Small Talk

Kauai getaway, day 2- ziplining

March 25th, 2010

Most of this day was spent zipping and dipping in the jungles, with a tour company called Princeville Ranch Adventures. They also offer a kayaking tour, but we chose their most popular, called the Zip n' Dip. "This tour offers the most zips on Kauai and the ultimate zip called King Kong! A combination of 9 exciting zip lines, a suspension bridge and an hour at a deep hidden swimming hole, where you’ll enjoy a picnic, swimming, jumping and floating on inner tubes. It’s the experience of a lifetime!" gushes the website description.


I've heard about ziplining and was curious to try it for myself. This was my first chance to do so, since there are none on Oahu. It was fun!




We checked in at 9 a.m., and were met by ridiculously good-looking tour guides Jason and Laura, who kept us safe and entertained the entire half-day we were with them. Twelve of us (the tour max) jumped into trucks and drove through some cow pastures to arrive at the top of the mountain.




There, the guides gave us a lesson in how to zipline, and got us started. There really wasn't much to it- just run off the platform and trust that the cables will hold you. The first one, named Manini, is only 25 feet above the ground. It's a good test to see if you can handle it. You're clipped to a half-inch galvanized aircraft cable that can support thousands of pounds, and just for safety sake, no riders can be more than 280 pounds anyway.

A few people - those afraid of heights - clung on to the lanyard for dear life at first, but by the end, it seemed everyone was literally hanging loose. The lines have fun names like Ironwood, Okole Hau, and Pau Hana, and the longest run (also the only double zipline), King Kong, was 660 feet.

Most of the rides lasted half a minute, at a speed of about 30 miles per hour. You could go faster if you balled yourself up to decrease wind resistance. Sometimes I had to do that or I wouldn't make it to the end, and then I would have slid back into the middle and a guide would have had to retrieve me. Not that I would have minded dangling there and appreciating the awesome view over the trees.

King Kong

King Kong

What I remember most about ziplining was the speed. Thirty mph doesn't seem like a lot, because you're usually doing that in a car. When you're just flying along like a bird, 30 feels pretty fast. As I think about the first four runs, I only remember a blur of green and the joy of controlled hurtling. I had to remember to look around on the last few runs to take in the view, which again, is so spectacular.

Lunch provided for you

Lunch provided for you


Near the end, we stopped for lunch by a pool, which we could also swim in, had the weather been warmer. Hey, it's not just me. We had east coasters on the tour who were also reluctant to get wet, and you'd think 70 degrees would be nothing compared to the winter they've been getting. The inner tubes went unused for our group.

The guides handle a couple tours a day, and the company ends up taking out about 75 people a day in the slow season (now). In the summer, that doubles.

Our group

Our group

The tour is four and a half hours, so I was expecting a massive hike. However, it's not really a hike, it's mostly spent waiting in line to zip. You therefore don't have to be intimidated by what sounds like the potential for a lot of exercise. You will be literally flying high, and likely, loving it.



After the ziplining, we decided to drive to the end of the road, to Ke'e Beach. It's been years since we've been up here on a leisurely personal jaunt, so it was fun to revisit some sights.

St. Regis is at the tip of this peninsula

St. Regis is at the tip of this peninsula

Hanalei taro farm

Hanalei taro farm


At the dry cave

There are two caves along the road that everyone stops to look at. One is Maniniholo Dry Cave, which goes back about 300 yards. Bring a flashlight if you remember, so you can better peer at the cave walls. It's just cool to be wandering around a cave.



The other one we visited is Waiakanaloa Wet Cave, at the end of the road just before Ke'e Beach.  This cave is filled with algae and too creepy to want to swim in (because you can't see the floor), even if there wasn't a no swimming sign due to leptospirosis. There are guppies in the shallow, and the water is cold. I've read that scuba divers explored it 100 yards in and reported no sign of life. Just stand there and enjoy the view.

Wet cave

Wet cave




We then returned to the hotel to do... nothing! We took a nap and watched TV, which in and of itself felt like a real treat to do in the middle of the day.

Our view

Our view

DSCN0076 DSCN0075

But then, the resort was kind enough to send a bottle of champagne and chocolates, so we obliged by getting tipsy, eating chocolates, and enjoying the ocean view. I so appreciate that I actually got to talk to my husband, or just sit in silence next to him and listen to the waves crash, and not have to look around every five minutes to make sure someone is staying out of trouble. Total decadence.



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11 Responses to “Kauai getaway, day 2- ziplining”

  1. oldshoes:

    spectacular! i'm exhausted just from the read and pictures alone! Did u yell "geronimo"....

  2. Sam Urai:

    Simply beautiful!!!! Love Kauai-so romantic. Do I hear the sounds of little feet in the fututre?

  3. maxcat:

    It really was a great trip ... good for you and Claus ... and isn't it nice to just indulge yourselves every now and again ... thanks for sharing this

    ps ... just read Cat's blog

    Jer Rhee, Jer Rhee, Jer Rhee!

  4. Scott:

    I guess Kauai is big enough for another ridiculously good looking couple!

  5. hawaiiobsessed:

    Kauai is so gorgeous! Lovin the pics and everything. Yeah, how come all the pretty people are in Kauai! :>) The view from your room is So glad you got to go and re-connect!

  6. Scott:

    I got engaged in Kauai, just remembered....

  7. Rodney Lee:

    Thanks for sharing your ziplining day on Kauai with us. Nothing like doing something fun on your vacation, including leaving enough time for a nap.

  8. RedZone:

    I think I saw a pink zipper. cool. I like to do extreme things too.

    And I agree with the others that Kauai is a great place to go to relax and have fun.

  9. shoyu burner:

    I've always wanted to try ziplining. Maybe next when I'm on Kauai..........
    thanks for sharing!

  10. James:

    That was quite a trip! It had adventure, excitement, wild titillation, elegance all wrapped up in a single package. Kauai has lots to offer!

  11. David In Oregon:

    Wow, this looks cool. Ziplining all over the place. I think I'd be like the little kid at the carnival, "...can we go again? Huh? Huh? can we? " 😆

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