Hanalei, which means "crescent shaped", is the name for the northern part of Kauai, as well as a bay, a valley, a lookout, and more. The bay, which is lined by the long and sandy Hanalei Beach, is a well known spot for surfing. The spaciousness, consistent waves, and the fact that there is no coral make it an excellent destination for beginners. A further out area, known as "The Point", proves to be more of a challenge and is best suited for advanced surfers. The Hanalei Lookout (which is just off Highway 56) provides a fantastic view out over the beautiful Hanalei Valley. The 6 mile long and one mile wide valley is home to the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge.
The Hanalei Wildlife Refuge was established to protect the endangered Koloa (Hawaiian duck), Hawaiian gallinule, Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt. It also provides habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. The site incorporates 917 acres of river bottom land, taro farms and wooded slopes in the Hanalei River Valley on the northern coast of Kauai. The site is closed to public use but overlooks from Highway 56 provide opportunity for wildlife observation and photography. Fishing is permitted from the banks of the Hanalei River.
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