Na Pali Coast ʻOhana Volunteer Work Trip Information for Nuʻalolo Kai
Please make sure gear, clothing and shoes are clean and free of dirt and seeds to prevent the introduction of unwanted species.
The Nuʻalolo Kai resource management trips were begun in the summer of 1996. Since that time, we've brought in many volunteers, and their efforts are visible throughout the area. The goal of the project is to clear, protect, and document the spectacular archaeological sites of Nuʻalolo. A secondary goal is to enhance the visitor experience here.
We accomplish this predominantly with hand tools and hard work. To date, we have accomplished all vegetation clearing and maintenance without the use of herbicides.
Nuʻalolo is an awesome place to spend a week. Being allowed to camp here is a privilege not enjoyed by many.
In exchange for that right, we ask for the following:
Specifically, we request the following:
- Teamwork and cooperation in restoration efforts, camp chores, and cleanup.
- A full day’s work
- Respectful interaction with the public
- Adherence to all State Parks rules
- Adherence to all fishing laws. (Any catch should be tag/release or consumed on site. We are not there to exploit the resource)
- Camping is allowed in the ironwood (Casuarina equisetifolia) grove only, away from the day use area and interpretive trail
- Adherence to basic rules of safety. We are a long way from medical help. Use common sense.
*** PLEASE INFORM US IN ADVANCE OF YOUR ALLERGIES AND REACTIONS BIG OR SMALL OR HAVE ANY HEALTH ISSUES THAT COULD BE A PROBLEM IN A PLACE WHERE HELP IS HOURS AWAY.
- Boots or toed shoes and long pants when using any cutting or power tools. It is highly recommended that you wear protective chaps if using a chainsaw
- Protective eye-wear if using a chainsaw or weedeater. It is also recommended that you use eye-wear if using a machete. A face shield is very nice when using a weedeater
- It is recommended that you wear gloves when hauling debris. Scorpions and centipedes are very common in Nuʻalolo Kai
- Although we are happy to accept a drink or food if offered, we do not ask the boat companies for special favors like delivering a specific drink.
What you should bring: PLEASE TRY TO PACK LIGHT.
- Personal camping gear (tent, blanket, sleeping bag/pad, or hammock)
- Any needed medication, including epi pens
- Clothing: long pants, shorts, shirts (Synthetic material can be washed and dried overnight which will reduce your clothing load) (a length of cord for a clothesline and some pins is useful)
- Shoes, socks, slippers
- Toiletries: towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap ...
- Refillable water bottle/flask
- Hot beverage cup
- Work gloves
- Flashlight or headlight (with optional red light for night vision preservation while stargazing), batteries (solar flashlights are popular)
*** It is best to pack gear in a dry bag if available or alternatively in a heavy duty plastic garbage bag. The zodiac ride can be wet and access to the beach is through 2 to 5 feet of water depth with sand and pebble bottom. Boat mooring is 20 feet from shore.
- Snorkeling gear, tabis/reef shoes (largest coral reef on Nāpali)
- Jacket/Windbreaker (It’s usually dry and hot, but it does rain and can get cool at night. The zodiac ride in the morning can be windy and chilly)
NPCO will provide:
***IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, food reactions),
- First aid kit and defibrillator
- Satellite two way texting and 2-way VHF marine radio for emergencies
- Stove, fuel, and cooking gear
- Base camp lanterns
- Water, tea, coffee (no individual serving soda or juice) ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE NOT ALLOWED.
- Coolers and ice
- Food - Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (There is a designated cook)
- Plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons ...
PLEASE LET THE TEAM LEADER AND COOK KNOW WELL IN ADVANCE.
***You may contribute to a meal if you have a special recipe you would like to share. Let the cook know as soon as possible so preparations can be made. Please be specific when contributing a dinner (which means you are in charge that night) or a dish or two to add to the menu, and what you will be cooking to avoid duplication.
If you are bringing soda, etc. for yourself, please rinse the empty can and smash it flat to not attracts bugs then toss it in the recycle plastic bag.
Nuʻalolo Kai, despite its seeming isolation, is visited by tour groups which boat in daily. Many boats simply moor in the channel and let their people snorkel, but three companies bring groups ashore and lead short walks through the archaeological sites. Generally, we have the place all to ourselves from about 5 pm until 8 am. We set up camp in a grove of ironwood (Casuarina equisetifolia) trees about 1/5 mile from the channel where we're dropped off - all gear must be hauled to the campsite.
There is no fresh water in Nuʻalolo Kai, save for a small well with non-potable water. All drinking water must be brought to base camp.
Bathing is therefore done in the ocean. Some type of liquid camping soap such as camp suds or Dawn or Ivory dishwashing soap works well in the salt water (also easier to manage a plastic bottle while standing in the ocean instead of a bar of slippery soap). Toweling dry immediately after exiting the ocean avoids the sticky, icky, salty feeling that occurs when salt water is allowed to dry on your skin.
A new (2019) hand cleaning technique: using a spray bottle with just water to wet your hands, saves a lot of water.
There is a single composting toilet, near the channel/boat landing (~1/5 mile from camp). A small scoop of compost mixture (sawdust and peat moss) is added after each use.
There is no cell phone coverage for Nāpali. You will be out of contact with civilization for the entire trip. In case of emergency, we can communicate with boats when they are nearby via a two-way VHF radio. At night, our only communication will be via a satellite texting device (Garmin inReach ~ $0.50/text), which is for emergency use only
Typical work activities undertaken by volunteers include:
WE WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE KNOWING YOUR AREA(S) OF STRENGTH
TO ORGANIZE SUB-TEAMS IN RESTORING NUʻALOLO KAI.
- Trail maintenance (clearing w/ gas weed eaters and rakes).
- Clearing of archaeological features to facilitate mapping and/or maintaining previously cleared sites. This is typically accomplished by thinning or removing trees with chainsaws, removing smaller growth with machetes and sickles, hand weeding, and hauling away the cut refuse.
- Selective removal of non-native weedy plant species within and surrounding the site areas. Presently we are concentrating on removal of one of the most noxious and quickly spreading plants, castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) and Lantana (Lantana camara L.).
- The native garden that was put in place in 2009 needs weeding and watering.
- Some work trips provide an opportunity to assist the masons that are restoring the stone walls and structures.
- Hiking mauka in the bushes and up the talus slope to remove castor bean, tobacco, and check on the status of the alaheʻe trees.
(e.g., Hawaiian culture and traditions, archaeology, biology, botany, ornithology, entomology, hydrology,
meteorology, ichthyology, geology, marine life, environmental science, cooking, technology ...)
Some non-work, pau hana, activities:
Leave No Trace: Take only pictures. Leave only footprints. Kill only time.
- Visiting the terraces on the Kalalau side of the cliff base (with access guide only)
- Checking out the noio (Noddy tern) cave at Alapi’i point
- Observing honu and monk seals
- Hiking mauka in the bushes and up the talus slope to check on some special places and enjoy the views (with access guide only)
- Swimming, snorkeling
- Enjoying the sunset (and the occasional green flash)
- Star gazing. Please bring a red-light flashlight for starwatching
NPCO website for more info and photos: https://napali.org
NPCO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/napaliohana
View a video presentation about Nuʻalolo Kai by 4D media - Producers - Serge & Jennifer Marcil
To contact the NPCO resource management team in Nuʻalolo Kai, leave a message with one of the boat companies (Capt. Andy’s, Kauai Sea Tours) that have permits to land at Nuʻalolo Kai.
Kauai Sea Tours
To suggest changes to this document, email:
Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Updated: 2022-08-11T10:49:25-1000 (HST)