In the town of Kalaheo, just off the beaten path lies a hidden gem, Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course. The park was once the site of an ancient Hawaiian Heiau and more recently the estate of the late Walter McBryde.
Mcbryde was the owner of the McBryde Sugar Plantation and donated the 180 acre parcel to the state as his gift to the people of Kauai. The park offers extensive walking paths and gardens with breathtaking mountain and ocean views. The challenging 9-hole golf course is popular with the locals for its beauty and the most inexpensive greens fees on the island.
The newly renovated Japanese garden is a great place for a stroll down a quaint path and over a footbridge where visitors can see fountains, statues, bonsai trees and other plantings. The garden path leads up to a unique and extensive collection of Hawaiian lava rock artifacts and a newly-built meditation pavilion.
There are also numerous opportunities for joggers, walkers and hikers here. From the Japanese garden, a paved path leads out to a bluff that offers unrivaled views of the South and West shores of Kauai. It is even possible to view whales here during the appropriate season. From the lower parking lot, hikers can enjoy a walk along wooded path that winds through an ironwood and Eucalyptus forest. The path seems particularly peaceful when the wind is blowing through the ironwood trees.
Kukuiolono Park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. To get there, head south on Papalina Road from the light in Kalaheo, when the road begins to head downhill, make a right on Puu Road where you will find the entrance. For more information about Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course call 808-332-9151