Spouting Horn, a blowhole located in Koloa near Poipu, is one of the many natural wonders you need to visit when you come to Hawaii. The ocean current makes its way into the lava tubes below, which causes it to release an intense volume of water through the hole. A hissing sound is made with each plume. When the surf is strong, you can sometimes see the water reach heights of 40 to 50 feet in the air.
The windswept coastline where Spouting Horn is located is known for its crashing waves. In fact, the name of Poipu translates to “crashing.” Spouting Horn is part of the Koloa Heritage Trail, a ten-mile trail in the Koloa district on Kauai’s southern coast.
When you come upon the main roundabout in Poipu, you’ll see a big brick sign that welcomes you to the town. On that same sign, you can see the words Spouting Horn with an arrow pointing South. Follow Lawai Rd about 2 miles, and you will come upon Spouting Horn Park on the south side of the road.
Spouting Horn can be seen from a viewing area off of Lawai Road, near the McBryde and Allerton Gardens visitors center. Though fenced off, a few people venture onto the shelf but that is not recommended. Some visitors to Spouting Horn are disappointed by the fenced-off access and the force of the plumes, which are sometimes weak during calmer seas. For the most spectacular views, visit Spouting Horn near sunset and during rough seas.
It’s easy to find and there are lots of free parking spaces available. There is a public bathroom onsite as well. There are some grassy areas in the park but very limited seating. If you bring a blanket, it would be a good spot to have a picnic as it overlooks the ocean. Towards the Southeast part of the park, there is a standing area with a railing where you can see the blowhole in action.
When we visited, we noticed there were tour groups that came by bus, but in my opinion, it’s not necessary to book a tour to come see Spouting Horn. It’s really easy to find the area with a lot of parking so you can still get a good experience visiting it by yourself without the need for a guide.
One thing to note is that you should follow all sign directions and never go over the guardrails. The rocks are extremely slippery and large waves can drag you into the ocean. So admire from a distance.
I recommend checking the tide charts and visiting during high tide for the biggest blast from the blowhole. We spent about 15 minutes at Spouting Horn. For us, it was a stop along the way rather than a main destination. However, because of its location, it’s a convenient spot to marvel at on your way to other activities in Poipu since there are plenty.
Near Spouting Horn, you can find several restaurants, including Beach House Restaurant, which is a popular fine dining restaurant right on the water. Poipu Beach Park is also nearby (about 2.5 miles), where you can find local turtles and monk seals lounging on the beach.
Spouting Horn is a fascinating natural wonder of Kauai. If you haven’t spent most of your life near the ocean, the attraction is worth checking out when you visit the southern part of the island.
According to Hawaiian folklore, a giant lizard (“mo’o”) protected this part of Kauai. One day, a young man named Liko challenged the lizard. During the battle, Liko thrust a sharp stick into the lizard’s mouth. Liko jumped into the water and lured the lizard through a small lava tube in the rock. The lizard got stuck in the lava tube (blowhole) and today you can hear the lizard’s hiss every time the Spouting Horn blowhole blasts into the air.
Here is another photo we took at Spouting Horn right before it blasted: