Experience the RUSH of rappelling a waterfall!

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

Rappel down the rushing jungle waterfalls!

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

Unique adventure for the kids!

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

Hike through the lush and colorful tropical forest

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

Test your courage on a 60ft waterfall!

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

Go for a swim and play in the water after you rappel

Navatek Dinner Cruise Waikiki sunset

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Kauai Waterfall Rappelling is a unique adventure that allows you experience the lush jungles of Kauai. Island Adventures brings the magic of Hule’ia River and it’s 241 acres of National Wildlife Refuge to visitors and Kama’ainas (residents). Recently, the owners set out to improve on the experiences for their guests, and went in search of an elusive waterfall, which only a handful of locals knew about! They traversed thick jungle many times until they found Jungle Waterfalls with the tallest over 50 feet high. Now there is a trail that has been mapped and cut, and Island Adventures offers exciting tours that include this special place.  They have leased 40 acres of private land that adjoins the refuge, so the waterfalls are exclusive to them.

These tours have been put together by Charlie Cobb-Adams and his wife Tanya, and they will bring you adventure and aloha to your vacation. Charlie, aka the “Hawaiian Dundee”, is an experienced trail builder. He is also passionate about keeping people safe, and helps coordinate Search & Rescue Recovery Missions for missing persons along the Napali Coast, and in Waimea Canyon and Koke’e. You know you’re in good hands as Dundee gives the thorough explanation of the equipment and demonstrates and then teaches participants how to rappel.

Check-in for these tours is at the Island Adventures / Da Life location next to the Kauai Marriott in Nawiliwili. They will outfit you with special felt-bottomed water shoes called “tabis” (included in the price of the tour) and then transport you to the location where you adventure begins.

The Waterfall Rappel (Hawaiian Dundee) starts with a van ride to the “Jungle Base Camp” at the top of the private jungle trail leading down to the waterfalls. You will begin with a detailed lesson on rappelling and safety on a 25ft dry wall. Next a 10 minute hike will bring you through a tropical forest full of fruits and Hawaiian plants. This trail takes you to two secluded waterfalls where you will rappel, swim, and even have a chance to stand BEHIND a waterfall!

You will first pass by 30-foot “Bamboo Falls” … this is an amazingly beautiful, wide waterfall with an impressive clump of giant bamboo next to the pool of water at its base. Next, it is a short walk upstream to the immense challenge that awaits … 60-foot “Hawaiian Dundee Falls” is waiting to be conquered! You’ll scramble up a trail that offers hand ropes for assistance, and once at the top a quick check of your gear and over the edge you go! Guides are there to give you instructions on the way down, and one guide is at the bottom belaying you … if you do slip on the way down the guide puts tension on the rope from below and stops your descent, allowing you time to get back into rappelling position. Depending on waterflow conditions and how well the group is doing, Dundee may give those who are doing very well the ultimate challenge; go back up and rappel Dundee Falls again, this time with the rope placed in the very center of the waterfall where the flow is the strongest!

As each person reaches the bottom there is cheering and high fives … after the rappel is over you hike back up the trail to the Jungle Base Camp which offers a shaded picnic area that overlooks the river and Haupu Mountain range. Your delicious custom lunch will be served here from from Don’s Bread and Deli Connection. When the tour is finished, you’ll be drive back to Da Life.

It is possible for non-rappelling observers to go along on either of these tours, but they will pay the same rate as participants. Observers can watch from the pools at the base of the waterfall as members of their party rappel the cascades.

General Information
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 8:30am.

Duration: Typically 5.5 hours but can be longer depending on the size of the group and the speed with which they rappel.

Check In: 8:30am at Da Life next to Duke’s. Park in the lot, and walk over the bridge and on the path.

GPS:  3500 Rice St., Lihue, HI 96766 Click to view map

Restrictions:  Minimum age is 12.  Must be able to walk up 8 flights of stairs.  For rappelling, waist size must be between 23″ and 50″.

Included in Tour:  Lunch by Deli and Bread Connection, and bottled water.  They serve lunch at the end of the tour, so you are welcome to bring snacks..

What to Bring & Wear:  Men should wear swim trunks or light-weight pants, and a tight-fitting quick-drying shirt.  Women should wear surf shorts, yoga pants or quick-drying pants. Also, women should wear fitted shirt, tank or bikini top.  Wet suits or rash guards are a good choice, especially in cooler months. Bring another set of clothes to change into at the end of the tour, because everything you wear will get wet. Also, bring a towel and waterproof camera. A baseball cap or visor under your helmet is a good idea if you’d like to keep water out of your eyes while rappelling (an especially good idea for contact wearers).

Special felt-bottomed water shoes are included with this tour; they provide superior traction on slippery, wet rocks.

