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If you’re a river rat – a lover of river activities such as sailing, speed boating, fishing, water skiing, canoeing and tubing – you won’t find a whole lot of rivers in Hawaii on which to indulge your pleasure. We have no rapids to shoot here; no white water for rafting.
These islands are loaded with waterfalls (about 100 of them have names). Many of them are magnificent and several are accessible, but they’re fed by streams and springs from rain rather than by a “conventional” source such as the Great lakes-Niagara River feeding of Niagara Falls.
The Kaukonahua River on the island of Oahu is Hawaii’s longest at 33 miles, but it offers little in the way of activities other than hiking near its banks.
But there’s hope for you on the island of Kauai. The Wailua River offers the only fresh-water skiing in the state. It is, in fact, the only navigable river in all of Hawaii. Several forks in the river lead to waterfalls and can be easily explored by kayak. About a quarter of a mile wide near its mouth, it’s also a very good setting for power-boat sports. Usually smooth and warm, the Wailua attracts pros from around the world to train, play or compete on skis, wakeboards, scurfboards and kneeboards. (Scurf is a type of tow board similar to water skiing)
Beginners and intermediates can have good fun here, too. Tows are moderately priced, and passengers who don’t ski ride free. The ski boat companies supply all the equipment.
And the tubing can be a special experience, even for tubing veterans. A company based in Hanama’ulu offers tube rides down the Lihue Plantation irrigation ditch and tunnel system, which runs through some of the most beautiful land on the island with spectacular views of the ocean, coastline and valleys. Beginning near the top of Mount Waialeale (the wettest spot on earth), the waterway and ditch system winds through open canals, rushing flumes and mysterious tunnels.
The most popular river trip is to the sacred Fern Grotto. A flat-bottom cruise boat will carry you 40 minutes up the river to that natural wonder.
So Hawaii is far from being “The Land of Rivers,” but river rats can find a place to play … and have a great time.
If you’d like to know more, pick an agent from our Web site home page, or call 1-800-843-8771. We can help you squeeze some river fun into your Hawaii vacation. And, of course, we can help you do everything you’d like – at the best possible rates.