Thank you for visiting Wai’Oli Properties and our website! We have listed many ideas, tips and helpful information for you when moving and buying your dream home on Kauai.
Cost of things:
Farm-to-table has become a growing lifestyle on Kauai. Many localfarmers grow fruits including bananas, papayas, mangos, kiwi, guava,lychee and pineapples. Veggies grown here are tomatoes, lettuce, kale,avocados, cucumber and tons of herbs, to name a few. Most items grownhere are relatively inexpensive to buy. Having friends who grow theseitems on their properties certainly helps! Coffee is even grown on Kauai.Kauai Coffee Company in Kalaheo is the largest coffee grower in the USwith 4 million coffee trees on 3100 acres. Also grown on Kauai is beef. Ofcourse, living on an island offers plenty of seafood, primarily anassortment of fish. However, don’t expect fresh fish to be inexpensive,even in the grocery stores. The cost to buy food on an island like Kauai istypically more than on the mainland. Many items must be shipped in fromthe mainland. At times, some of the items shipped can be close to theirexpiration date, e.g., mushrooms. There are daily free-standing marketsall around the island that sell local fruits and vegetables. This is the mostinexpensive way to buy produce. If you have a Costco card, prices will besignificantly less than the grocery stores. Our island offers Safeway,Foodland (Princeville’s Foodland is the most expensive grocery store inthe US!), Big Save, TImes and Sueoka’s (small local market, a bit limitedbut decent island produce).
A bit like food, clothing can also be pricey. Best to stay away from touristyshops, e.g., Kukui’ula Shopping Center & Princeville Shopping Center,although you can find unique clothing in both places. We do have aMacy’s and two Ross’s. Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa is a good place toshop for clothing as well as the Safeway Shopping Center in Kapaa.Hanalei is a very fun place to shop with lots of eclectic stores. Luxury carsand expensive clothes are uncommon here on Kauai. We love our“slippas” (flip-flops), board shorts and t-shirts.
In late 2018, a national service (Move.org) offered tips and strategies forrelocation and announced that the state of Hawaii had the highest utilitycosts in the US. However, this is inaccurate information! Typically, KauaiIsland Utility Cooperative’s average residential monthly use is about 514kWh with a cost at $0.367 per kWh. The mainland’s averages are 800kWh per month. Renewables are definitely keeping utility rates steadyand they will continue in a downward direction over time as lower costrenewables take the place of diesel. The Department of Water – County ofKauai has fixed rates for residential properties based on the size of yourmeter as well as a consumption charge imposed per 1000 gallons.Spectrum is the primary cable company on Kauai with rates as much asany mainland company, e.g., Comcast. Internet alone is approximately$65.00 inclusive per month. Cable and phone added can reach pricesbetween $150.00 – $200.00 monthly.
What better place to live than on Kauai! This is truly paradise! Pricing fora home is primarily based on location, although not always. The NorthShore (Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea and Moloa’a), as well as the SouthShore, (Koloa, Poipu and Kalaheo) are generally the highest priced areasof our island. There are plenty of condos here, which keeps pricing down.The predominant areas for condos are Poipu, Princeville and the“Coconut Coast” in Kapaa. Since the island is primarily rural, Kauai is theleast populated of the four major islands. Most housing is along thecoastal highway with small towns dotting the perimeter.
How to get your animals here:
First and foremost, Hawaii is a rabies free state. Therefore, all rabiesvaccinations and documents must be current prior to your move. Yourveterinarian will be able to assist you with this, but plan to have alldocuments up to date at least 2 months prior to your move here. There isquite a lot of pre-planning to do. Hawaii requires the AQS-279 Form to becompleted at least 30 days prior to arrival with your pet. Highlyrecommended for pet relocation and transfer is Island Pet Movers onOahu. They will provide door-to-door stress-free service, which is alsoaffordable. They cater to Kauai, as well as all other islands. KauaiHumane Society is here, as well, in Lihue. They have a full range ofservices.
