One of my favorite places to go on Kauai is the magical Queen’s Bath along the coastline of Princeville, Kauai. I love it so much that I usually take my family and friends when they come to visit as you’ll see in many of my photos. I hesitantly write this blog, however, because of the definite downsides to going there. More on that later.
At the end of Punahele Street within the Princeville Resort Community and just a short bike ride or a long walk from Honu Point Vacation Rental is the start of the trail leading down to the coastline. Along the way you will see a beautiful waterfall off to your right. This time I took my sister and brother-in-law.
At the end of the trail, which can be a bit slippery at times, is the lava rock coastline. Turn left and walk along the coast always aware of the ocean and any rogue waves that may happen when the swells are up. Along the way keep your eyes open for honus (Hawaiian sea turtles) which love to eat the algae off the rocks. Their giant shells rise and fall with each swell of water and their heads bop up for air.
If you go early in the morning you may come across Queen’s Bath without a soul around – heavenly!
The water is salty so floating is easy and there are lots of little fish swimming around to feed if you bring some frozen peas or, preferably, fish food. The water comes in from the ocean and flushes the pond keeping it from becoming stagnant. The temperature of the water is always a few degrees warmer than the ocean water. Not a bad place for a “bath.”
The surrounding rocks with the view of Bali Hai in the background make for the perfect family photo opt. At Christmas you’ll be wishing you were there again! This time I brought my step daughter and the family. I had a hard time getting the kids to leave.
And now, the reason I was hesitant to tell you about this idyllic spot. First of all, the guidebooks have made this a go-to tourist destination. There is a VERY small parking lot and cars literally line up and wait for a spot causing the local community lots of frustration. On beautiful sunny summer days the pond is full of people unless you go early in the morning.
But, more importantly, Queen’s Bath can be exceedingly dangerous when we have large ocean swells. There are signs posted with the warnings and please take heed. Almost every year we have at least one death in the area and it’s usually a tourist. This is most definitely a summer activity and even then one must respect the ocean. If the entrance gate is closed, please do not go around it.
I found this video on Youtube which pretty much sums it up.
In the end I’m trusting that you will respect my concerns and visit this beautiful piece of Paradise only when the conditions make it safe and the gate is open. Take that long walk, ride the bikes, or best yet, go early in the morning and thoroughly enjoy Queen’s Bath while staying at Honu Point.
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