Explore Kauai’s Wailua River

By Hawaii.com Team

Photo courtesy of Kamokila Hawaiian Village

Kaua‘i might have been hit with historic rainfall in April but most of the island sprung right back to life, including along the magnificent Wailua River. Recreational activities are in full swing at this stunning eastside locale that offers views of celebrated Kaua‘i landscapes including Mount Wai‘ale‘ale and Mount Nounou (Sleeping Giant). Join a kayak tour, rent a stand-up paddleboard or take a gentle boat ride along a glorious, easy moving river that is situated within an area once dominated by ali‘i (royalty) and is still deemed sacred among Hawaiians.

Photo courtesy of Wailua Kayak and Canoe

Wailua River, which is fed by two waterfalls, ‘Opaeka‘a and Wailua that are each within the boundaries of the Wailua River State Park, is touted as the only navigable river in the state. In other words, it can accommodate larger vessels. What this means for visitors who enjoy exploring regions of this nature is that a plethora of water-related activities take place here.

Photo courtesy of Alii Kayaks & Watersports

Companies like Ali‘i Kayak and Kayak Wailua offer several opportunities to explore the area with knowledgeable guides who take guests on scenery-filled historic journeys via kayak. Drift leisurely on the water, soak in the sights and stop at places like Kamokila Hawaiian Village, which exemplifies an ancient Hawaiian community.

These businesses, as well as others like Wailua River Guides, also can take guests about two miles upstream to a rainforest that allows you to leave modern day life behind and envelope your senses in exquisitely lush flora. Weather permitting, you’ll embark on a 1.5-mile moderate hike to Uluwehi Falls otherwise known as Secret Falls (though not so secret these days), to re-discover your Zen.

Photo courtesy of Wailua Kayak Adventures

Wailua Kayak Adventures is a family owned and operated business and have been guiding tours on the Wailua River for more than 25 years. Travel with Wailua Kayak Adventures down the “River of Dreams’, the great, sacred Wailua. Let them take you exploring down the ancient pathway of the Royal Ali‘i.

Photo courtesy of Wailua Kayak & Canoe

Self-guided treks to these regions are also available through companies like Wailua Kayak and Canoe where you can easily rent your own equipment. Additionally, you can take a solo trip along the river by renting standup paddleboards through local family-run businesses such as Ali‘i Kayak.

Photo courtesy of Kauai Water Ski Co.

Water-skiing is another activity for those seeking a bit more zip and thrill. Companies provide the proper accoutrement to guests, as well as instruction for people of all skill levels. Kauai Water Ski Co offers a water ski, wakeboard, kneeboard, and hydrofoil service on the Wailua River in Kauai, Hawaii.

Photo courtesy of Smith’s Kauai

If you have small children and want a more leisurely activity, Smith’s Kaua‘i has family-friendly tours in gently moving, open-air boats. These adventures take guests to the famed Fern Grotto, a lava cave dripping in ferns and embraced by lush plant life that is only accessible by way of Wailua River.

Enchant your body and soul with a journey along the sacred Wailua River where archeological history and natural beauty flawlessly collide.

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