Weatherwise Kaua'i does live up to its rainy reputation, but rainfall varies according to location and season. The South Shore and especially the Westside tend to be dry and sunny, while the North Shore and Eastside see regular showers. The biggest factor is elevation and you'll notice an increase in precipitation as you head mauka (inland).
Mt Wai'ale'ale (5148ft/1570m), almost smack in the middle of the island, is considered the wettest place on earth, averaging 460in (11684mm) of rain annually. Since the island is only 33mi (53km) wide and 25mi (40km) from north to south, it's easy to escape to your preferred climate. Average high temperatures in the capital Lih'ue vary between 29°C (84°F) in August and 25°C (77°F) from January to March.
Seasonally, winter means guaranteed rain, particularly on the North Shore, where flooding is a fact of life. But, except during storms, sunny spells and balmy temperatures ease the rainy-day blues. Remember, no rain, no rainbows!
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Ideally situated on Poipu Beach, this resort is renowned for its unspoiled white sand, brilliant sunshine and breathtaking sunsets.
Kaua'i is not a big island; however, it would be impractical to just use your hiking boots! Most visitors end up hiring a car. The minimum age for driving a car is 18, but most rental agencies only hire out to people aged over 25. However, Thrifty Car Rental will hire out to those over 21. Other car rental agencies include Alamo (www.alamo.com), Avis (www.avis.com) and Budget (www.budget.com). Traffic congestion can be a problem, particularly at peak times.
You can hire motorcycles or mopeds, but these are not common and can actually be more expensive than hiring a car.
Cycling is an option but there are a number of things to think about before you make the cycling decision: the hilly terrain, the weather (cycling on Kaua'i in the rain may sound romantic, but...), and a lack of bicycle lanes on the roads. However, if you must cycle, you can bring your own or hire one at Hanalei or Po'ipu.
Public transport on Kaua'i is pretty much limited to buses, but with limited routes and times (not to mention exact-fare only drivers) you should use them only if you have to. The country bus service is Kaua'i Bus.
Practical information to assist you before and during your trip.
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