Hawaii Laws about pets: all pets in public areas must be on a leash at alltimes. Some subdivisions even require leashes for cats! Mandatory doglicensing ensures proof of ownership. Outdoor cats must be neutered.There is also a noise nuisance law here. Pet waste and litter laws arealso enforced. There are a few “pet motels” on island as well asindependent dog walkers and pet sitters. There are 3 public pet parks onKauai: one at the Kauai Humane Society in Lihue, one at the WailuaHomestead Park, and one at the Kauai North Shore Dog Park. Noleashes are required at these parks.
• Best high-end restaurants:
o Bar Acuda
o The Beach House
o Kauai Grill – St. Regis Princeville
o The Dolphin (Hanalei and Poipu)
o The Bistro
o Stephenson’s at the Grand Hyatt
o Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt
o Dondero’s at the Grand Hyatt
o Rum Fire at the Sheraton Poipu
o Hukilau Lanai
o Eating House 1849
o Ruth Chris
o Red Salt
o Plantation Gardens
• Best cheap eats and local fare:
o Kauai Ono
o Hanalei Poke
o Tahiti Nui
o Garden Island BBQ
o Tip Top
o Bull Shed
o Mark’s Place
o The Local
o Kintaro Japanese
o Kauai Beer Co.
o Fish Express
• Best Views:
o Beach House
o Rum Fire
o Bull Shed
o Duke’s Canoe Club
• Best Shave Ice (not shaved ice, but shave ice)
o Ono Ono
o Jo Jo’s
o The Fresh Shave
How to ship a car:
• Matson: most reliable way to ship your vehicle with over 136 years of service.
• Prices start at $1,070. For oversized vehicles, boats or RV’s, call 1-800-MATSON. Plan ahead.
• Before shipping: your vehicle must be completely empty for transportation from the mainland to Hawaii, (with regard to inter-island transportation, your vehicle can have items in it but no higher than the car windows). Everything must be removed on mainland shipping. For both mainland and inter-island transportation, the vehicle must be at ¼ tank of gas and completely clean and free of all debris, dirt, sand, etc., along the wheels and body.
• Car Rental: All major rental car agencies are here on Kauai. Most are at or near Lihue Airport.
• Public transportation: The Kauai Bus operates a public fixed route daily with stops from Kekaha to Hanalei. The fixed route service hours are Mon-Fri 5:15am – 10:50pm. Sat, Sun and Holidays: 6:00am – 8:45pm. Bus fares are $2.00, $25.00 for a monthly pass.
• Uber/Lyft: Uber and Lyft are both available on Kauai. Their rates are considerably lower than taxi services.
• Turo: This is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace where you can book any car you’d like from local hosts here on Kauai. Renting cars are as much as 30% less than traditional car rental agencies. Download the Turo app to find local hosts.
• Bike rentals: There are a few bike rentals on Kauai, primarily in Kapaa, for as little as $10.00/day. Cycling around the island is not recommended unless you are a seasoned cyclist. There are no bike lanes on our highways.
• Walking: There are several areas on Kauai that do not offer sidewalks including downtown Hanalei and parts of Poipu. Like bike lanes, sidewalks are limited. However, there is a wonderful 4+ mile paved walking and biking trail in Kapaa.
o One last important note: there are very limited streetlights on Kauai. Walking and biking at night is not recommended!
Swimming on Kauai:
• It is extremely important that you swim only at lifeguarded beaches. The waters on Kauai can be very dangerous at times. Lifeguarded beaches are:
o South Shore:
! Kekaha Beach Park
! Salt Pond Beach Park
! Poipu Beach Park: Nukumoi Tower & Poipu Tower
! Lydgate Beach & Lydgate Pond
! Kealia Beach Park
! Anahola Beach Park
o North Shore:
! Hanalei Bay
! Ha’ena Beach Park
! Ke’e Beach
Driving on Kauai:
• Drive with ALOHA! What that means is give way to cars needing to merge. Smile and wave the ‘shaka’ when they let you in to merge. Be a respectful driver.
• Drive with caution and slower than at home…we only have a two-lane highway and it’s dark at night.
