Planning a trip to Kauai, the island of Hawaii? See the list of ideas, excursions and top things to do, see and experience while you are in Kauai. If you want to book your tailor-made holiday in Hawaii, call us on +44 20 7148 1778 or send us an enquiry.
TOP THINGS TO DO AND EXPERIENCE IN KAUAI, HAWAII
CATAMARAN SNORKEL SAIL
Explore the awe-inspiring rain carved slopes of the majestic Na Pali Coast on an exhilarating catamaran ride. There’s no better way to experience the thrill than on Kauai’s premier 65-foot luxury catamaran, the Southern Star. Bask under the warm tropic sun out on the spacious deck and enjoy a safe and stable ride across the water. Fully equipped with restrooms, shaded areas and fresh water showers, this sail lets you relax in comfort and ease. View spectacular sea cliffs, enchanting waterfalls flowing from hidden mountain crevices, and timeless lava tubes. Get familiar the history and legends of the early Polynesian civilization that once inhabited these verdant lands. Drop anchor to enjoy snorkel and swimming with the Pacific’s wondrous marine life. Frolic and splash with schools of fish and an occasional sea turtle or two. Fill hungry appetites with a hearty BBQ lunch. For an ocean adventure in paradise, don’t miss this excursion!
ISLAND HELICOPTER ADVENTURE
Take a first-class eco adventure over the Garden Isle of Kauai! Your journey begins with a flight to spectacular Hanapepe Valley, and then continues on to Mana Waiapuna, commonly referred to as “Jurassic Park Falls.” Next it’s up the Olokele Canyon before moving on to the Waimea Canyon, the famed “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Then, the sculptural masterpiece of the Na Pali Coast gives way to the Bali Hai Cliffs, and the pristine blue waters of Hanalei Bay and the Princeville Resort area. Finally, weather permitting, the crowning glory of the Garden Isle: Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale – the wettest spot on earth with an average rainfall of 450-500 inches annually! Flying into the center of the crater with its 5000 foot walls towering above and its 3000 foot waterfalls surrounding you, is a truly awe-inspiring finish to your adventure of the Garden Isle of Kauai.
NᾹPALI COAST 17-MILE KAYAK & HELI ADVENTURE
This 17-mile paddle traverses the spectacular northwest coast of Kauai. This journey is only accessible by water or air, with kayaking being the most magical way to experience Kauai’s mystical, visual feast. The coastline is splayed with razor carved cliffs, deep valleys, and waterfalls – all in collection of tropical greens and blues. You’ll paddle at the base of 4000-foot cliffs, explore legendary sea caves, mosey past (or through) cascading waterfalls, and see the majestic Kalalau and Honopu valleys. The guides not only have a wealth of paddling experience, but they will share their vast knowledge of Hawaiian history, flora, fauna, and sea life. Your ultimate reward at the end of the kayaking trek is a spectacular helicopter tour of the Napali coastline from above. Gaze upon the stunning cliffs and dramatic scenery as you relax in your private helicopter as it takes you back to Princeville to end your amazing adventure. Your day starts with an early morning, launching out from Haena Beach Park. The first part of the paddle is four to five hours on the water, taking breaks throughout to rest your paddles, snack, and take in the breathtaking scenery. Be on the lookout for sea turtles, endangered Hawaiian monk seals, or a pod of spinner dolphins. The first land stop will be at Miloli‘i, a state park that is only accessible by water – here you’ll enjoy a nice gourmet lunch and a break from the ocean. After having already completed most of the journey, the second paddling section is a quick jaunt to Polihale beach, where you’ll be guided into a safe landing on the beach. After a quick rinse in the shower, you’ll hop in your private transportation and drive to where your helicopter will pick you up. The 45-minute scenic flight over the Napali coast gives you a sense of pride – seeing all that you have accomplished in today’s journey. Finally, you’ll return back to your hotel just before dusk.
*You must be in good physical condition to do this adventure.
