The latest adventure on Kauai is "zipping," or "ziplining." It's so new that the vernacular is still catching up with it, but regardless of what you call it, chances are you'll scream like a rock-star fan while trying it. Strap on a harness, clip onto a cable running from one side of a river or valley to the other, and zip across. The step off is the scariest part. Pack knee-length shorts or pants, athletic shoes, and courage for this adventure.
Just Live. When Nichol Baier and Julie Lester started Just Live in 2003, their market was exclusively school-age children, but soon they added visitor tours. Experiential education through adventure is how they describe it. Whatever you call it, sailing 70 feet above the ground for 3 hours will take your vacation to another level. This is the only treetop zipline in the state where your feet never touch ground once you're in the air: Seven zips and four canopy bridges make the Tree Top Tour ($120) their most popular one. For the heroic at heart, there's the Zipline Eco Adventure ($125), which includes three ziplines, two canopy bridges, a climbing wall, a 100-foot rappelling tower, and a "Monster Swing." If you're short on time—or courage—you can opt for the Wikiwiki Zipline Tour ($79), which includes three ziplines and two canopy bridges in under two hours. They still incorporate team building in the visitor tours, although their primary focus remains community programming. Enjoy knowing that money spent here serves Kauai's children. Hwy. 50, Luhue, HI, 96756. PHONE: 808/482-1295. www.justlive.org.
Outfitters Kauai. This company added new zipline offerings in 2009. They still have a half-day, multisport adventure of ziplining, suspension bridge crossings, and aerial walkways with hiking in between. Their most popular tour (Zipline Trek Nui Loa) features an 1,800-foot tandem zip—that's right, you don't have to go it alone. Plus, a unique WaterZip cools things off if you work up a sweat. The price is $152. A shorter version of this adventure—the Zipline Trek Iki Mua—runs $112. Outfitters Kauai also includes ziplining as part of its Kipu Safari tour. 2827-A Poipu Rd., Poipu, HI, 96756. PHONE: 808/742-9667 or 888/742-9887. www.outfitterskauai.com.
Princeville Ranch Adventures. The North Shore's answer to ziplining is a nine-zipline course with a bit of hiking, and suspension bridge crossing thrown in for a half-day adventure. The 4½-hour Zip N' Dip tour includes lunch and swimming at a waterfall pool, while the Zip Express whizzes you through the entire course in three hours. Both excursions conclude with a 1,200-foot tandem zip across a valley. Guides are energetic and fun and can offer good dining and nightlife recommendations. This is as close as it gets to flying; just watch out for the albatross. Prices start at $125 for the Zip Express and $145 for the Zip N' Dip. Rte. 56, between mile markers 27 and 28, Princeville, HI, 96722. PHONE: 808/826-7669 or 888/955-7669. www.adventureskauai.com.