Okay then! For those of you out there who just have to do the most daring, extreme thing you can do on any vacation (or anywhere else for that matter) this one’s for you. Extreme Kauai Adventure.
There are only 5 things that qualify on Kauai in my humble opinion : Sky Diving over Kauai, Water Rapelling down a sheer cliff, hiking the Kalalau Trail, Kayaking the 17 mile Na Pali Coastline and Paragliding over Kauai. Of course there are other extreme adventures that people may have heard of or want to do that involve hiking deeper near Waialeale or doing some crazy swimming stunts….like surfing crazy waves, but I’m not advocating those here. All of these adventures also feature in my Top 10 Activities on Kauai List.
Skydiving over Kauai
Skydive Kauai are the guys who offer this thrilling adventure. They are the only people doing so. You free fall for 10 seconds and then your pro sky diver opens the Shute and you get to fall gently over Kauai admiring the amazing views. Fantastic. Really. You just have to get past that jumping out of a plane bit. So for adrenaline junkies or those seeking a thrill it’s a must.
But it’s also an amazing experience for anyone who just wants to see Kauai from the air…..Just look at those smiling faces! And the views! You take off in a small plane over near Hanapepe and you jump out of a plane. The plane seats only 6 people and the single pilot. Skydive times are throughout the day, though some people have said jumping early or later on, rather like the helicopter tours, offers the best light. Not alone, you are strapped to someone else who actually knows what they are doing! Definitely one of the Extreme Kauai Adventures.
This extreme Kauai adventure only arrived on Kauai a couple of years ago but has quickly become popular with those who want something out of the ordinary for one of their activities on Kauai.
“Da Guys” over at “Da Life Outdoors” are the guys offering this extreme adventure. Not for the faint hearted, Da Guys give you a detailed safety lesson, a practice run on a dry wall and then it’s off to the 30 foot Bamboo Falls, followed by the 60 foot Papakolea Falls. Oh after that you do get lunch! You’ll probably be hungry by then. 4 hours in total. Tours check in near Duke’s in Lihue. According to their site “This activity is intended for participants who are physically fit and enjoy rugged activities.” I’d say. Great for people interested in Extreme adventure on Kauai though!
Hiking the Na Pali Coast
The Na Pali trail is 11 miles long. From the start at Ke’e beach, the northern most beach on Kauai to the Kalalau River is 11 miles, as the markers kindly inform. I’ve hiked the Na Pali a few times, more than a few. If you love nature, if you like to hike, it’s not to be missed. Is it the best view of the Na Pali? No, because you’re on it. There are points (like Space Rock) where you have fantastic views down the Na Pali coastline…. but it’s from the hiker’s point of view, so you don’t get the panoramic view that you do from a boat.
Hiking the Na Pali Coast ~ not for the faint of Heart!
So should you hike the Na Pali? Only if you are in pretty good shape! Seriously folks, this is classified as one of the most challenging hikes on the planet. It’s 11 miles. “oh that’s nothing” I hear you say. Not normally. But this is 11 miles of 1000 feet up and 1000 feet down, switchbacks all the way. And the terrain is magnificent but possibly deadly; there are places where it’s a thousand feet drop into the ocean below (going past sheer black lava rock on the way down) and sheer lava rock on the other side, thousands of feet up. I’ve seen experienced hikers give way and declare they want to try and get a boat ride back after that hike. It takes most people 6 – 8 hours. Not recommended in the dark.
There are some who arrive to Kauai determined to hike the fabled Na Pali, the Majestic, Celebrated and Magnificent trail on the North West Coast of the island. They’ve read about it in hiking magazines or heard about it from friends and relatives. They just have to do it. No matter whether they are on Kauai for 5 days or 3 or 7 or 14, they are drawn to the hike. Even for experienced hikers, hiking the Na Pali Coast is one of Kauai’s Extreme Adventures.
Kayaking the Na Pali Coastline
This is totally one Extreme Kauai Adventure. The guys at Napali Kayak are the people I recommend for this. It’s all they do. Reviews of doing this trip range from “a bucket list experience” to “mindblowing in every way”. Indeed it is. You have to be fit though and their site lists the following requirements:
- Must be in good physical condition
- No major health issues or back problems
- No pregnancies beyond first trimester
- Strong swimming ability
Due to the high tides and rough seas in the Winter, the Na Pali Kayak trip only runs from the Summer… usually April to October weather permitting. It’s stellar. ’nuff said.
Although there is no one officially offering paragliding on Kauai at present, you can contact the Hawaii Paragliding Association and ask for a Tandem Instructor if you are not that experienced to try paragliding on Kauai. I know more experienced gliders just come and do their thing. I’m sure they are careful about safety but contacting Windlines.net means you have some locals who know the islands and currents. You may even have to go over to Oahu to glide over there. But hey, it’s only a 19 minute plane ride!
Welcome to Extreme Kauai Adventure!