PRIVATE FOOD TRUCK CHEF DINING EXPERIENCE
Enjoy an evening with your loved ones with a unique farm-to-table culinary experience as the sun sets over Hanalei. Your private chef will prepare a fresh, balanced five-course set menu constructed of as many local and organic products available, many of which are grown right on the North Shore. Previous meals have included organic, steamed taro root with steamed taro leaves and coconut sauce; Kilauea salad greens with sesame ginger vinaigrette; brined and smoked walu (escolar) with olive oil rubbed kale; ulu (breadfruit) croquettes with braised local beef and zesty caper sauce, and a flourless chocolate torte with kumquat marmalade. Enjoy your private dinner under the stars with complementary entertainment consisting of a contemporary trio and LED dancers!
KAUA‘I ADVENTURE: SOAR, KAYAK, HIKE & ZIPLINE
After your helicopter lands you at a private ranch, your guides will greet you and take a short drive down to the base of the river where your journey begins. You’ll start out with a 2 mile paddle down a river. See the beauty and solitude of the surrounding National Wildlife Refuge. Then, hike lush jungle trails through a fern-covered valley to secluded pools and waterfalls. After hiking, get ready for some zipping! Flight is a eeting fantasy, something dreamt of since earliest childhood, something that up until now was unattainable. Well, dream no more. Trained staff will outfit you with customized equipment – seat harnesses, carabiners, helmets – and lead you on an adventure, soaring over gulches and ravines, between massive trees, gliding or zipping along as you explore the rugged terrain. You’ll sample two of the best ziplines on the course, ending with a zipline that leads you into the water. An idyllic deep waterfall pool, the perfect spot for swimming, jumping, tube floating or just plain relaxing. This extreme sport adventure is definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up to the task and ready for the chalenge, this one-of-a-kind event will bring home memories of an experience that will last a lifetime. After lunch, your helicopter will pick you up to take you back to the heliport, where your private vehicle awaits to take you back to your hotel.
TARO FARM TOUR & LUNCH
Visit Hawaii's only remaining Rice Mill (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), where the past meets the present. Tucked away on a working wetland taro farm on Kaua`i’s dramatically scenic North Shore, the Haraguchi Rice Mill is found within a National Wildlife Refuge, usually not accessible to the public. Learn about Hawaii’s agriculture and cultural history, view endangered native water birds, and explore the cultivation and uses of taro, a traditional Polynesian food source. Then have a picnic lunch featuring
unique items prepared with taro grown on the very farm you visit. Experience unique farm fresh fun, hands on activities, endangered birds and wildlife observations!
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Koloa’s natural setting and the preservation of the rich history of the land. The Koloa Zipline experience reflects our commitment to excellence in every aspect. From the breathtaking beauty of the natural setting, to the craftsmanship in the building of the platforms, to the preservation of the rich history of the land... This tour starts at sunset and by the 2nd or 3rd line you will be under the stars as night sets in. You will be given glow stick flashlights to use during the tour, and you will be able to see our lighted take-off and landing platforms. Guests will fly through the jungle, soar above the forest, and glide across the water. Koloa Zipline is the only Zipline in the State that offers head first zip lining. This is Kauai’s longest course and featuring Kauai’s longest single line of 2600 ft.
HELICOPTER & PRIVATE MOTOR YACHT TO NA PALI COAST
Breathtaking vistas of rainbow crowned valleys. Unique coral reef formations and schools of multi-hued fish. Trade wind powered sailing, fun-in-the-sun, good friends, good times. A short helicopter flight will take you down to the Port Allen Harbor on the South side of the island, where your deluxe motor yacht will transport you to secluded coves and prime snorkeling locales along the spectacularly rugged Nā Pali Coast. Marvel at stunning sea cliffs, enchanting waterfalls and timeless lava tubes. The coastal waters of Nā Pali are home to a plethora of creatures; kīkākapu, the rainbow striped butterfly fish, the stunning kihikihi or Moorish idol, black spiny sea urchins called wana and shy he‘e or octopus. The endangered honu or green sea turtle are occasionally seen. If you’re lucky spinner dolphins will make an appearance, playing in the catamaran’s bow wave or entertaining you with acrobatic displays of sheer fun.
