Have you ever visited Kauai or looked at a map of the islands and wondered what is that mysterious island off Kauai? It’s the privately owned island of Niihau located 17 miles southwest of Kauai. Here are some interesting facts about Niihau:
- The island is 18 miles long and five miles wide.
- It doesn’t have streams and it doesn’t receive much rainfall so its environment is semi-desert.
- Sheep, cattle, and honey serve as the major industries.
- Niihau is noted for beautiful sea shells used in leis.
- Approximately 200 people live on Niihau.
- The Hawaiian language is the first language of Niihau residents. English is second.
- Niihau was purchased in 1864 for $10,000.
- The island is owned by the Robinson family.
- Niihau is not accessible to visitors.
Niihau is also called the forbidden island, though it’s not completely forbidden altogether. The owners even offer a few tours of Niihau. There are also a few snorkeling and scuba tours from Kauai that get near Niihau.
Photo use by Creative Commons. Credit to Nemo’s great uncle.