Every Winter, Humpback Whales are back in the Hawaiian islands like clockwork. As the whale population on the island increases, so does the number of tourists who eagerly flock to see these giant animals.
You must be wondering how and from where to see Humpback Whales in Kauai?
The best way to watch the whales would be via sea or boat tours. With the advantage of going into the ocean, seeing the Kohola from a close distance is an unforgettable experience. If you decide to see it by boat our tours to the NaPali Coast are combined with whale watching, we have device to hear them from underwater it’s an amazing feeling to see and hear them.
But, that is not your only option. If you are one of those people who would prefer watching the Kohola from the comfort of Kauai’s scenic beaches and natural vantage points, you have plenty of options on every corner of the Garden Isle.
Lets us explore the best places for whale watching in Kauai, one by one, so that you can come well prepared for one of the best experiences of your life.
From the Shore
Kauai’s scenic beaches are excellent whale watching spots, partly because they are free of cost. You can choose a relaxing spot on the beach, load up your basket with food and drinks of your choice and enjoy watching the majestic creatures with king size binoculars.
Taking a walk on the beach is another way to see the whales. If you are opting for a beach whale whale watching experience, it’s important to know that the likelihood of spotting the Kohola varies at different times of the season.
The probability of spotting the whales is highest during January, February and March as the whales are most active and playful during these months.
Likewise, you’d want to avoid the beginning and end of the season as it is considered a “slow-period” in which the whales are adjusting to their surroundings post arrival and before leaving the island.
Popular beaches for whale watching in Kauai are:
- Sealodge beach
- Poipu beach
- Kealia beach
- Hanalei Bay
This historic monument is situated on top of a rocky cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean. This vantage point is, hands down, the best place to be watching the magnificent mammals put on their best show.
Moreover, you can club the experience with bird watching as the place is graced by different species of birds. While the ferocious ocean waves keep pounding the cliff walls underneath, you can relax on the top and watch the joyous whales at their playful best.
Overall it is an amazing experience to be whale watching here. All you’ve to do is get a good pair of binoculars (which is sometimes offered at the lighthouse) and get a ticket for 5$.
The scenic Kapaa Overlook on Kauai’s eastern side has recently been witnessing high whale traffic. From here, you can see pods of whales, adults and young ones, splashing, spouting and competing with each other.
While you can choose a good spot to sit and watch the Humpback whales in all their glory, you can also club the experience with a walk or bike ride along the bike path.
Kealia beach is located adjacent to the overlook and is a good whale watching spot too. All you have to do is follow a paved trail that leads to the beach and take a leisurely stroll seeing these beautiful creatures.
Whale Count Volunteering Programs
If you love whales and want to extend your support towards preserving them, there are whale watching programs in which you can participate.
Training will be provided if you’re new to the program. The volunteering program happens every year during the high whale activity season, usually for a period of 3 months.
You will be required to pre-register online and receive a confirmation letter before you can become an ocean whale count volunteer. When you finally become one, the resulting fulfillment comes not only from a close encounter with the whales, but from the satisfaction of being an integral part of the efforts designed to protect these endangered animals.
Humpback Whales National Marine Sanctuary
This sanctuary was conceived in 1992 with the intention of protecting Humpback whales and providing a safe habitat when they visit the Hawaiian islands. The Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary constitutes different portions of the Hawaiian islands, including Kauai’s Hanalei Bay (The Jewel of North Shore.)
The sanctuary is a perfect place for whale watching, both from shore and sea, as it lies in the shallow warm waters, within a depth of 600 feet. The sanctuary strives to protect the Kohola by conducting different programs, like the volunteer outreach program as discussed above.
To summarize the best whale watching places in Kauai, our top picks would be Poipu beach on the south shore, Kapaa Overlook on the east and Hanalei Beach/ Kilauea Lighthouse on the North shore.
Now that you know the best places for whale watching on the island, make sure you keep the high activity season in mind and properly plan your whale watching experience on the Garden Isle.