July 24 - 30, 2016: Issue 273


Waimea Canyon


By George Repin

Kauai, the fourth largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, often referred to as the “Garden Isle”, geologically is the oldest of the islands.  It is volcanic in origin and, like the other Hawaiian Islands, is the top of an enormous volcano rising from the ocean floor, having been formed by the passage of the Pacific Plate over the Hawaiian “hot spot”.

Waimea Town is on the west coast at the mouth of the Waimea River whose flow formed Waimea Canyon, one of the world’s most scenic canyons, now included in the Waimea Canyon State Park.

Of particular interest to Australians is that in 1778 Captain James Cook arrived at Waimea Bay, the first European known to have reached the Hawaiian Islands.

Memorial plaque at the site where Captain James Cook landed at Waimea in 1778

Waimea Canyon is on the southwest side of Kauai.  Ten miles long and one mile wide it is a magnificent gulch with 3000 foot high cliffs and lush green foliage amidst red outcrops. In addition to red, other hues abound in the canyon, including blue, grey and purple. Water flowing from Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest places on earth (average 466 inches of rain annually), carved out the canyon.  Erosion and rainfall are factors which continue to chisel away at the mountainous surrounding rocks.

Mark Twain visiting the canyon dubbed it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”.

One of a number of lookouts on the Waimea Canyon Drive

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

The Waimea River flows to the sea through the Kalalau Valley with its extraordinary fluted peaks.  By the time it meets the Pacific Ocean it is carrying a heavy suspension of earth so that from the sky it is said to look as if blood is oozing into the blue waters of the Pacific.  “Waimea” in the Hawaiian language means “reddish water”.  

The Kalalau Valley

Looking across the Kalalau Valley to fluted peaks on the other side

Photographs by George Repin in 1988

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre  Around Angkor - 1963  Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II  The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  

Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.