Kauaiís north shore has often been described as magical. It is here that beauty and magic
seem to merge, peaceful in the way of nature at its most inspiring. Panoramic views abound
with distant mountains rising from fertile plateaus that have been in pasture for more than a
Princeville Ranch was the oldest ranch on Kauai. Founded in 1853 by Robert Crichton Wyllie, a
Scotsman who served the Hawaiian Kingdom as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he called the ranch
Princeville following a two week visit of Kamehameha IV, Queen Emma, and their two year old
son, Prince Albert. This last child born to any Hawaiian monarch would soon die two years later.
Today, ranching and resort development can be found on Princevilleís 11,000 acres.
Hanalei means crescent bay. During ancient times, the Hawaiians had a major village clustered
around the picturesque bay. This bay linked the north shore to the outside world, as well as
providing abundant fishing. By the 1830ís, Protestant missionaries had settled and built the
Waioli Mission. Whalers soon came, and then livestock and crops ranging from rice to taro were
exported on inter-island steamers. During the winter stormy months, the harbor could be hazardous to larger boats.
The gateway to Hanalei, a one-lane steel truss bridge built in 1912, is the oldest bridge of this type now found in the state.
It symbolizes the slower lifestyle of the areaís community. Hanalei has retained the spirit of a South Seas outpost, with
plantation era buildings.
The eight coastal miles that link Hanalei and Na Pali coast emphasize Hanaleiís beauty and appeal. Hawaiians believe
that Menehune, spirits, and gods, live in the forested valleys and the wet and dry caves along the coast. On a hillside
overlooking Kee Beach at the end of the road, they built a temple to Laka, the goddess of hula. Kee Beach is also the
beginning of the eleven-mile trail along the coast of Kalalau Valley.
Video Courtesy of the Kauai Visitors Bureau