Ziplining at Kipu Ranch - November 2013

When we started planning the honeymoon, T and I were set on going sky diving on Kauai. Neither of us have ever been and we thought "Why not see one of the most beautiful places on earth while falling to our deaths?" ;) However, when we got there and started looking at the brochures there were a lot of unknowns. It's possible we would have to wait up to 5 hours for conditions to be right to go up and while the view might be beautiful (if it wasn't too cloudy) it would only last for a 20 minutes plane ride followed by a 30 second free fall and 5 minutes of canopy ride. Still an amazing experience I'm sure, but since we only had a few days on the island we thought we'd opt for something where we would see more of the island over a longer period of time.

We decided to go ziplining and chose Outfitters Kauai Lele 'Eono half-day tour partly because we couldn't stomach the early start time of the day-long trips on our vacation! Another thing that drew us was the fact that we're be zipping around Kipu Ranch, site of Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Here's approximately where we ended up (we rode with them in a shuttle from their Poipu location).

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They describe it on their site like this:

Join us on our "flyin' six"—the Lele 'Eono—six heart-thumpin’, exhilarating zip lines, each different. Try it platform-to-platform, center dismount, zippel, jumping out of tree houses, crossing rivers and waterfalls, through the canopy and over the treetops. Single rides, tandem rides, hootin’-n-hollerin’ rides—big, huge fun! And when your pulse is back to normal, be sure to have a look around. You’re on Kipu Ranch, hiking secret forest trails and crossing aerial suspension bridges over tumbling streams and waterfalls.

It was $116 per person for adults and included water, Hawaiian Sun juice drinks and cookies.

T hadn't been ziplining before and I had only been on Freemont street in Las Vegas so we weren't sure what to expect. It turned out to be a great day and I'm really glad we did it. Here are some photos we took along the way:

We really were swinging through the jungle! Although it had been rainy that morning it didn't actually rain while we were on the trip. I was a little nervous on the first zip - we seemed so close to the trees! - but after that I just wanted more and waiting around for the other people to finish their turn was hard!

Walking around between zips was cool too. The guides were great. They knew a lot about the natural history of the area and the plant and animal life which I enjoyed (I think one of them said he was a High School science teacher before moving to Kauai). Here is some of the wildlife we saw:

Common Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) with cattle! I assume that is where their common name came from, but I'd never seen so many and never with cattle.

The guide called the plant in the above video "Babysitter plant" because he said it would keep children occupied for hours. I think it was probably Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica).

The only issue we had (besides the bugs - bring strong insect repellant!) was that it was such a still day (no wind) that some large hornets/wasps had taken up residence in some of the wooden platforms that the usually use for this tour. One of the platforms was really swarming with them so in the interest of not getting stung we skipped that one but that meant they added another (really long!) line onto the trip that others on this trip don't normally get to do. You could tell that they really wanted us to get our money's worth and didn't try to cop out and say "You'll have to come back another day" which wouldn't have worked for us (or most of the people on the trip).

For more pictures from our trip to Kauai see my Flickr set.