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Kilauea, Kauai and Kilauea Lakeside Estate

by Janine Hathaway

I am a very frequent traveler to the Hawaiian Islands. I have stayed with my family and friends at most of the luxury resorts on all of the islands. There was nothing wrong with being with hundreds of other guests at the big hotels, but after awhile one pool started to look about the same as all the rest. I took a few trips searching for something uniquely different, more private, and “real Hawaiian,” yet still comfortable and luxurious. A few years ago my quest was satisfied when I discovered the community of Kilauea, Kauai and especially Kilauea Lakeside Estate. I have returned many times during the different seasons and have continued to be amazed that I can stay with my family or friends at my own private resort with all the ammenities and have it all to myself .

The community of Kilauea is about a forty minute drive from the Lihue Airport or five minutes from the Princeville Airport. Formerly this was the Kilauea Sugar Plantation and while it is mostly rural in nature, and therefore very quiet and private, it is conveniently located between Princeville and Kapaa which are two major resort centers with many restaurants, shops and recreational activites. Kilauea now consists of many farms and nurseries that sell fresh produce and flowers daily. We see the signs out each day on the road and stop to buy some of the best tasting produce that we have ever had in Hawaii. One of our stops always includes a fruit smoothy at Banana Joe's fruit stand (sooo ono), and tasting the Guava products at the Kilauea Guava Farm.

Saturday morning at 8:45 am “sharp” we are always at the local Farmer's market where we buy all the necessary veggies for the week. If we run out of anything we can always pick it up at the Farmer's Market Store next to the Kong Lung gift boutique in Kilauea. Most of the farmer's markets, and the eclectic mix of shops, bakeries and gourmet restuarants are located in former sugar plantation buildings. Not to be missed are Kilauea Bakery in the morning and Casa di Amici Italian Restuarant which has live music most evenings and a wonderful upscale menu.

Kilauea is the northernmost point of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands. The Kilauea Lighthouse, a designated National Historic Landmark, is a wonderful viewpoint for the rugged coastline that is lined with ten miles of mostly secluded white sand beaches, and Hawaii's largest wildlife sanctuary, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Kalihiwai Bay, Secret Beach, Kilauea Beach all of the Waiakalua Beaches, and Larsen's Beach are among my favorites and all worth exploring for different reasons. Kalihiwai and Kilauea Bay's both have rivers that are great for the kids and adults for swimming or kayaking. The beaches are absolutely spectacular and quite often I don't see anyone on some of them. As the whole area is a marine-life conservation area the coral and marine life are plentiful. Spinner dolphins can often be seen from shore as well as the green sea turtles and other varities of sea life. The entire area is a favored nesting site for large colonies of wedge-tailed Shearwaters, red-footed boobies, egrets, the great frigate birds and many other species.

Ideally situated across the highway from these deserted beaches is Kilauea Lakeside Estate, the retreat that I call home when I want to getaway from it all and be surrounded by natural beauty.

This estate was developed over the last fifteen years by Steve Hunt, whose Great Uncle was a former Governor of Hawaii. I have found his offer to provide whatever a guest desires to be more than true. I have visited with groups of friends, my family, and only with a loved one, and each trip has been better than the last as we find more ways to enjoy this garden of Eden.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but even a photo cannot adequately describe the feeling of living on a penninsula of land surrounnded by water on three sides and only being able to hear the waterfall and the birds that feed in the private 20 acre lake that fronts the property.

The lake offers a variety of watersports including boating, kayaking, plus great catfish and bass fishing. If we are with the children there are many days when we don't even leave the property. Hiking on the property through the fruit orchards,with about forty varieties of fruits, along the stream through the rainforrest takes us to a small waterfall. We play golf on the one hole golf course, or croquet on the perfectly manicure lawn. The lake is about five degrees warmer that the ocean and with a nice white sand beach in one of the secluded coves the kids have called this their private 20 acre swimming pool. A small island out on the lake has a rope swing to add to the fun. The keikis (kids) have also spent nights sleeping in the treehouse down by the stream while I read in one of the hammocks or float on the lake in one of the large inflatable boats.

Rediscovering the hidden forces in nature at this retreat, and in myself, has inspired me to share this incredible experience in paradise.