Explore Far North Shore Kauai

How To Get To Ke'e Beach, Haena Beach Park, and the NaPali Coast

How to get to Haena, the Na Pali Coast, Ke'e Beach, Tunnels, Wainiha and all points past Hanalei

The far north shore past Hanalei includes some of the most beautiful and unspoiled scenery the island has to offer.  Limahuli Botanical Gardens, Haena Beach Park (including snorkeling at Tunnels and surfing at Canons), Haena State Park (Ke’e Beach, the Kalalau Trail) are some of the favorite visitor destinations on the far north shore.  Visiting these attractions - which requires taking the Kuhio Highway past the town of Hanalei – just needs a little bit of advance planning. 

photo courtesy of National Tropical Botanical Garden at Limahuli

How To Get To Limahuli Gardens:

The National Tropical Botanical Garden at Limahuli is home to numerous endangered native plant species found nowhere else on earth. You have two options if you’d like to visit (and it’s a visit we highly recommend!).  You may make an advance reservation for a tour (either self-guided or expert-guided) on their website and your reservation will include parking at the gardens.  Or you may show up without a reservation as long as you have a North Shore Shuttle ticket to present verifying you have arrived by shuttle.  Entry to the gardens is $20 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children 17 and under.  


aerial view of Napali Coast

How to Get to the NaPali Coast, the Kalalau Trail, and Ke'e Beach at Haena State Park

If you want to snorkel at Ke’e or day hike the Kalalau Trail, you’ll need a parking permit or a shuttle ticket.  Haena State Park is open from sunrise to sunset.  You may buy a parking permit for the beach park for $5 for either morning or afternoon entry.  The number of parking passes issued each day is limited, so we recommend booking as far in advance as possible.  There are more permits than parking spaces so be prepared to wait.   

If you are unable to secure a parking permit, or if you’d rather let someone else do the driving, purchase a North Shore Shuttle ticket (see details below).  Don’t park illegally along the highway!  Parking tickets start at $200, with possible additional $200 surcharge, and enforcement is visible and frequent. If you ride the shuttle, the beach park admission fee is included.  Reservations are required for the outbound and the return trip.  You'll leave your car either in Princeville at the Makai Golf Club or on the north end of Hanalei at the Waipa Farmer's Market.


map of north shore shuttle stops including Hanalei Colony Resort

How do you take the North Shore Shuttle? Where do you get tickets for the North Shore Shuttle?

The North Shore Shuttle provides service from Princeville and Hanalei to the Haena state park, with stops at various points in between.  The road ends at the state park, which is the beginning of the Kalalau Trail into the NaPali Coast wilderness area, and the only parking near one of the best Kauai snorkeling beaches, Ke'e Beach.  Leave your car at either the Makai Golf Club parking lot in Princeville or the Waipa park-and-ride lot at the north end of Hanalei.  Tickets are available here. The shuttle drivers carry no cash, and it is not possible to walk on and purchase your ticket on the shuttle itself.  You have to buy North Shore Shuttle tickets in advance (though of course "advance" can mean anything from weeks ahead, to standing at the stop buying them on your cell phone).

1)  Hop-And-Ride pass ($5/day or $10/week) lets you get on and off at various points on the day(s) your ticket is valid.  The North Shore Shuttle website has a list of stops and a schedule.  You must purchase your tickets online in advance, as the drivers do not accept payment.  A Kauai public bus pass is good on the shuttle with no advance reservation required.  If you want to go to/from Hanalei, Hanalei Colony Resort, Haena Beach, Wainiha, or Princeville, grab a Hop-And-Ride pass.  If you're going all the way to the Kalalau Trail or Ke'e beach, see below, you'll need a reservation.

2)  Round Trip Ticket to Haena State Park (Ke’e Beach and Kalalau Trail) is $11 per person and includes a complimentary Hop-And-Ride Pass.  You MUST reserve your seat both out and back in order to ride to the state park. Your pick up location will be either the Princeville Makai Golf Club parking lot in Princeville or the Waipa farmer’s market parking lot just north of Hanalei town.  Riders with reservations take priority over those waiting to hop-and-ride.  

Haena Beach

How do you get to Haena Beach Park?

Parking in the lot at the lifeguarded county park at Haena Beach remains relativey unchanged, and it is free.  Haena Beach Park is a county beach, and it is not the same as the Haena State Park at the end of the road.  Two completely different places!  One change that repeat visitors will note is that parking is no longer permitted along the highway, and this includes in the vicinity of Tunnels beach.  If you can’t find a legal spot in the parking area, and you don’t have a parking permit for the state park at the end of the road, you will be out of luck.  There will be many more people wanting to park than there are spaces for parking so a shuttle ticket is the recommended alternative.  Reservations are not required for riding to the county park, though you will need to buy your shuttle ticket online in advance.