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This Incredible Footage Showcases Hawaii’s Forbidden Isle Like Never Before

Across the Kaulakahi channel from Kauai is Niihau, a place of immense beauty. Often referred to as Hawaii’s forbidden isle, Niihau is Hawaii’s seventh largest island at just 70 square miles, and is a magical place where time has stood still.

The small island was purchased from the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1864 by Elizabeth Sinclair, and private ownership has been passed down to her descendants, the Robinson family. Niihau’s 200 or so residents speak Hawaiian as a primary language, and many of Hawaii’s traditional ways of life have been preserved on this small island.

The island is off-limits to all but relatives of the island’s owners, government officials, U.S. Navy personnel, and invited guests. Only a select number of tours are allowed to operate on or near Niihau, so we encourage you to explore the waters off Niihau, as well as the famous Lehua Rock, through this beautiful footage shot by Na Pali Riders Raft Tours.

It Is said that the reefs surrounding Niihau are among the best in Hawaii, and after watching this video, we’d have to agree. Who else wants to head underwater to explore all that the vast Pacific Ocean has to offer?

Megan Shute
Megan is a freelance journalist residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from the mainland two years ago, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Kona coffee.