The Kawahara equation is solved numerically using both Lagrange interpolation polynomials based differential quadrature method and cosine expansion based differential quadrature method. The travelling single solitary wave simulation is pictured. Maximum and discrete mean square error norms, lowest three conserved quantities are computed. Height, peak position and velocity of single solitary wave at various times are also computed for both methods. Breakup of an arbitrary single solitary wave into solitons and oscillatory shock wave generation from single solitary wave are studied. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.