Back to Holo Holo Blog

Forbidden Treasures of Ni’ihau

Niihau Humpback Whales

While on the shores of west Kaua’i, you may find yourself gazing at the mysterious Hawaiian “Forbidden Island” of Ni’ihau in the distance. With only the silhouette of the island visible, your imagination may start to wonder about this seemingly timeless and untouched place.

While only seventeen miles from Kaua’i, the isolation of Ni’ihau has remained strong due to private ownership of the island. Such seclusion has created a unique glimpse into old Hawaiian history, where a select number of Ni’ihauans still preserve their Hawaiian culture, language and lifestyle.

While the island of Ni’ihau remains off limits to the public, its surrounding waters and nearby Lehua Crater are accessible by boat. The perfect way to voyage there is on-board Holo Holo Charters’ signature vessel, Holo Holo, which means, to adventure, to travel or to go. She was custom-built for Kaua’i waters, designed for speed and comfort, so we will be able to get to the fun faster!

As we begin our voyage out of Port Allen, located on Kaua’i’s sunny southwest side, the morning light provides wonderful photo opportunities to start the day. Cruising along the west shore of Kaua’i, we will pass miles of beautiful rolling sand dunes along Polihale Beach. From there, the Napali Coast comes into full view. This famous, seventeen-mile coastline features 4,000 foot cliffs, breathtaking secluded beaches, hidden valleys and majestic sea caves.

Niihau boat toursAfter we enjoy the sights of Napali, we’ll begin our voyage across the Kaulakahi Channel that connects Kaua’i to Ni’ihau. We’ll take some time to explore the rocky, crescent-shaped islet named Lehua, which sits just north of Ni’ihau.

Continuing around this ancient volcanic crater, we will edge our way into a kipuka, a seemingly giant keyhole carved into the cliff. There is nothing quite like witnessing the sunlight shining brightly through this hole and dancing upon the water, while hundreds of unique sea birds fly overhead, welcoming voyagers to their home.

Snorkeling off NIihauAfter sightseeing, we will begin to look for the perfect snorkeling area so we can plunge into the crystal-clear, cobalt-blue colored waters off of Ni’ihau. It may feel like you are in a dream, or a movie on a hunt to find Nemo, as we discover the hidden treasures that await us underwater. Swim through underwater cathedrals created by frozen lava formations and witness an abundance of colorful fish and unique marine life.

While we won’t be able to actually land on Ni’ihau, just being this close and experiencing the isolated waters, quench our thirst for adventure and make us want to come back for more! Holo Holo Charters would like to invite you to join us and go the distance for a once-in-a-lifetime journey.