Dramatic Skies in Hanalei Valley, Kauai


Kauai storm clouds over Hanalei valley

Rain can be daily occurrence although it doesn’t usually last long and can be a fantastic photography opportunity.

Our beloved “Garden Isle” would not be the lush and tropical island we know, were it not for it’s heavy rainfall. The north shore of Kauai sees an average of 250 inches of rain per year which is over half of the recorded annual rainfall in the wettest place on earth (Mawsynram, India which sees 467 inches of rainfall per year).

On a recent visit to Kauai I joined a small group with Kauai Photo Tours that began in the east at Kapa’a and continued toward the north, beyond Hanalei. The tour took us to spots that are off the beaten path by someone knowledgeable in both the scenery and photography. I recommend the tour regardless of your skill level, but keep in mind this is not a photography workshop; you’ll visit 10 to 12 locations in 5 hours. That’s fast! As rain passed through I was able to capture dramatic clouds in many of my shots. I also learned of places I can re-visit including quiet beach coves, a beautiful seabird lookout, and a place to do some ultra-safe cliff jumping. Below are some of my shots inspired by the Hanalei skies. Thank you for visiting!

Kauai taro fields

Brooding skies, just moments before overtaking the taro fields of Hanalei Valley.

Kauai cattle herd

Cattle are herded by a local farmer at one of Kauai’s hundred or so ranches. All of the island’s cattle are 100% grass-fed.

Kauai cattle ranch barbed wire

Anyone would be lucky to spend their days on this farm land.

Storm at Hanalei's peak

I can’t get enough of the captivating clouds at Hanalei’s peak. They are so mysterious and they change every second.

Hanalei valley peak

Lush mountains abound in the Hanalei Valley, this being a glimpse of why just 10% of the island is accessible by roads.

As rain pours down, tourist beach goers will usually pack up but the locals may wait it out.

Hanalei valley Kauai rain

Proof that rain showers don’t usually last long… sunshine is just seconds away.

Meet Suzette
suzetteI have been traveling for the better part of the last ten years in an effort to get out of my bubble. I set out to learn from other cultures and gain some understanding of the world. No matter where I go, I seek out gems off the beaten path and this site is my attempt to show you how to do the same.

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