Maha’ulepu Beach provides an idyllic stretch of golden sand that feels like a remote piece of paradise, yet it’s only a short 2-mile drive from the Grand Hyatt Kauai at the end of Poipu Road. It is part of the Maha’ulepu watershed that encompasses Mt. Ha’upu, several agricultural valleys and a rare stretch of undeveloped coastline.
Maha’ulepu is popular with locals and visitors, including windsurfers, swimmers, snorkelers, fishermen and sunbathers. The beach is separated into three different parts: Gillin’s Beach, Kawailoa Bay and Ha’ula Beach.
Maha’ulepu is also home to a research site and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals. Ongoing paleoecological, archaeological and historical research at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve directs restoration of native plants and wetland features. Nine endangered species, including a blind spider and a blind cave amphipod, nene and monk seals, inhabit or visit Maha`ulepu. Tortoises can also be found here.
Maha’ulepu is sacred to Native Hawaiians and contains many ancestral remains, submerged petroglyphs and a heiau (Hawaiian temple) awaiting restoration. The area is important for Hawaiian families to have a place where they are able to pass on their traditions of fishing, hunting and gathering.
The road that leads to Maha’ulepu Beach through Grove Farm property is an old sugar cane hauling road and can be in reasonable shape at times or with huge potholes and ruts at other times. Most rental car companies have you sign an agreement that you won’t take them off road. Beach access closes at 6pm and there is a gate that gets locked so don’t get stuck by not getting out in time.
A planned industrial dairy threatens to ruin the fragile ecosystem of Maha’ulepu. Friends of Maha’ulepu is a group of ordinary citizens united to resist this planned pollution and desecration of one of the loveliest areas of our unique island. Please support their effort to preserve the beauty of Mahaulepu for all who enjoy it.