During last trip to Kauai, we decided to try the Mountain Tubing Adventure from Kauai Backcountry Adventures. And, this turned out to be one of our all-time favorite activities.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures has exclusive access to an irrigation system that was once used to irrigate sugarcane crops. Now, this is where they offer tubing tours. The ditch and tunnel system was hand-dug by plantation workers over 100 years ago.
The whole tour takes approximately 3 hours. From the minute that you check-in, at their warehouse in Lihue, to the end of the tour, everything is well thought out. Their staff is very friendly and professional. Once you have signed the necessary waivers, they will hand out hardhats with headlamps and protective gloves. After a short van ride, through the beautiful Lihue Plantation Lands, you’ll come to the start of the tubing adventure.
The staff will give you quick safety instructions and then you will hop on your tube. At first, the water is quite refreshing, but you quickly adjust. As you float, at around 4 miles per hour, you’ll be treated to spectacular scenery. It’s impressive to think that in the 1870’s people dug those tunnels that you pass through by hand. There are a few short drops along the way that add a little excitement but nothing serious. Fortunately, the tour guides do a good job of warning you.
Truth be told, before going on the tour, I was a little apprehensive about the tunnels. I have a tendency of feeling claustrophobic in confined areas. But, it was not a problem. Fortunately, the tunnel at it narrowest, is wide enough for a large tube to pass through easily. And, there is plenty of room above the head.
After over an hour of floating, the tubing portion of the tour will come to an end. Once again, you will hop into the van to head to the lunch area. This area has portable washrooms and covered picnic tables. The guides will serve a lunch of “build your own” sandwiches, chips and cookies. There is a swimming hole there for those that want to take advantage of that. After lunch, you will return to the warehouse to conclude the tour.
What to Wear?
Definitely wear clothing that you feel comfortable getting wet in because you will get wet. If you feel comfortable going in a swimsuit, go with that. As you see in the group photo, most people are a little more covered. Since this adventure is in the rain forest, it will probably rain and be a little colder. So, keep that in mind when deciding what to wear.
What to Bring?
Bring water friendly shoes to protect your feet (a must), sunscreen, a towel and a change of clothing for after. If you have a waterproof camera, definitely bring it along too. If you don’t, don’t worry, they take pictures along the way that you can purchase for a reasonable price. Also, you might want to bringing bug spray. During our tour, bugs weren’t an issue at all.
While you’re tubing, your clothing and other items that you don’t want to bring with you, will be safely stored. Everything will be returned to you at the end of the tubing adventure. Don’t make the mistake that I made by leaving your change of clothing in the car. You will be wet, and a bit cold, and for quite a long time!
Is it worth it?
Well, this tour is a little pricey at $110 per person. But, well worth it! Unfortunately, this is not an activity that you can simply go do on your own. As tubing is suitable for most, it’s a great activity to do as a family. And, since it is on private land, it’s on a part of the island that I wouldn’t have visited otherwise.
Wary Travelers Tip
As you can imagine, things book up fast during peak season. And, to avoid disappointment, make sure that you reserve in advance! Good news is that they offer this tour several times per day. You can check availability and book directly on their website. Click here to do so!
Finally, if you are planning a trip to Kauai, here are a few other posts that you might like:
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