The Best Photography Spots On Kauai: Na Pali Coast & More
Kauai, known as the “Garden Island,” is a photographer’s paradise. From stunning sunrises and sunsets to dramatic landscapes and seascapes, Kauai offers endless opportunities for capturing breathtaking photos.
In this post, we’ll share some of the best photography spots on Kauai, including the world-famous Na Pali Coast, as well as other lesser-known locations. Whether you’re a professional photographer, looking to get some great pictures for social media, or just capturing some great moments for memories – this post will tell you all you need to know about exploring Kauai’s best locations.
The Na Pali Coast
Let’s start with the most iconic photography spot on Kauai: the Na Pali Coast. This 17-mile stretch of rugged coastline is located on the northwest side of the island and is only accessible by boat, helicopter, or some intense hiking. The sheer cliffs, verdant valleys, and turquoise waters of the Na Pali Coast provide a perfect backdrop for any photo.
To capture the best photos of the Na Pali Coast, we recommend taking a boat tour or a helicopter tour. Boat tours typically depart from the town of Hanalei and offer close-up views of the coastline, sea caves, and waterfalls. Helicopter tours provide a bird’s-eye view of the Na Pali Coast and allow you to see the entire coastline in all its glory.
Na Pali Coast Boat & Raft Tours
Taking a boat or raft tour is one of the best ways to capture the stunning beauty of the Na Pali Coast. Not only will you be able to photograph the towering sea cliffs and the crystal-clear waters, but you will also have the opportunity to capture unique angles and perspectives that are not possible from land. Additionally, many tours offer the chance to stop at secluded Na Pali Coast beaches and coves for photoshoots with yourself or your loved ones.
If you are looking for that perfect photography experience on Kauai, book a boat or raft tour with us at Kauai Sea Tours! We offer a variety of tour options, including photography-focused tours, and are dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all. If you have any questions about the tours – feel free to reach out or just book now.
Hiking The Na Pali Coast
For those looking for adventure, you can hike the famed Kalalau Trail. The Kalalau Trail is a stunning 11-mile trail located on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. Be sure to do your research on the challenges this trail brings, and pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks, as well as comfortable shoes and clothing. Additionally, make sure to respect the environment and stay on designated trails to preserve the natural beauty of the area. If you’re looking to learn more about this unique adventure, check out the full guide to hiking the Na Pali Coast’s Kalalu Trail. Permits are now required to access the trail.
Located on the west side of Kauai, the Kalalau Lookout offers a stunning panoramic view of the Na Pali Coast and the Kalalau Valley. The lookout is accessible via a short drive up a winding mountain road and is well worth the effort. It’s one of the highest points most people can reach by road on the entire island.
To capture the best photos at the Kalalau Lookout, we recommend visiting during the early morning or late afternoon. The changing light during these times of the day creates a beautiful range of colors in the sky and the landscape. Be sure to bring a wide-angle lens to capture the expansive view from the lookout!
How To Drive To The Kalalau Lookout
To get to the lookout from Waimea, simply head up State Highway 550 for 17 miles. While the journey can take up to 45 minutes by car, the stunning views from the lookout are well worth the drive.
Once you reach the Kalalau Lookout, you’ll be standing at an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level, offering sweeping views of the coastline and the lush green mountains of Kauai.
Located on the west side of the island, Waimea Canyon is often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This stunning canyon is over 10 miles long and over 3,000 feet deep and offers spectacular views of Kauai’s unique interior.
To capture the best photos of Waimea Canyon, we recommend hiking the various trails in the area. The Waimea Canyon Trail and the Kukui Trail offer some of the best views of the canyon and are relatively easy hikes. For more adventurous hikers, the Awaawapuhi Trail and the Nualolo Trail offer stunning panoramic views of the canyon and the ocean.
Hanalei Bay is a beautiful crescent-shaped bay located on the north shore of Kauai. With its calm waters and picturesque surroundings, Hanalei Bay is a popular spot for photography.
To capture the best photos of Hanalei Bay, we recommend visiting during sunrise or sunset. The soft light of the sun during these times of the day creates a magical atmosphere, and the reflections of the clouds and mountains in the bay create stunning reflections in the water. The pier at Hanalei Bay is also a great spot for photography, with its wooden structure providing a strong visual element in your photos.
As its name suggests, Secret Beach is a hidden gem on the north shore of Kauai. This secluded beach is accessible via a short hike down a steep trail and offers stunning views of the ocean and the coastline.
To capture the best photos of Secret Beach, we recommend visiting during low tide. At low tide, the beach expands, revealing a wide expanse of sand and rock formations. The cliffs on either side of the beach provide a dramatic backdrop for your photos, and the waves crashing against the rocks create interesting textures in your photos.
Lumahai Beach is another beautiful beach located on the north shore of Kauai. This beach is known for its golden sand, clear waters, and dramatic cliffs, and has been featured in several movies, including South Pacific and The Descendants.
To capture the best photos of Lumahai Beach, we recommend visiting during sunset. The warm light of the setting sun creates a beautiful glow on the cliffs and the sand, and the waves provide interesting textures in your photos. Be sure to explore the rocks and tide pools at the eastern end of the beach, which provide additional photographic opportunities.
The Kilauea Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located on the north shore of Kauai. Built in 1913, the lighthouse offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs.
To capture the best photos of the Kilauea Lighthouse, we recommend visiting during the morning or early afternoon. The light during these times of day is soft and warm, and the ocean provides a beautiful backdrop for your photos. Be sure to explore the surrounding area, including the nearby wildlife refuge and botanical garden.
Located on the north shore of Kauai, Hideaways Beach is a secluded and picturesque beach that offers stunning views of the Na Pali Coast. To access Hideaways Beach, you must hike down a steep trail, which can be challenging but is well worth the effort.
Hideaways Beach is a great spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset when the changing light creates a beautiful range of colors in the sky and the ocean. Be sure to bring a wide-angle lens to capture the expansive view of the Na Pali Coast and the surrounding cliffs.
Overall, Hideaways Beach is a hidden gem on Kauai that is well worth a visit for any photographer or nature lover. Just remember to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles to ensure that this beautiful spot remains pristine for future generations to enjoy.
Poipu Beach is a popular beach located on the south shore of Kauai. This beach offers calm waters, white sand, and plenty of activities for visitors.
To capture the best photos of Poipu Beach, we recommend visiting during sunrise or sunset. The lighting during sunrise and sunset will leave you in awe. Be sure to explore the nearby tide pools, which offer interesting photo opportunities as well.
Kauai Has Endless Photography Opportunities
Kauai offers endless opportunities for photographers of all skill levels. From the iconic Na Pali Coast to the lesser-known beaches and lookouts, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island. We hope this post has inspired you to explore Kauai and capture some stunning photos along the way.
Private Charters with Kauai Sea Tours: The Ultimate Photography Experience
For professional photographers looking to capture the stunning beauty of the Na Pali Coast, Kauai Sea Tours offers private charters that provide the ultimate photography experience. With a private charter, you’ll have the entire boat to yourself, giving you the freedom to explore and photograph the coastline at your own pace.
Kauai Sea Tours’ private charters are ideal for professional photographers who want to capture unique angles and perspectives of the Na Pali Coast that are not possible from land. Whether you’re looking to shoot from the bow of the boat, capture the sunset from the water, or stop at secluded beaches and coves for photoshoots, a private charter with Kauai Sea Tours gives you the flexibility and space to create the perfect shots. Book now or contact us to learn more about this opportunity!