• what-to-do-media
  • puako-general-store
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    June 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « May    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    30  

Hawaii Ecotourism Association Recertifies Six Big Island Tour Operators

The Hawaii Ecotourism Association has certified more than 45 Hawai‘i tour operators—including six on Hawai‘i Island—and also awarded the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year to Trilogy Excursions on Maui on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

The HEA developed Hawai‘i’s only ecotourism certification program to help educate tour operators on the importance of using natural cultural resources, promote sustainable practices and raise awareness among visitors, residents and businesses in Hawai‘i.

“We’ve built sustainability into our tours; giving back to the community and preserving our environment have been an important part of our company and how we operate for over 45 years,” said LiAnne Driessen, director of marketing, sales and media relations at Trilogy Excursions.

In addition to awarding Trilogy Excursions on Maui as the 2017 Sustainable Tour Operator of the Year (see below), HEA also recognized newly certified and recertified operators.

Newly Certified Sustainable Tour Operators

Holokino Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)

Recertified Sustainable Tour Operators

HAWAI‘I ISLAND
Fair Wind Cruises
Hawaii Forest & Trail
Kohala Zipline
KapohoKine Adventures
Hawaiian Legacy Tours
Atlantis Adventures

OTHER ISLANDS
Atlantis Adventures (Maui, O‘ahu)
Holokai Snorkel and Kayak Adventure (O‘ahu)
Maui Kayak Adventures (Maui)
Hawaiian Paddle Sports (Maui)
Pacific Whale Foundation (Maui)
Kualoa Ranch (O‘ahu)
Pacific Islands Institute (O‘ahu)
Kailua Beach Adventures (O‘ahu)

Pending Final Evaluation – Certified Sustainable Tour Operators
Hoku Hawaii Tours (O‘ahu)
Coral Crater Adventure Park (O‘ahu)

Trilogy Excursions, which runs sailing, snorkel and whale watching tours on Maui, received the award for its ongoing efforts in supporting the principles of sustainable tourism and promoting practices and programs that enhance the local community and environment.

Some of these practices include:

  • Becoming the first company to retrofit its vessels to pump out waste at onshore facilities [instead of in the open ocean]
  • Launching the successful Blue ‘Aina Reef Cleanup Campaign. Since its inception in 2010, the Blue ‘Aina program has conducted 123 reef cleanups along Maui’s coastline, educated the public, and supported numerous ocean-based nonprofits
  • Converting Trilogy V to run completely on biodiesel
  • Undertaking extensive staff trainings and ongoing staff development to ensure high-quality and accurate tours
  • Supporting environmental initiatives that include the elimination of single-use plastics on all vessels, outfitting all vessels with reef friendly sunscreen, and supporting the establishment and ongoing maintenance of a day-use mooring system on Maui.

“We congratulate and applaud Trilogy Excursions on their commitment to providing sustainable tours to better serve our tourism industry,” said Aaron J. Lowe, president of HEA.

 

To be considered for the Sustainable Tour Operator certification, companies are assessed based on the following requirements:

Step 1: Self-Evaluation: Applications must complete and submit a self-assessment checklist, which evaluates their operating principles. Submissions include an administration fee of $200 and supporting document for review.
Step 2: Third Party Evaluation: An HEA evaluator contacts the applicant to review the checklist and schedule an in-person evaluation. The evaluator participates in a tour to verify components of the self-assessment checklist, and rates the applicant on various operating principles.
Step 3: Reporting & Certification: The HEA evaluator submit their findings and all supporting documents to HEA for final approval. If certified, HEA award certification status, and tour operators are recognized at the HEA Annual Luncheon.

About Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Since 1994, HEA has been committed to helping better Hawaii’s travel industry through promoting responsible ecotourism travel and educational tours to conserving the natural and cultural resources in Hawaii. HEA is composed of tour and lodging operators, travel writers, and community organizations. For more information, visit www.hawaiiecotourism.org.

Zipline Death Prompts KapohoKine to Suspend Booking Zipline Tours

KapohoKine Adventures (KKA), an eco-tourism company based in Hilo and with islandwide operations, confirmed that it has suspended booking zipline tours pending a full evaluation on the soil composition and structural integrity of the lines.

KapohoKine Ziplines

The entrance to the Honoli'i Outpost KapohoKine Zip Line Course

In September, a not-yet-operational line that was undergoing final testing at Lava Hotline’s site by the company that installed it, failed.  One construction worker was killed and another seriously injured.

KKA has used Lava Hotline exclusively for its zipline tours.  Lava Hotline closed the operation pending evaluation and KKA will not book tours at other ziplines until the causes of the accident are fully understood.

“KKA wants to see the reports of the soil, structural engineering and architectural consultants that Lava Hotline retained to evaluate the ziplines,” said KKA co-owner Tony DeLellis.  Those evaluations are underway on the seven other Lava Hotline ziplines in the same area as the one that failed.  Lava Hotline zipline is owned by KKA partner Gary Marrow.

KapohoKine Ziplines

KapohoKine Zip Line

Launched in 2004 from a garage in Kapoho (hence the name), KapohoKine Adventures has helped shape Hawaii Island’s new age of tourism.

“We provide guests to Hawaii Island the best experience possible, introducing them to what makes this island unique, with its volcanic eruptions, incredible vistas and seascapes and we do it in a way that is a cut above what was being offered when we started,” said DeLellis.

KKA is continuing its popular eco-tours, minus zipline experiences.

KapohoKine Ziplines have been suspended indefinitely

With one 2004 Chevy Suburban and one guide (co-owner Gary Marrow), the partners began their specialized eco-adventures, marketing heavily to cruise line visitors.  In 2007, the company moved its expanding fleet out of the Kapoho garage into a 4,800 sq. ft. baseyard in Pepeekeo.

