(Note: This post was written by Brett!)
Not the foulest beach I ever saw! No sooner did this thought run through my brain than a local woman passing by told me, “It’s always been like this.”
In all fairness, I’ve seen bigger messes on the mainland, as well as in other countries. Here, the debris is mostly fishing equipment from large and small boats: lines from quarter-inch polypropylene to two-inch hawsers, scraps of net, water bottles, remnants of styrofoam coolers, a lid from a 5-gallon (chum) bucket, and driftwood. Further, this beach is like a catcher’s mitt, capturing all the flotsam from the north and east shores.
Although it’s not remotely a place for Volleyball, Tanning, or Swimming, it is a beautiful beach for long walks and stunning vistas.
Back there in the distance, the beach evaporates into a rocky shoal that wraps around to Hanama’ulu Bay. Between here and there are innumerable photo opportunities, like this one I didn’t capture completely (blame it on the high winds and heavy surf).
And that last, the cleaving of the rock, hints at the greater threat to this beach, climatic transition rather than the litter shown in the first photo. Beyond this berm is a swamp, the confluence of old diversion trenches from plantation days.
Oh, I should not forget to mention the abundant wildlife available for watching such as shearwaters, the many varieties of Hawaiian butterflies (which I am seldom quick enough to photograph), and the infamous side-stepping beach creatures—a few different crab species. Of course, if you watch the tide timetables carefully, you just might catch dinner!
Finally, getting to Nukoli’i Beach is easy as pie. From Kuhio Highway, turn down the driveway to Kaua’i Beach Resorts, and then right at the four-way intersection at the bottom of the hill (before you actually get to the resort). Follow that road to the end where you’ll see a small lavatory shelter and parking for about six cars, it’s rarely crowded, and heed the no trespassing signs. The land on both sides of the road is private property, but you can walk the extent of the beach without incident as long as you don’t turn your back on the ocean.