Kōloa is located on the south side of the island of Kauai and is the northernmost island of Hawaii. Koloa only has roughly between 2000 and 3000 people within its community. Kauai is the least populated and oldest island of all the Hawaiian islands. Other towns you’ll find on the south side include Kalaheo and Lawai, with Omao and Poipu bordering Koloa.

What the Southside of Kauai is Like

If you’re trying to decide which Hawaiian Island to visit, that’s the easiest choice! Kauai is an untouched paradise with a variety of natural beauty – from the beaches to the mountains there is something for everyone. There’s a reason so many major movies have been filmed in this stunning location.

It is nicknamed the “Garden Island” because of its beautiful, vast landscapes and its many waterfalls, including Waipoo Falls which flows 800 feet into Waimea Canyon. 

And that’s not all, there’s the Coconut Coast, stunning mountains, white sand beaches, sugarcane fields, sprawling green valleys, and large beach bluffs. 

The wildlife is as diverse as the environment due to the different cultures that have cycled through. There’s anything from wild Jungle Fowl (chicken) to Japanese Koi fish in the Waita Reservoir.

Kauai’s History 

The first successful sugarcane plantation in the Hawaiian Islands was started in 1835, which really put Koloa on the map even after the Koloa Sugar Cane mill was shut down. It is still an important destination and is a must-see attraction when it comes to the southside of Kauai. 

The sugarcane mill kickstarted a large portion of Hawaii’s economy and promoted immigration. This is a huge reason Kauai and Hawaii, in general, became so diverse. 

The Mill would not be nearly what it is today without the Waita Reservoir. The reservoir was built in 1906 and is right between the Black Mountain Range and Mt. Haupu in Koloa. The reservoir was used as the primary water source for the Koloa Sugar Plantation. The reservoir is still there today and now sits on private Grove Farm property, where it can only be viewed by reserving a space on a tour with Kauai ATV, or Koloa Zipline.

Things To Do On Southside Kauai

  • Ziplining with Koloa Zipline
  • Kauai ATV Tour 
  • Skybike tour with Kauai ATV (the only skybike tour in North America) 
  • Snorkeling 
  • Koloa Bass fishing in Kalaheo  
  • Visit Omao and go bird watching
  • Visit Poipu Beach which was voted the best beach in America!
  • Grab some traditional Hawaiin food like Poke or Lomi Lomi 
  • And so much more!

Getting Around – Transportation

Kauai is easy and fun to explore. It is 25 miles long and 33 miles wide. And in those few miles, the scenery is diverse and incredible. You will not forget your trip to Koloa, Kauai. 

When arriving on Kauai, you’ll either fly in from Lihue Airport on the East Side. Ground transportation is something we’d recommend figuring out beforehand. There are taxis and bus services but they’re not always accessible. There are also tours that provide you with transportation, but not all. If you plan on renting a car, plan well in advance! They’re in high demand. 

When you’re driving through traffic don’t tailgate, drive slowly, and yield to others. This is the “Aloha Way”. There are one-lane bridges, when those come up, you should yield to oncoming traffic. Driving on Kauai is more relaxed than driving in any other part of Hawaii, so there’s no need to stress!

Fun Facts About Koloa

  • Kauai’s coldest month is February when temperatures average around 70
  • The South Shore is considered the sunny side of the Island
  • Although the West Side is the driest and warmest part, any time of the year
  • The best snorkeling during the winter months is on the south shore
  • Poipu and Waimea on the South Side is the best choice if you’re looking for dry sunny days because it averages around 35 inches of rain per year. 

Visit South Side Kauai! 

Come experience South Side Kauai, you won’t be able to get enough of the unique scenery, adventures, and history!

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