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Facts about Kauai: Curious Trivia About The Garden Island

a rainbow over a body of water with a mountain in the background

1. Facts about Kauai: Why Kauai is Called “The Garden Island”

Rich, tropical rain forests blanket Kauai. This emerald jewel is one of the richest destinations in the South Pacific when it comes to green, lush landscapes. Many of its special treasures are not accessible by road, creating an exclusive, unique experience for those adventurers who take the time to travel by air or sea. Visitors have found these remote green areas create a sense of an unspoiled natural garden, which is one of the facts about Kauai you’ll come to love when you arrive. Over 400 inches of rain a year makes this a top spot for the rain forest aficionado.

2. Kauai is the Oldest of the Hawaiian Islands

In some parts of the world, magma spews from the center of the earth, which creates volcanoes. The Hawaiian island chain was created slowly over millions of years as tectonic plates moved over a fountain of magma, turning igneous rock into island paradise.

Kauai is the first island in this chain as the tectonic plate moved northwest. Over time, erosion, wind, and waves worked the Kauaian land mass into the masterpiece you see today.

3. Facts about Kauai: Kauai was Independent for a Time

Unlike the rest of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai was able to stave off conquest from King Kamehameha several times. In the 1600 and 1700s, Kamehameha united the rest of the archipelago. But during this time, Kauai had her own ruler: King Kaumualii. For this reason, Kauai’s history is unique and unlike the rest of her sister islands. Eventually, Kauai agreed to become a vassal state in order to forestall additional casualties from the powerful Kamehameha. But for a while, she was free from Kamehameha’s grip.

If you’re interested in more historical facts about Kauai, plan to visit the remains of Fort Elizabeth. There you’ll find a Russian built fort. At the time King Kaumualii planned to team up with the Russians to prevent Kamehameha from taking over Kauai.

4. Wild Chickens and Roosters Run Free on Kauai

a beach with palm trees in front of a body of water

You’ll find chickens and roosters wandering throughout Kauai. Residents speculate that two hurricanes blew away their domestic chicken coops, releasing the birds to their new feral lifestyle.

Two hurricanes, Hurricane Iwa followed by Hurricane Iniki, hit Kauai in the late 20th century. Both these hurricanes made landfall on Kauai. The Audubon Society’s annual bird count noted more free chickens and roosters after these hurricane events. Thus, there may be some truth to local theories about the hurricane-based origin of this unique fowl phenomena.

5. There are Fewer People on Kauai than Pigs

You may run into a few pigs during your travels on the island. While these wild pigs are not native, they’ve become a part of what makes Kauai unique. Some hunters enjoy the sustenance this animal provides, while others decry the damage they can bring to the local ecosystem. Whether you appreciate or resent this mammal, its existence is one of the the facts about Kauai that isn’t easily overlooked.

a large brown bear walking across a grass covered field