What's New on Kauai?

We just had a meeting with Jody Kono Kjeldsen, executive director of the Poipu Beach Resort Association on Kauai, who brought us up to date on what's happening along the southern part of the island.

The biggest news is the opening of the first private residential community, Kukui'ula, which made its debut last year and is continuing to expand. The first Club Cottages at the community will be available for reservations next month with the first stay in November for short-term rental use, from overnight to several weeks. Bonus: Kukui'ula has its own farm for guests to tour and picnic in.

But, as Kjeldsen pointed out, Kauai does not generally attract the kind of visitors who want to stay inside their hotels. Numerous tours and activities have launched recently, including one that takes guests to popular filming locations on the island (including those used in The Descendants). The benefit of these tours, she added, is that they offer access to private land that would otherwise be off-limits to visitors. Poipu's location on the southern-central part of the island offers quick access for day trips to the eastern and western coasts alike.

Water activities are nothing new on Hawaii, but Kauai is making the most of its inland waters as well. The Waita Reservoir, the largest inland body of water in the whole state, is offering fishing excursions (it is filled with tilapia, catfish, big mouth bass and peacock bass). The reservoir is one of those locations off-limits to the general public, so visit www.kauaiatv.com or www.koloabassfishing.com. Likewise, visitors can go paddle-boarding on the island's rivers, an activity not allowed on any other island.