KILOHANA PLANTATION PRIVATE TRAIN TOUR, OWNER’S EVENING & LU‘AU
In 1935, sugar baron, Gaylord Wilcox, built this legendary plantation estate at Kilohana, meaning “not to be surpassed” in Hawaiian. The estate was the site of many extravagant parties and ceremonies, where it now remains as a Historic Landmark and one of the finest examples of plantation era architecture in Hawaii. All aboard! Welcome aboard your 40 minute private, narrated train tour of the beautiful and historic 105 acre Kilohana Plantation. Sit back and relax in our elegant mahogany passenger cars as you see over 50 varieties of fruit tree orchards and fields, vegetable gardens, rare and exotic tropical flowers, forest, plants, hardwood trees – even animal pastures with donkeys, goats, sheep, horses, cattle, ducks, geese, and a fun loving herd of wild pigs! Hop off of the train and even get a chance to feed the wild pigs, goats and sheep yourself! This evening, you will have the chance to experience the Plantation Owner’s Evening and Lu‘au. A fresh floral lei greeting awaits your arrival and you will be escorted to the Manor house, where a tour of the house proceeds a delicious dinner at Gaylord’s restaurant. Next, just before the show is about to begin, torch bearing performers will escort you to Kalamaku, the lu‘au, where you will be able to watch the show from in VIP seating, set above the general seating area, quietly tucked in a corner for a more intimate feeling away from the main tables of guests. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!
NA PALI RAFTING EXPEDITION
An incredible 5½ to 6 hour expedition to Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. You’ll leave the modern world behind, darting in and out of sea caves, plunging under cascading waterfalls, and encountering the dramatic peaks and majestic valleys of the Na Pali Coast. You’ll land on a remote beach – Nualolo Kai – for an upgraded picnic lunch, followed by a guided historical hike to the ruins of an 800 year old Hawaiian fishing village. Explore the same thriving reef ecosystem that supported ancient Hawaiians.
BLUE LAGOON KAYAK EXCURSION
This picturesque 3 hour tour takes you along the scenic Hanalei River and Bay Reef Lagoon in the company of these charming, “water-borne” natural historians. This is safe and relaxing family fun with the land, water, fauna and flora genuinely interpreted by expert narrators! Today, you will see Bali Hai (Makana Peak) in the distance, with its sweeping “South Pacific” panorama. You’ll have the chance to watch for birds and turtles, snorkel with colorful marine life and wade along a sandy beach! The more adventurous can venture out and “surf kayak.”
BACK COUNTRY TUBING
In what islanders refer to as “small kid days”, fluming was a popular pastime. Relive a Kauai tradition as you tube the ditches and flumes of the venerable Līhu‘e Plantation of Hanamā‘ulu. The adventure begins as you pass through the old sugar plantation. The scenic beauty of Kauai’s pristine interior is breathtaking. Lush foliage, fragrant blossoms, and vibrant rainbows. Then – time to float. Grab your tube, put on a headlamp, and sit your ‘ēlemu (buttocks) in that tube and away you go. The waterway consists of ditches, flumes, and tunnels – hence the headlamp – engineered and hand-dug over 150 years ago. The pace is leisurely, the experience delightful. You may see wild boar, kōloa ducks, or pheasant along the way. Guides share stories, facts and legends with humorous style. At the end of the float, lunch is served at a charming picnic area adjacent to a natural swimming hole. Be ready to have fun – and get wet. This is truly a unique and memorable experience suitable for the entire family.
The information provided by our partners in Hawaii - Luxe Travel Hawaii.
Photo by Braden Jarvis on Unsplash