last lookout (get the book) make for great photo ops!!!! Definitely hike the Kalalu(?) trail from Ke'e Beach park. Queen's Bath right by Princeville is cool to play around in too. If Kauaii had and active volcano it would be far and away my favorite island for topside amazement. Dives only so-so compared to Maui or the Big Island. Have heard great things about Niiau.

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