A Brief History

The first settlers came to Kauai around 200AD, about 500 years before the rest of the islands were settled. The islanders enjoyed a balanced environment and followed the

Waimea Town
Waimea Town
© Kauai Visitors Bureau / Robert Coello
social codes of the day; sometimes rigid, sometimes quite liberal. Through a succession of kings, the island prospered until Captain James Cook landed on Kauai first, coming ashore at Waimea in 1778, forever changing the status of this isolated group of islands.

Kauai is distinguished as being the only island that resisted takeover attempts by King Kamehameha during his quest to unify the islands under one rule. King Kaumualii on Kauai finally conceded that upon his death the island would fall under Kamehameha's rule. The island therefore remained an independent kingdom until 1810.