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Mountain Tubing Adventure is a unique activity that gives you a chance to travel back in time to the sugar plantation era. Circa 1870 a series of ditches, tunnels, and flumes were hand-dug by Chinese laborers to deliver water from the rainforest to the thirsty sugar cane fields near Lihue. This land is privately owned and has never before been accessible to the public. The recent closure of the Lihue sugar plantation made this tour possible … allowing Kauai visitors the chance to travel into the island’s interior and witness this engineering feat in a fun and relaxing way!
Your adventure begins at Kauai Backcountry Adventure’s office on Highway 56 in Hanamaulu, just a few minutes away from the Lihue Airport. Your guides will fit you with gloves, a helmet and a head lamp and check your footwear to make sure that they won’t come off and float away during your adventure. Your group will then climb into a colorful 4WD transport vehicle and head into the interior of the island – crossing old sugar cane fields along the way. Your guides will tell you about the plantation’s history and about the lives of the men who built and maintained the ditch system. They also make up a few far-fetched tales along the way for your amusement (the high tension power line that you encounter is NOT really their zip-line tour – haha!).
Your 4WD vehicle will stop for a photo op at an overlook that gives you the best view of Waialeale Crater that you are likely to get on your vacation … unless you take a helicopter tour (which we also highly recommend). A few minutes later you arrive at the start of the ditch … and you get a brief safety demonstration to help you enjoy your float without incident.
Then you get into your tube and just sit back and enjoy the ride. This isn’t a whitewater adventure but it isn’t the lazy river at your neighborhood waterpark either. The water is typically knee deep in most places, and the current moves you along fast enough that no paddling is required. This tour goes in and out of many tunnels, one of which is almost a mile long! You’ll glide along in the underworld with a headlamp to light your way. At the end of your tubing adventure, the guides serve up a picnic lunch at a beautiful, natural swimming hole.