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Day one and day two in Kauai proved to be a big success! On day three we were up for our longest adventure for the entire trip. It was a 5.5 hour tour with Island Adventures where you kayak up a river, do a bit of hiking, do some training on water rappelling, then rappel down a 30 foot waterfall.
You meet up at their check in location. Take note this is right under Duke’s restaurant. We had a bit of problems finding it and ran a few minutes late, so give yourself plenty of time for check in. There is a small public parking area that has a wooden walking bridge. Park there and walk over. Do not follow signs for or try to get to Gaylord’s. Upon your arrival, they do give you a wet bag to put your things in that is designed as a backpack. No need to worry about what kind of shoes would work best for this tour. You trade your shoes for shoes they have for the tour. They support you finding shoes that fit and your original shoes go in a basket that you get back at the end of the tour. Use the public restroom before leaving.
The tour starts off with a short van ride in which you arrive at the loading dock for the kayaks. Again, the van driver provides all kinds of information about the plants, culture and the tour. Once arriving to the dock the tour guide goes through kayaking 101. This was helpful to refresh how to use the paddles to make the kayak go the way we wanted it to go. Although, once Ryan and I got into the water we got to communicate some to figure out what was going on. Typically, when we have canoed before I was in the back steering. We got it all worked out though!
We then hopped into our kayaks and started the river tour part. The water was calm and easy. Great scenery of green, lush land. Stay fairly close to the tour guide as they will tell you a lot about the different plants, why they were brought to Hawaii, how the river was used, etc. Sometimes it is hard to hear if you are still paddling up when she is talking.
After a 70-90 minute kayak tour you disembark and are on land again. Apply buy spray. This was a short hike which was in the thick of lots of greenery. The tour guide cuts away plants as you walk through. She explained to us if she didn’t on every tour for a week there would no longer be a trail. It is an easy, beautiful walk with unique tree branches making canopies and bright colored flowers along the way.
When the short walk is complete you hop in a van again to take about a 5 minute van ride to a training base camp. This is where we got to train on a dry wall our rappelling. Another tour guide showed us the basics of what to do and what not to do. We got comfortable with our gear and the few techniques we needed to know to rappel down the waterfall. There was about twelve of us so the guides assisted each of us in whatever way we needed it.
Since we were all set with our training we took another short hike down towards the waterfall. Our tour, Ain’t No Zipline, included the 30 foot waterfall. They do also have a tour where you rappel the 30 and a 60 foot waterfall. Once to the waterfall they set up two lines to rappel down. We each got to try both lines. It was nice that the tour guide that was our belay on our practice run was our same belay during both runs on the waterfall.
Once everyone on the tour went once and had a chance to go twice if they wanted to we hiked to the 60 foot waterfall. Although we did not rappel down it we were able to play in the water and walk behind the fall.
To climb up to be able to go behind the waterfall you do need a little upper body strength. There is also another place that you use ropes to pull yourself up a steep incline as well. To get back to the base camp it is a bit of an incline on the hiking trail, but it is not too far away at all.
Great news is once you are back to the base camp it is time for lunch. When booking your tour you tell them what kind of sandwich you would like to have. They have several meat options, veggie sandwich or a salad. You also get a bag of chips and a Hawaiian fruit juice or water. We did the veggie sandwich. It seemed like they just left the meat off. It was bread, cheese, lettuce and tomato. I was thinking avocado or bean sprouts would be on it. I’d recommend going for the salad if you want a veggie option.
A few things to note: They do offer small bottles of water many times throughout the tour. No need to bring a ton of your own water. There is a Porta Potty at the base camp, but you are away from there quite a bit. Once back at the base camp while eating lunch you trade your shoes back and give them the wet bags. We put our items directly in the wet back. I’d suggest just sliding your backpack into that bag otherwise you will be carrying your things in tied up towels like us! Also, on the instructions they give you they recommend bring a swimsuit, towel and change of clothes. No need to carry that all around with you for the tour. Leave a change of clothes and towel in the car for when you are done. Whatever you choose to wear for the tour just know you will be wet in it often. Men: wear swim trunks and a shirt that isn’t too baggy. Women: longer shorts/workout capri’s (so the harnesses don’t rub) and a tighter shirt. Just be comfortable being wet in that. It was warm enough that we dried off some or wanted to be wet to stay cool. Reapply sunscreen.
Ryan and I loved our Ain’t No Zipline Tour with Island Adventures! We would have totally been up for trying out the 60 foot waterfall!
On our way back to the condo we grabbed some shaved ice from Tege Tege which we heard was amazing. It happen to be a long wait while we were there but drove by other times when it was not busy. They do sell out each day they are open. Make sure to add the ice cream!
We then went to Hideaways Pizza for dinner which was just across from our condo. The pizza crust was thin with a ton of toppings if you like that kind. Again, we experienced the warm to hot dinner setting. It was great to just walk across the street to eat and back home after such a long and adventurous day!