Menehune Ditch


About Menehune Ditch


Menehune Ditch was a massive irrigation system built with lava stone. The waterways brought water from the Waimea River to the taro fields. Lava rocks used to construct the ditch came from Mokihana, over than 6 miles away from the irrigation system. Remainders of the ditch can be seen today, though much of the system has been destroyed or eroded.


Historians are impressed yet dumbfounded by the Menehune Ditchno one knows exactly who or how the irrigation system was built. Archeologists believe the ditch was constructed before Polynesians arrived on the island. Hawaiian legend states that local leprachaun-like people, called Menehune, built the ditch in one night, under the direction of Waimeas high chief, who told all villagers not to go outside nor disturb the Menehune at work.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Kauai
  • Duration: Drive-by location, 5-10 minute stop if time permits.
  • Insider Tip: Theres a saying, The shouts of the menehune on Puukapele on Kauai startled the birds of Kawainui Pond on Oahu. In other words, menehune on Kauai were once so numerous that they could be heard on Oahu.
  • Fun Fact: Kauais first census, taken in 1820, recorded 65 people claiming their nationality as menehune.
  • What to Expect: Menehune Road; Kauai ancient folklore.