Kauai — Geography and Climate


Northernmost, first populated and geologically oldest, Kauai is the fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands. It was built by a massive volcano, of which Mt. Waialeale, at 5,148 feet, is the eastern rim.

Nearly circular in shape, Kauai's land area encompasses 533 square miles and is 25 miles long by 33 miles wide at its furthest points. Only 3% of the land area has been developed for commercial and residential use, leaving the remaining 97% divided between agriculture and conservation. The majority of the island's 55,000 or so residents live and work in the coastal areas, leaving the interior of Kauai spectacularly beautiful and pristine.

The island has 90 miles (145 km) of coastline and is remarkable for its spectacular and widely varied landscape, from the desert-like beauty of Waimea Canyon, "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific," to the velvety green Napali Coast, with cliffs rising 3,000 feet.

Major industries are agriculture (coffee, taro, papaya, guava) and tourism.


Kauai's weather is near perfect year-round, with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and slightly warmer still in the summer. The northeast tradewinds provide refreshing breezes and rain showers usually fall in the evening and early morning hours, predominately over the mountain ranges. The temperature of the ocean ranges from 68 to 80 degrees fahrenheit.