Donkey Beach is located in East Kauai featuring a combination of rocks, sand and trees. Donkey Beach was named after the common practice of letting donkeys and burros haul sugar cane in nearby fields and plantations. This is a beautiful open beach where you can enjoy snorkeling, picnicking and walking. There are no lifeguards, facilities and restrooms however. Visitors should be cautious about swimming during high tide since waves breaking on ledges and drop offs are unpredictable.
Ha’ean Beach on Highway 560, Northa Kauai is another open beach and is a favorite among surfers. There is a beach and park area with picnic tables, showers and restrooms. Swimming is not recommended however because of deep drop offs.
Beach Safety Guidelines
For amateur surfers and swimmers, it is recommended to swim only at beaches featuring lifeguards and located only a few miles from the nearest health center. Always inform lifeguards and other companions before going into the water and ask for swimming tips and areas of concern. Watch out for warning signs and follow rules. Daily and seasonal changes occur which can make some beaches particularly dangerous depending on the current weather, tide or time of the year.
Waves come in sets and there can be as much as a 20-minute break in between dangerous ones. Stay away from coastal rocks and boulders since strong waves can easily thrash people. Ask how long from the shoreline the drop offs are. Accidents can happen off the water as well so be careful when treading on sand, grass and rocks. It is advised to go with a rip current instead of fighting back.
Call for help immediately and conserve energy. Ask a partner to go with you when doing water activities and if you do not have full information about a certain Kauai beach or body of water, never go out.