Explore the fascinating history of eastern Kauai by visiting several natural attractions and then riding a train through the grounds of a former sugar cane plantation.
Your tour begins with a short drive to Opaeka'a Falls and the Wailua River, both of which you'll see from roadside lookouts. Opaeka'a means "rolling shrimp" in Hawaiian, a reference to the freshwater crustaceans that were once plentiful here. These spectacular falls cascade down a soaring volcanic-rock cliff and make for a nice photo opportunity.
Next, you'll visit the Wailua River Complex, designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1962.The tranquil Wailua, the only navigable river in Hawaii, is just as extraordinary as it's framed by tropical landscape. Centuries ago, Hawaii's early royalty lived in the area, which was considered sacred. Poli'ahu Heiau, a place of worship that dates back to the 15th century, if not before, is a reminder of that period. Its surrounding walls were constructed without mortar by commoners using rocks from the Wailua River. The ceremonial structures inside were made with perishable materials that have long since decomposed. Nevertheless, it remains an impressive sight to see.
Continuing on, you'll visit Kilohana Plantation. Upon arrival, you'll board the train that runs through its grounds for a 40-minute fun and informative conductor-narrated tour of 105 acres of Kilohana Plantation. Originally built to transport sugar cane, the train now offers a delightful sightseeing experience during which you’ll see fruit tree orchards, sugar cane, pineapple, banana, papaya, and countless other exotic fruit and indigenous trees as well as animal pastures. Don't be surprised if the train stops for you to feed a herd of wild pigs, goats & sheep. After your train ride, enjoy some free time to explore the plantation mansion, a beautiful 16,000-square-foot home furnished with period antiques that sugar baron Gaylord Parke Wilcox built in 1936. For rum connoisseurs, the home also houses an on-site rum tasting room.
Following your time at Kilohana, you'll rejoin your coach and travel back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes a limited amount of walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and train, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.