Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Gay Kauai:

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The sugar plantation which owns the land surrounding the beach used to keep a herd of donkeys here that helped haul supplies into the fields. When they weren't working, they grazed along the shoreline. Ergo, Donkey Beach.

You can't see Donkey Beach from the main highway. Traveling north from the airport at Lihue, look for the second dirt road on your right, after passing the 11 mile marker. We odo-metered it at 0.3 miles past.

You may or may not be able to drive through the sugar cane field to the beach. It depends on the amount of work related activity on the cane roads, or the mood of the owners. If the cane road is closed, park along the highway and walk down the cane road. Veer to your left as you get close to the water. You'll climb a small rise, and there you'll see the beach of your dreams. If you drive in, you'll see a parking area above the southern end of the beach.

The end closest to you , if anyone is there at all, will be populated by surfers. The far end is the domain of nudists and gays. When we have visited (during the week), just a few people were there, which we like, but those who were present were definitely gay. Weekends of course should be busier. Summer is great because the seas are calmer and the beach is much wider than in the winter. At the back of the beach are low trees that provide cover for privacy and welcome shade from the intense sun.

Nudity is illegal in Hawaii, but we haven't ever heard of anyone being hassled at Donkey Beach.


Donkey Beach is pretty roomy, but Secret Beach (official name: Kauapea Beach) is enormous. Very long and wide, the Kilauea Lighthouse makes a lovely backdrop at it’s easterly end, trees and bushes at the rear provide very welcome shade and privacy, and a small waterfall at mid-beach, when its raining upcountry, refreshes with a natural shower to wash the salt off. The beach is so large that we haven't been able to discern a specific gay area, but we are told the center part of the beach is the place to be. We've been here twice, and both times were too lazy to walk it’s full length and see for ourselves, because of, uhh, distractions.

There are two access points: an illegal one to the eastern end of Secret Beach from Iwalani Lane, which branches off Kilauea Road in Kilauea, and a legal one to the western end of the beach from 1st KALIHIWAI ROAD.

Continue northwest along Highway 56 past Donkey Beach to the 23 mile marker. past the Kolo Rd. turnoff to Kilauea town. Soon, on your right / makai you'll see KALIHIWAI ROAD. Turn right onto it. The second turnoff on your right from KAHILIWAI ROAD will be a dirt cane road. Follow it a short way until you see some parked vehicles. A very well-worn trail begins here, following the fence of a horse pasture.

The path quickly descends to the beach. Much of the trail is actually "steps" that someone took the trouble to build. But the rest is made up of very slippery loose dirt when its dry, or even slipperier mud when its wet. It can be dangerous, so take your time. At the bottom you'll marvel at the beach. If its been raining, you'll have to cross a stream that flows across the beach.

Secret Beach attracts surfers, belly boarders, nudists and gays.





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