In contrast to the north end Nā Pali Coast, there’s very little vegetation on the cliffs at Nu’alolo Kai—it looks as if someone forgot to turn on the sprinklers here.  But if you have a good boat guide to direct your eyes and tell of Nu’alolo’s history, on those black, sheer lava cliffs, you’ll notice 2 distinctly colored, gray lava dikes on the east-facing wall that form the letter “X.”  Directly below that mark is the area where a Hawaiian fishing village once stood, with a population of approximately 100 people.

Nu'alolo Kai Reef

Nu’alolo Kai reef as it may have appeared in the past. The reef was teeming with fish and other seafood.

Nā Pali’s Nu’alolo Kai reef juts out into the sea , forming a natural jetty that protects the inner bay from the strong, northeast trade winds that bring crashing waves to this area year-round.  In ancient times, the protected reef teemed with fish and other wildlife such as sea turtles, seaweed, and edible sea shells, making life at Nu’alolo Kai quite sustainable for its inhabitants.

Nu'alolo Kai reef now

Nu’alolo Kai reef today. This area is a popular snorkeling spot for. It’s also a place where many green sea turtles bask in the warm sun.

Visit Nu’alolo Kai on the Na Pali Coast with Na Pali Riders Raft Tours. Call 808-742-6331.

For more Kauai information, visit Na Pali Coast Magazine online.

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