Kauai and convoys?

Old Aug 23rd, 2021, 11:38 AM
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Kauai and convoys?

Hello! We're visiting Kauai the first week of September and we could use some advice. This will be my fourth time in Kauai but my fiance's first visit.

1. Convoys. We're staying at a rental in Ha'ena, so pretty far north. We've been told we'll have to deal with convoy times, but can anyone advise on how best to navigate this? As a tourist, I'm struggling to understand the information on the highways web site. I just want to make sure we don't get stuck, particularly if we have an activity we need to get to on the southern side of the island.

2. So far we don't have much planned. We're taking a helicopter ride one day, getting massages at our rental one day, and I thought it might be nice to drive down to the McBryde and Allerton Gardens. I have a disability so I can't hike far but the Jungle Hike and Ho'opi'i Falls hikes from Ultimate Kauai sounded manageable. Any other suggestions? Things not to be missed or to avoid? I know dining out and gatherings will be limited due to covid, but we're more the fish taco and shave ice type.

Many thanks,
Hedgie
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Old Aug 26th, 2021, 07:47 AM
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I assume you're following this website:

https://hidot.hawaii.gov/2021-hanalei-hill-landslide/

It seems pretty clear to me. You can only drive the road during the designated hours, and traffic is limited to one lane, so one direction will go first and then the other, probably following temporary signals set up at both ends of the affected area . Your rental is on the Hanalei side, and the rental managers there should be able to give you some idea of wait times to get through the slide area. Because there are more drive hours in the evening, I assume the delays will be shorter at that time.

It sounds to me that if you leave your immediate rental area, you should plan to be gone all day unless you're not going much beyond Princeville or Kilauea. (There's a nice botanical garden in Kilauea.) But you won't be "stuck" as long as you return during the evening drive hours.

I think between drive times and delays, it could easily take 2.5 hours or more to drive from Ha'ena to Poipu.
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Old Aug 27th, 2021, 06:37 AM
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Thank you, Jean. Yes, that's the site we've been using. It's just frustrating that the rental company didn't make us aware of the situation when we booked. On we go!
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Old Aug 27th, 2021, 07:03 AM
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Not cool that they didn't convey that info. You can include that in your review and describe how it impacted your vacation.

But, hopefully, it won't be too bad, and you'll have a great time!
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Old Aug 27th, 2021, 09:54 AM
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Because of Labor Day, Sun. & Mon. 9/5 & 9/6 there will be no roadwork. (There never is on Sundays, anyway.) Not sure about Saturday that week. But those are the best days for you to head back and forth through the construction area. I live in Princeville and I go to Hanalei Bay every Sunday morning. I've never had more than a 10 minute wait, though it might be a little busier for Labor Day.

I assume you know that you must have an advance reservation to park and to enter Haena Beach park/Ke'e Beach. They will not sell you a ticket when you arrive.

Expect very long waits at restaurants.
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Old Aug 28th, 2021, 06:44 AM
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Thanks, Songdoc. Given the covid situation, we weren't planning on eating out much, but we appreciate the warning.
Also, in case anyone pops into this thread, they're opening the highway with far fewer limitations starting September 4th. Just have a look at the link kindly posted by Jean above.
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Old Aug 28th, 2021, 10:17 AM
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I hope the info about the new hours proves accurate. It's hard to imagine. I took these photos about a week ago. The 2nd lane is under that dirt! They have only finished reinforcing the top third of the hill. It's hard to see from the photos, but it doesn't look close to being finished.

Presuming the roadwork will not present any long delays, I recommend Kalihiwai Beach. It's a bit off the beaten path and has become a favorite. Very easy access and very beautiful. Two out of the past three times I went I saw dolphins while I was in the water! It's about a 15 minute drive south from Hanalei.







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Old Aug 29th, 2021, 06:48 AM
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Thank you so much for the recommendation. I guess we'll see what happens. Worst case scenario we'll be at our rental enjoying the sounds of the waves and gorging on Wishing Well shave ice.
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Old Aug 29th, 2021, 09:52 PM
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That sounds like a pretty good "worst-case" scenario. ;-). But actually, the worst case is that you would have to wait longer to get through the construction area.

I did my weekly Sunday walk and swim at Hanalei Bay (my "magic" place) today. It was glorious. I had less than a 10-minute wait going north and less than a 5-minute wait coming back south. This photo will give you a better idea of the current road condition.



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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 06:56 AM
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I know things will be getting crowded because of Labor Day but this gives me hope! And we don't mind a wait. We're on vacation. Not like we're going to be late. Thank you!
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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 09:14 AM
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Yikes!!! Great photo songdoc. mahalo for posting.
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Old Aug 30th, 2021, 10:28 AM
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Thanks, Suze.

lowhedgerow: Hanalei Bay is on your side of the construction. Be sure to spend time there. It's heaven.

The newspaper ran an article yesterday about how awful it is for the restaurants in Hanalei. They are desperately understaffed. But ... there are quite a few food trucks in Hanalei. I also enjoy Chicken in a Barrel. There is a small supermarket on your side of the construction. So even with your "worst-case" scenario you'll have an amazing time.
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Old Aug 31st, 2021, 12:11 PM
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This is super helpful, Jean, since one of our activities told us to be aware and give ourselves plenty of time to get through to not be late for departure.
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Old Sep 1st, 2021, 09:25 AM
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Hello from Kauai!
Made our first trip north via convoy yesterday and I think we got lucky because it wasn't bad AT ALL. We waited a little while in the Foodland parking lot and then we were off! I do think it will be a bit tougher on other trips, but I think if you're prepared, not so terrible.

And Songdoc, we absolutely will spend time in Hanalei. I stayed at this same rental back in 2017 and loved every minute of being on the North Shore. It's truly magic and I'm thrilled to get to introduce my partner to this incredible place.

Also, for anyone passing through Kapa'a, I had the best shrimp tacos of my life from the little yellow taco truck (El Taco Feliz).
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Old Sep 1st, 2021, 09:43 AM
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Aloha! I'm so glad the convoy wasn't a problem.
Thanks for the shrimp taco recommendation. I'll check it out.

I hope you have an amazing trip.
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