• Honking? We typically do not honk here. We move a little slower in Hawaii, (well not so much on Oahu!), so please be patient with yourself and others.
• Roads: We are working on paving all major roads here and some have been completed. But, since we only have a two-lane highway here, some roads have potholes and patches that cause some bumpiness. Drive with
• U-turns: for some odd reason the locals and visitors here like to make a u-turn anywhere and everywhere, even on the highways! We encourage you to find an appropriate place to u-turn for the safety of yourself and others. Again, drive with caution.
Real Property Tax:
• Hawaii is a tax haven for low property taxes. The real property tax rates are the lowest in the country, and therefore a great place to invest.
• In Hawaii, we have a few other critters aside from your typical bugs:cockroaches, ants and mosquitos. We have centipedes. It’s as if it’s a badword, as no one wants to see or be near a centipede. How to avoid one,it’s hard to say. When buying a home on Kauai, it’s recommended to havea pesticide spray company visit once a quarter to rid your home of bugs,cockroaches, ants, centipedes and other critters, including cane spiders.Gecko’s are a part of life here. It’s said that it’s bad luck to kill a gecko,but they can be loud inside the house and leave poop pretty muchanywhere. Pesticide companies can help with this. Not sure it actuallykills them but they disappear for the most part. Let’s also not forgettermites. That should be tested twice a year by professionals, as well.
• Kauai’s signature animal and mascot is the rooster and chicken. We callthem all chickens. Doesn’t matter if it’s a hen or a rooster, they’re allchickens! Why so many, you may ask? Well, back in September of 1992during Hurricane Iniki, which struck Kauai very badly, there were a fewtruckloads of chickens being transported from one place to another.During the hurricane, they escaped from the trucks and have beengrowing like ants every since! Visitors typically like them, and yes, someare beautiful in color, but they can be a real nuisance. Best not to feedthem at all. Do they have a predator….no. Cats don’t even eat chickens!
Towns on the island starting from the far north shore of the island to the far westside:
• North Shore:
o Kee Beach
o Rice Street
• South Shore:
o Ele Ele
o Port Allen
o PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility)
Last but not least, there are loads of activities here on Kauai….
• A helicopter tour is the most ideal way to see Kauai! Once you take the tour, it will give you the lay-of-the-land and help you decide what you’d actually like to see on the ground….and maybe where you’d like to live!
• Waimea Canyon: The views driving up there are spectacular. This could be a great all day adventure as the drive from Lihue is about 1.5 hours, one way. There is a restaurant up there at Koke’e State Park for lunch.
There is also a scenic overlook (signs posted), which is a must-see. Truly breathtaking! There are plenty of hiking trails, as well.
• The National Tropical Botanical Gardens along with the 80 acre Allerton Garden: Guided tours are available. This is where Jurassic Park and several other movies were filmed. Speaking of films…
• Kauai Movie Tour: There are 20+ movies filmed here. A driving guided tour, so no real walking.
• Poipu Beach Park: swimming and snorkeling. A great place to see turtles!
• Spouting Horn (near the Botanical Gardens)
• Na Pali Coast catamaran or inflatable rafts along the westside and north shore: Views along the Na Pali coastline are one of the most incredible sites on this planet!
• Plenty of golf all over the island
• Wailua kayak and hike to Secret Falls
• Other activities:
o River and sea kayaking
o Scuba diving
o Zipline (several locations)
o Horseback riding (north shore and south shore)
o Outrigger canoe paddling
• More activities:
o Kauai Hindu Monastery, (one does not have to be Hindu to enjoy these gardens)
o Lawai International Center (Buddhist Temple. Another beautiful garden site)
o A river cruise to the Fern Grotto
o Lei-making and Hawaiian craft-making
o Kauai Museum tour
o Gaylord’s train tour around their 300 acres of land
o Kauai Coffee Company tour
o Kilauea Lighthouse tour
o Luau’s: Can’t miss a luau on Kauai! Several options to choose from.
We at Wai’Oli Properties hope that this has been informative and helpful, and we thankyou again for visiting our website! Please let us know how we can assist in finding your ideal home on Kauai. We are here for you!