Makauwahi Cave Reserve
Near Mahaulepu (Gillin’s) Beach., Mahaulepu, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood South Shore Hours 10am–2pm Wed–Sun. Phone 808/634-0605, 808/212-1710 Prices Free admission; donations welcomed. Web site Makauwahi Cave Reserve
The Pacific’s greatest cache of fossils, including those of enormous, long-extinct waterfowl, may lie in the depths of the largest limestone cave in Hawaii. Exposed by a sinkhole thousands of years ago, the cave is managed by paleoarchaeologists and conservationists David and Lida Pigott Burney, who have opened it for fascinating docent-led tours. After you make the slow, bumpy drive through former cane fields near the Grand Hyatt Kauai, a short walk takes you to the small entrance to the cave—stay hunched until you see sky overhead. Non-native tortoises, abandoned as house pets, help keep the vegetation down; visit their sanctuary outside the cave, where the Burneys are restoring native plants. Admission is free, but please donate toward upkeep and research. Tip: Rough roads may make it easier to park near the arena at CJM Stables and follow signposts north.
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