Day 5 – January 29, 2015
Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
Aloha Kauai Courtyard
This morning we decided to try our hand at kayaking on the Wailua River, a calm waterway with a secret waterfall hidden deep inside. We signed up with Kayak Wailua ,who graciously accepted our last minute reservation and seemed to be one of the most cost effective ways to kayak the river with a guide. We opted for a morning tour, hoping there wouldn’t be too many people and the sun wouldn’t be too high. After checking in at head office and borrowing a couple pairs of running shoes for the hike, we got into a van with 10 other people and drove just a couple minutes to the marina. Both Jeff and I had never been in a kayak before but we took to it pretty quickly.
The river was calm so it was easy to paddle 2.5 miles while picturesque scenery and a small local village floated by. As you got closer to the trail the river narrowed and the lush foliage started to close in.
It took some tricky navigating but we eventually made it to the landing site and start of the trail. Even if you weren’t with a guide the pile of kayaks made it quite obvious that this was the place to start from. We made sure we gathered all our belongings before starting the 1 mile hike to the waterfall.
To start the hike you first have to cross the stream, which was about thigh deep while we were there. The trail more or less followed the river, though I am confident that without our guide Lisa from Kayak Wailua we never would have found it. The trail was pretty easy to follow, though it was not marked in any way so if you show up without a guide it would probably be best to tag behind a larger group. There were just a couple muddy spots and two stream crossings so we were happy that we borrowed sneakers instead of wearing our own.
During the hike and I was struck by how clean the trail was. The area was pretty remote so I don’t think there were any state employees picking up trash, it was more likely due to the visitors respecting the land and choosing to take home any garbage with them. Which is just lovely. After sweating it out for about half an hour we started to hear that familiar rushing sound as the trail ended at the plunge pool of the 100′ Uluwehi Falls.
We were hot and sticky and a little muddy so we wasted no time jumping in that water only to be shocked that it was absolutely freezing! Refreshing, yes? Ice cold, definitely! After our quick dip we enjoyed a picnic lunch perched on the rocks at the base of the falls watching other brave souls force themselves into the water.
We spent about an hour at the falls, swimming, eating, relaxing, before heading back to the real world. Kayaking the Wailua was a great way to spend the day and probably one of the most cost effective excursions you can do on the island!