If you are considering going on the Kauai Mountain Tubing Adventure with Kauai Backcountry Adventures keep reading to find out how our experience turned out. This is a half-day experience and a fun way to see the Lihue plantation.
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WHAT IS THE KAUAI MOUNTAIN TUBING ADVENTURE
When you start researching ways to spend your time in Kauai and outings to go on you may see ads for Kauai Mountain Tubing Adventure come up.
This tour is organized by the company Kauai Backcountry Adventures. They have access to the Lihue Plantation which is private property.
You will be driven to the plantation on a four-wheel drive vehicle. The drive across the plantation is lovely, green and full of vegetation. They will share info about the island and the plantation on the way to the tunnels.
This is a former sugar cane plantation. The tunnels you are tubing down are part of a ditch and tunnel irrigation system that is no longer used. These tunnels were actually hand-dug by plantation workers over 100 years ago.
DRIVING TO THE TUNNELS
The drive to the tunnels was fun and informative. We got out of town and entered the plantation land. Our guide shared interesting information about the history of this plantation and the area.
We were able to see some views that cannot be easily seen on Kauai. The guides showed us where the opening scenes of Tropic Thunder were filmed and a few other filming locations.
We stopped for a photo opportunity at the Waialeale Crater overlook. It is a breathtaking overlook about 3/4 of the way to where the Kauai tubing experience begins. This was such a good chance to get some photos of this gorgeous area and learn more about how it is one of the rainiest spots on the earth.
TUBING THE TUNNELS
Once we arrived at the tunnels we put on the provided helmets and were given an individual tube. We had left our important belongings back at the Backcountry Adventure office in a locker. The items we brought along were towels, our phones, and bare basics. We left the items on the vehicle to use after we finished tubing.
The tubing portion of the adventure lasted about an hour. This is cool water coming off the mountains so if you sign up for an earlier morning slot you may be chilly without a wet suit.
We went mid-day and although the water was cold, we didn't mind it because the temperature outside was warm enough.
It was a fun and relaxing way to spend our day. Floating down the tubs at a fairly quick pace. Going through hand-dug tunnels was really fun.
We stopped in one tunnel so our guide could share info about the hard process of digging such a large and long tunnel by hand!!
The water is flowing quickly and the tubes move along. My husband and I did float apart during part of the adventure. We saw this happen to other people too.
LUNCH WAS A TREAT
After the mountain tubing adventure portion ended we loaded up in the trucks and drove to a picturesque location to eat our provided lunch.
The lunch area had bathrooms, picnic tables and the food was basic but delicious.
There was a stream bubbling nearby and some small waterfalls. You can swim in the swimming hole if you want!
SHOULD I PAY FOR THE PICTURE PACKAGE?
I am an avid scrapbooker so getting great photos while on vacation is a priority for me.
This adventure is not cheap. Adding the picture package cost $40 more when we went.
I felt the money was worth it. This is a water adventure and there was no safe way to use my phone or my nice DSLR camera to take photos during the tubing. A water proof camera or go pro would work, but you may not be able to get shots of yourself easily or of others in your group if they float away from you.
I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy myself knowing they had a professional photographer every step of the way snapping great shots and even video.
WHAT TO BRING ON THE TUBING ADVENTURE
If you have decided to sign up for the tubing adventure, the company website will give you all the details about what you need to bring and what they provide. Here is a brief breakdown of the important points based on our experience.
- Water-safe shoes are required and they must be close-toed. You can't wear flip-flops!! They do have shoes for rent at the office area if you arrive without something approved.
- Swimsuits are needed or something that can get totally wet. You get completely wet on this adventure. Some people wore wet suits.
- Bring along a towel and a dry change of clothes for later. I put our stuff in our waterproof bag and it worked like a charm.
- Be sure to apply sunscreen because part of the adventure you are floating in the sunshine.
- Helmets are required during the ride and these are provided. The helmets have a headlamp on them and it is used for the dark tunnels.
IS THIS A KID-FRIENDLY ADVENTURE?
Our trip to Kauai was kid-free. But, this is definitely an adventure I would take my children on if they had been along.
I think that very young children may be afraid in the dark tunnels. Use your judgment based on your children and how much adventure they like. The water in the tunnels is not overly deep but children may not be able to touch.
There aren't very many restrictions for this Kauai mountain tubing adventure. It is a very safe outing.
Here are some of the restrictions to be aware of before you book:
- Everyone gets weighed when you arrive at check-in. You must weigh less than 300 pounds to participate.
- Children under the age of 16 cannot go without an adult along.
- If you have back, hip, or knee problems you could have some issues and need to consider if you are physically up for the adventure.
- Pregnant women in their second trimester may need written physician approval before going along.
KAUAI MOUNTAIN TUBING ADVENTURE IS WORTH IT
We felt the Kauai mountain tubing adventure was worth every penny we paid. Seeing new parts of the island, floating down hand-dug tubes and through tunnels…was all delightful.
The eco-tour company was very professional with friendly, informative staff.
I would highly recommend this adventure for people looking to relax, learn more about the area, and witness first hand the amazing engineering feats that these sugar cane plantations developed!
Have you been on this adventure? Comment and let me know your experience.