The western end of Kauapea Beach is known as Secret Beach or just “Secrets” by locals. At high tide these two neighbouring sandy coves are separated by a rocky outcrop.
Secret Beach is a frequent feature on lists of Hawaii’s best beaches, and its golden sands, secluded location and scenic outlook to Moku’ae’ae Island make it a real gem.
Backed by steep cliffs covered in lush vegetation, the only way to reach Secrets is down a steep unmarked trail, maintaining its hidden status. You need to carry everything down (and back up!) with you as there are no amenities. The narrow trail is particularly treacherous after rainfall, so plan your visit with forethought.
The soft sand is perfect for relaxing, sunbathing and shelling, but the waters are unsuitable for anyone who is not a strong and experienced swimmer. Powerful currents prevail, especially in rough winter seas.
Bring beach shoes and explore the tidal pools when the tide is low and enjoy a walk towards Kilauea Lighthouse on the eastern end of adjoining Kauapea Beach, about a mile away. About half way along the walk you’ll see a waterfall trickling down the cliffs into a freshwater pool. It’s perfect for youngsters to paddle and the freshwater is ideal for rinsing off your gear.
Keep your eyes open for sightings of whales and dolphins frolicking offshore during the summer and be aware that both Secrets and the far end of Kauapea Beach are popular for nudist bathing, despite it being illegal in Kauai.
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