Donkey Beach - This Kauai Beach is Dangerous for Swimming


The Kauai beach with the unusual name, Donkey Beach, is a beach that comes with a lot of pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it is gorgeous in all its rugged beauty. The water seems to always have movement and some type of waves or white caps. There also always seems to be a breeze and you are never deprived of a constant flow of oxygenated air invigorating your senses. The crescent shaped beach is long and wide and since it is usually quite sparse with people there is always plenty of room to find a private place to lay your towel for some sun tanning. If you need a bit of a respite from the sun there are even trees you can find for cover. The sand is a light brown and soft and cozy spots are easy to find.

Donkey Beach Can Have Strong Currents

Donkey Beach Can Have Strong Currents

On the minus side, the beach is often very rough with strong currents and can be very dangerous. Local experienced surfers (not beginners) may enjoy the surf breaks here when the conditions are right but we would advise not wandering into the water. Because of the often times difficult conditions here and because of the lack of a life guard tower, swimming in not a good idea. Another notch on the minus side is that occasionally the nice breeze that is almost always found here can turn into a forceful wind that can put a damper on your beach enjoyment.

Monk Seals Frequent Donkey Beach

Monk Seals Frequent Donkey Beach

This is a great beach for a walk however and you might be lucky enough, as we were on a recent visit, to find a Monk Seal lounging on the luxurious sand. Because seals are such good swimmers and obviously have no trouble navigating their way through troubled waters this beach, in contradistinction to humans, is probably the perfect beach for them. Laying out and enjoying the sunshine on the pristine sand on a mostly private, almost deserted beach seems to be just their cup of tea.

Pathway to Donkey Beach

Pathway to Donkey Beach

From the road above it will take you about five or ten minutes to wind you way down a nicely paved pathway to the actual beach and there are some nice pavilion overlooks to be found there which are a great place to spend the day. Restrooms and showers are available up at the parking area which is paved and easy to navigate.

Ocean Caution

Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including this one. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters however it is not advised that you enter the water at this location. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. There are no lifeguard towers at this location.




Kauai Beaches

Anahola Beach is a great choice for a beach on Kauai. Not only is Anahola picturesque with scenic vistas and a great expanse of beautiful white sand but its protective outer reef of Anahola Bay makes it a less dangerous area in which to enjoy the water than many other beach locations.

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Anini Beach is a narrow sliver of a beach that extends along Kauai's North Shore for somewhat over two miles. Anini Beach is an oddity on the North Shore because it is largely protected by a huge fringe reef that is one of the largest in the state.

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Glass Beach near Port Allen is truly one of the oddest beaches you will find on Kauai, or anyplace else for that matter. Glass Beach is not a beach for swimming, or even getting into the water, but it is a beach to explore.

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Hanalei Bay is by far the largest bay on Kauai and is the heart and soul of all the beaches on the North Shore. The area upon which the ocean touches the shores of the bay is what is known as Hanalei Beach the this colossal spectacle of a beach is perhaps two-miles long and in most places over 100' wide.

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Hanamaulu Beach is located a short 3 miles north of Lihue and is protected from the ocean by the large Hanamaulu Bay. This bay is very picturesque and in the day served as the backdrop for the film "Donavan's Reef" starring John Wayne.

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Hideaways beach is a small sliver of a beach perhaps only one-hundred yards long which is located down the side of an extremely steep cliff at Princeville.

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Kalihiwai Beach is one of the truly beautiful North Shore Beaches. It is scenically positioned between two prominent points of land and its perfect crescent shape is first noticeable as you get a glimpse of the bay when driving down the roadway which dead-ends at the beach itself.

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Like so many beaches on the North Shore of Kauai safety is a big issue for Ke'e Beach. This remarkably beautiful beach has been the scene of many drownings over the years and everyone entering the water here needs to be able to access the dangers clearly.

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The wide expanse of Kealia Beach can readily be seen when driving up the Kuhio Highway just north of the town of Kapaa. The beach is perhaps a half of a mile in length and 150 feet wide in most places.

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Kekaha Beach is essentially the last portion of the beautiful 12-mile white sand beach that begins at the southern end of the NaPali Cliffs at Polihale and works its way down the coast.

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Lawai Beach is a small but beautiful sliver of a white sand beach that is located just off the coastal road in the Poipu Resort area. Though it does not have a lifeguard tower it often has suitable conditions for snorkeling and there is plenty to see under the surface.

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Lumahai Beach is Kauai's equivalent of the Venus Fly Trap. A case could be made that this may perhaps be the most beautiful beach on the island. Because of its beauty Lumahai Beach was the spot that was chosen to film South Pacific and it is hard to take a photo of this beach that does not come out picture postcard perfect.

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If you are looking for what is probably the most "family friendly" beach and beach park on Kauai you will find it at Lydgate Beach Park. You can tell that a lot of thought and caring came together at the same time in the construction of this beach area.

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In many ways the Mahaulepu Beach experience is more of a hiking adventure than a traditional beach outing. The beautiful sands of Mahaulepu Beach are essentially the hiking path that will take you on a two mile journey starting from Shipwreck Beach in Poipu all the way to the cliffs on the eastern side.

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Picturesque is a word that could easily be used to describe Moloa'a Bay. The few vacation rentals that dot this east side bay obviously have the same point of view, as their beachfront locations make a memorable impression in any photograph and aid in luring potential clients to their scenic ocean retreats.

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Any list of comparable items will consist of more favorable and less favorable choices whether it be a list of vacation rentals to stay at or a choice of cheeses to bring to a picnic.

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One of the most popular beaches on Kauai, and one of the most "people friendly" is Poipu Beach in the midst of the Poipu Resort. It would be a safe guess that the reason the resort is even here at all is because of beautiful Poipu Beach.

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Polihale Beach is spectacular by all measures of comparison and almost every description of this beach requires the use of a superlative. This is the longest beach in all of Hawaii stretching a full 12 miles in length.

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The only reason we are including the Queen's Bath on our list of beaches on Kauai is to dissuade you from going there at all. At the time of this writing I am not exactly certain how many people have lost their lives here but a year has passed by since the official tally had reached 29 persons.

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Rock Quarry Beach provides the visitor with a "mixed bag". The beach, which is also known as Kahili Beach, is rustic in its own way and has a certain charm as it provides a beautiful white sand beach that is rimmed with Ironwood Trees.

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As far as beaches go on Kauai, Salt Pond is one of the most people friendly. Foremost in importance is that it has a lifeguard on duty. Secondly, it has all the amenities you would need at the beach.

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Another one of Kauai's spectacularly beautiful beaches is Secret Beach. This long series of gorgeous white sand beaches can be readily seen from the Kilauea Lighthouse as you look toward the Na Pali Coastline.

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An incredibly beautiful white sand beach can be found at the eastern end of the Poipu Resort called "Shipwreck Beach". The beach takes its name from the ruins of an ill-fated vessel that crashed upon its shores years ago but has since been completely consumed by the sea.

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If you've ever had an opportunity to see the North Shore of Kauai from the air on a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft you will have had little trouble recognizing a huge reef that protrudes outward from the coastline on the eastern side of the NaPali Coast.

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Related Information

A listing of all Kauai Beaches can be found on these pages. Check for the beach that will be perfect for you!

First things first. Kauai beaches are dangerous! Yes, of course beaches in Kauai are among the very most beautiful beaches on the planet, but they are dangerous.

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