Island of Yesterday
Ni’ihau sits just 17 miles southwest of Kauai and is approximately 18 miles long, 5 miles wide, and the area is 90 square miles. The island is low at both ends with a high tableland. Ni’ihau’s highest point is at 1,281 feet. The island of Lehua is just off the coast of Niihau.
Niihau is semi-desert with no permanent streams and very little rain, though it does boast the largest lake in the Hawaiian Islands. Sheep, cattle, and honey serve as the major industries. Niihau is also noted for her beautiful sea shells used for lei making.
Niihau is politically a part of Kauai County. It is owned by the Robinson family and is not accessible to visitors. Much of the Hawaiian heritage is still kept alive. The 200+ inhabitants, probably the largest colony of Hawaiians left in the islands, speak Hawaiian as their first language.