Wailua River State Park, found on the eastern side of Kauai island in Hawaii, is the site of the Wailua Complex. The Wailua Complex was used as a power center for the rulers of the island for several decades. Though several structures are no longer standing, archaeologists have established digs to learn more about this complex. One particular feature, called Holoholokū Heiau, has been restored. It was a particular spot at which high-ranking women would give birth and bury the afterbirth, which was an important ritual. Throughout Wailua River State Park are centuries-old trails that can still be used today. It’s said that ghost warriors walk these trails at nighttime.
The closest large town is Lihue, which has a wide variety of retail shopping options, including a Walmart store. It’s also the site of the only airport on the island. The small town of around 5,000 residents is the largest town on the island. It’s also the capital and a major cruise port. Book an RV in Lihue and prepare to embark on an unforgettable motorhome camping trip.
Adventurers should be prepared to get wet. In addition to the annual rainfall of over 450 inches, Wailua River State Park is the only park at which adventurers are allowed to enjoy river boating fun on the island. Swim, kayak, or even jet-ski along the 20-mile length of the river. Hikers, too, can hit the trails for recreational fun. They can pose a challenge for beginner hikers, though. The trails are notoriously steep and muddy, but ascending to the top of summits for breathtaking views of the island, the waterfall grotto, and the ocean is well worth the effort.
Opaeka’a Falls is one of the more easily accessible waterfalls on Kauai island. The waterfall, which is actually a twin waterfall, flows over basalt stone from volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago and descends 151 feet in a nearly perfect freefall. After a truly monster rainstorm, which is rare, the twin waterfalls can merge into one. As of 2005, it is not possible to hike down to the bottom of the waterfall due to deaths. However, swimming at the bottom of Uluwehi Falls, which is nicknamed “secret falls,” is possible. Swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are required to access this 100-foot beauty. There are other trails that are equally rewarding. The Fern Grotto, also found in Wailua River State Park, is reputed to be one of the most romantic spots on the island. Delicate ferns line the walls of the volcanic basalt grotto, and it can be accessed by boat.
Nearby Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve has even more opportunities for recreational fun. This rugged jungle is home to several miles of hiking trails serpentining through 12,500 acres of wilderness. Hikers are advised to be well prepared for treacherous trail conditions.
Camping at Wailua River State Park
As perfect as it would be to RV camp at Wailua River State Park and listen to the sound of the river gurgle through the night, the region is too fragile. Fortunately, there are several other options in the area. Lydgate State Park RV campground, just south of Wailua, borders a public beach, and several RV sites are a short walk from the ocean. There are 25 sites, and amenities include restrooms with showers and drinking water. Unique to Lydgate State Park is its beaches have “ocean pools,” which are sections of the beach enclosed by large rocks. These pools are ideal for snorkeling or for swimmers who require calmer waters.
Alternatively, camp in an Airstream at Hanamaulu Beach Park, just outside Lihue, HI. Though it’s a primitive campground, the facilities include restrooms, cold showers, and easy access to the beach.
Exploring the Area
Ringing the coast of Kauai Island are several small towns. Visiting each in search of its charms and attractions is made effortless in a motorhome rental. Many towns host various events and festivals, too, which makes it easy to find local businesses, artists, and crafters. Search for the perfect souvenir to take home as a reminder of this idyllic RV camping trip. Kekaha is well known for its weekly farmer’s market. The venue is also close to a scenic waterfall.
Hanapepe, HI, boasts a unique swinging bridge. Though it’s only wide enough to accommodate pedestrians, crossing the bridge, which spans a wild river, is a fun experience straight out of an adventure movie set in the jungle.
RV camp in tropical Kauai and get closer to nature without sacrificing comfort, as you find your perfect camper camping adventure on the wild jungle island.