Mosquito repellent is recommended.  If you don’t bring your own, you can purchase an all-natural repellent at Da Life Outdoor Gear upon check-in.  Waterproof sunscreen is recommended, otherwise it’ll wash off, and they’d like to keep lotions out of the streams.

Gear Provided:  Large dry bag, felt-bottomed water shoes, helmet, harness, rappel device.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours before the start of the event.

Waterfall Rappelling
Enjoy getting wet as you rappel down a waterfall!
Waterfall Rappelling & Kayak
Kayak & waterfall rappelling in one day!

CCruise Ship Iconruise Ship Passengers

Kauai Waterfall Rappelling does not work for Pride of America passengers.  It may work for other cruise ship passengers depending on your itinerary.  Please call for details.

 

 

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Activity Tips

Kevin Ditamore – Owner / Manager

Waterfall rappelling is the latest in extreme adventure-oriented activities offered in Hawaii. We now have this option on two islands … this company here on Kauai and on the island of Maui with Rappel Maui. Rappelling offers a more hands-on experience than a zipline tour, and the waterfalls give you a rush (literally!). Obviously this isn’t a tour for everyone, but if you enjoy doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone and gives you a photo op with “Look what I did on vacation in Hawaii” bragging rights, this is a great choice!!!

Island Adventures takes their responsibility for this area seriously. Their guides participate as volunteers in the adjacent Hule’ia Wildlife Refuge, which is closed to the general public. The US Fish & Wildlife purchased 241 acres on Kauai in 1973 for the protection of Hawaii’s water birds, and their efforts help the population of native Ae’o (Hawaiian Stilt), Nene (Hawaiian Goose), Koloa Maoli (Hawaiian Duck), and Hawaiian Coot.

The guides also take their role in keeping you safe on this tour seriously! My wife and I had a blast doing the Two-Waterfall Hawaiian Dundee tour recently … I’ve done quite a bit of rappelling but this was her first time. She listened intently during the instructions, which is a very good idea. This is not the time to “zone out” like the safety briefing given by a flight attendant on before your plane took off on the way to Hawaii. You do need to pay attention, not only for your own safety, but for your own personal enjoyment of the rest of the tour! The instruction given by Dundee and the demonstrations by the two other guides were really an excellent introduction to the sport of rappelling and prepared participants well … both in teaching the important basics as well as encouraging people that “you really can do this … it isn’t hard.”

A few minutes later my wife practiced and did well on the dry wall, as did everyone else on tour with us that day. Off we scampered down the trail. It’s a short walk down (a little longer coming back up) but when you arrive at the first waterfall the first thing that hits you is “Wow, what a beautiful spot!” It’s an idyllic waterfall about 30 feet high and 80 feet wide, with a pool shaded by giant bamboo. I’ve lived on Kauai for 5 years and had made many trips here over the years as a long-time resident of Maui, and I never even knew this waterfall existed! This tour not only gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself with thrilling waterfall rappelling action; you also get to see a beautiful place most residents of the island have never seen!

My wife on her first rappel

This second waterfall is lot more intimidating looking … because the first falls is so wide the 30-foot height looks more like 20 feet. But this second waterfall is more narrow … and its 60-feet of height looks more like 85! The rope was rigged for us to the left side of the main flow of water, and everyone did SO WELL rappelling “Dundee Falls” that we were given the opportunity to try it one more time … this time with the rope centered in the strongest part of the flowing water! Most of our group (including my wife and several other first-timers) bravely tackled the challenge! Their success was a testament to just how encouraging, informative, and safety-conscious the guides were … they ABSOLUTELY MADE the tour and were every bit as important to a quality tour experience as the beautiful waterfalls we were enjoying.

I highly recommend this event … but it isn’t for everyone. While I am convinced these guides are absolutely THE BEST at what they do, it is possible to experience cuts and scrapes if you slip. This may be stating the obvious, but ROCKS are HARD … if you smack yourself on one it is going to hurt. All participants are required to sign a waiver of liability recognizing that there are risks associated with this event. This is an adventure tour … it is NOT the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. Far from it!

One other aspect I appreciated about this tour … it has a decidedly local flavor. Some Hawaii vacation activities feel very “corporate” and not very Hawaiian … but when you pull up to the Jungle Base Camp you are greeted by smiling wild boar heads, goat skulls, and various pelts … it almost feels like a hunting camp. A few people may be put off by this; if you are one of them don’t focus on that or allow it to offend you. It IS a part of local culture and these invasive animals have no place in the wildlife sanctuary dedicated to protection of native species.

Who’s this tour for? Teens, healthy non-excessive-fear-of-heights adults, and active, adventurous seniors in good physical condition … basically anyone who loves ziplining but is maybe looking for something a little more adventurous than that … and a LOT more hands-on.

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