More Island Information on Kauai

General Facts:

Size: 552 Square Miles
Length: 33 Miles
Width: 25 Miles
Coastline: 90 Miles
Population: 61,929
Main Airport: Lihue Airport (LIH)

Mileage and Drive Time:

From Lihue airport to:
Poipu: 14 miles. 30 min.
Waimea Canyon: 36 miles. 1.5 hrs.
Wailua: 7 miles. 15 min.
Princeville: 30 miles. 1 hr.
Haena: 40 miles. 1.25 hrs.

Weather:

The wettest spot on Earth" can be found on the island of Kauai. Although the city of Waimea averages only 21 inches of rain per year and Poipu averages 85 inches, Mt. Waialeale averages an astounding 486 inches of rain per year, more than anywhere else in the world.

Temperatures on Kauai are comparable to the other islands, with average temperatures on the coast averaging 70 to 77 degrees, and the mountains averaging 55 to 65 degrees throughout the day. Occasionally at night in the winter the temperatures in Kokeie state park can drop into the thirties.

Brief History:

Kauai was the first Hawaiian island to break the surface of the Pacific ocean, over 5.1 million years ago, and last island to join the Hawaiian Kingdom. After a series of planned invasions by King Kamehameha which went awry due to weather and epidemics, Kauai was peacefully submitted to Kamehameha in 1810.

It was also the first island in the Hawaiian chain to be visited by Capt. James Cook, in 1778 when he landed on the shores of Waimea, Kauai's former capital. The seat of Kauai County is now Lihue, the most populated city on the island.

The people of Kauai were once known for their distinct version of the Hawaiian language (before the language went extinct). Their dialect was known for pronouncing the letter "K" as "T", making the name of the island "Tauai". The island of Nihau is one of the only places on Earth that the original Hawaiian language is still spoken, and until recently the small island off the coast of Kauai was only allowed to be visited by native Hawaiians.

The beauty of Kauai has made it a favorite for movie directors looking for a tropical setting, the most notable example of which is the 1993 film Jurassic Park. The fact that it is also one of the most westerly points in the United States makes it the ideal site for the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility.

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