Then the economy and the island’s cruise line passenger count plunged the following year.  The company scrambled and has managed to survive.  DeLellis is proud that even during the tough economic times, KKA never let go of any of its 25 employees.

As discerning visitors look for more meaningful experiences, the KKA ohana (Hawaiian for family) searches for ways to reshape and improve eco-tourism, by developing experiences suited to visitors on both sides of Hawaii Island.

“Our tours are as much about education and preservation of the environment as they are about an exciting adventure,” says DeLellis.

KKA’s outdoor adventures include road trips through lava country in Puna, interpretive walks at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, barbeques at KKA’s partner macadamia nut and honey farm, helicopter and aerial flights above secluded native rainforests, cascading waterfalls and craters.

Zipline adventures, long used as transportation in mountainous regions and at ski resorts, become a worldwide attraction for eco-travelers and Hawaii Island allows ziplines on agricultural land as an open area recreational use.  KKA added them to its menu of services in 2010.

While KKA suspended booking any zipline tours, pending the reviews by specialists, it continues its other high-value tours.  On a given day, the Hilo-based eco-tour company will field 18 vehicles (14 from Hilo, four from a second base in Kona that opened in 2009) and as many as 250 visitors.  Customers range from local school children to honeymooners and eco-tourists of all ages.

KKA has a storefront on Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo, which carries eco-adventure gear from Patagonia and Keen footwear, plus locally made jewelry and Atebara snacks.  The store is also a gathering place where people talk story about their adventures as well as enjoy downtown Hilo.

KKA and its partners also have a strong sense of stewardship when it comes maintaining and celebrating the natural beauty of Hawaii.  The KapohoKine team regularly cleans up litter along the highway and the slopes of Mauna Kea, and contributes to many local charity fundraisers.

“We’re honored that groups big and small, from St. Joseph’s School in Hilo to national organizations such as the Make A Wish Foundation, have approached us for help,” said DeLellis.  “It’s so fulfilling to be able to help local and national groups experience the wonder of Hawaii Island where they otherwise might not be able to.”

For more information on KapohoKine Adventurers, visit http://www.kapohokine.com.

Zip Line Death at KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Outback Adventures

(I Have updated this post as I have learned more information about it.  All updates are noted in BOLD)

I’m stunned to learn that there was a death today and an injury at KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Outback Zip Line Adventures.

The fourth set of ziplines at Honoli'i Outpost

The following is all of the information that I have received so far:

There was a fatality and an injury today involving two people on the zip line, possibly workers who were testing it out…

UPDATE…Fire officials say rescue crews airlifted a male victim to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.  Officials say another man was found dead at the scene…

UPDATEHawaii County Fire Capt. Chad Shirota said the accident happened at the KapohoKine Adventures zipline in Paukaa north of Hilo. The incident was along Honolii Stream, 3.8 miles up from Kulana Street, a fire department news release said.

The incident was reported at 9:39 a.m. and the first fire rescue unit reached the scene at 9:57 a.m., the fire department said.

Police spokesman Chris Loos said a tower supporting a zipline collapsed. The person who died was riding the zipline and the injured person was on the fallen tower, Loos said…

UPDATE: The victim was a contractor working for Kapohokine Adventures, police said.

It is unknown what kind of work he was doing and whether he was on the zip line at the time. The man was from Maui, police said.

Another man was critically injured in the accident, Big Island fire department officials said. 

Police said there appears to have been a malfunction with the zip line equipment near Honolii Stream. Police said a support tower may have fallen.

UPDATE:  Star Advertiser reports “Hawaii County police Capt. Randall Medeiros said a 36-year-old Maui man was killed and a 35-year-old Ohio man was injured.

Work was being done on the zipline today by Experiential Resources Inc., KapohoKine co-owner Gary Marrow said. Medeiros said the workers were tightening a cable on a 2,300-foot zipline span after the company received complaints it was too slow. The Maui man was halfway through a test run when the tower fell, Medeiros said. The injured man was on the tower when it collapsed, Medeiros said. Police spokesman Chris Loos said a tower supporting a zipline collapsed. The person who died was riding the zipline and the injured person was on the fallen tower, Loos said.”UPDATE: The worker that was killed and injured came from Maui based ERI. Here is their link:  http://experientialresources.net/

I myself was just on these ziplines a few months ago and posted the following post about them: KapohoKine Adventures Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Zipline Rides Almost Finished.

Just last week they released this video on youtube announcing the opening of the place:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/m8CVvYLfkvM]

UPDATE – POLICE RELEASE:
A Maui man died and an Ohio man was critically injured in a zip line accident Wednesday morning in Paukaʻa.

Both men were employed by a Maui company that builds and maintains zip lines. They had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it.

The 36-year-old Maui man had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death.

The 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries.

*UPDATE* Big Island Chronicle reports:

…Both men were employed by the Maui-based Go Zip that builds and maintains zip lines all over the world, according to Gary Marrow, a partner of Kapoho Kine Adventures and owner of Lava Hotline. The zipline construction workers had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it, according to police who investigated the accident.

One of the workers, a 36-year-old Maui man, had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death, police said.

Another zipline construction worker, a 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries, according to police.

“They were construction guys working on the course the last eight months, working on a course that is not even open yet” Marrow said, referring to what is being called “Honolii Mountain Outpost…”

More Here: Maui-Based Construction Worker Falls 200 Feet to His Death Installing Honoli’i Zipline

UPDATE: Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi Released the Following Statement:

UPDATE: Mayor Billy Kenoi released the following statement:

“I want to express our concern and condolences to the families of both men involved in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

“We will conduct a careful, thorough review to determine all of the facts in this case. We need to know exactly what happened and why, and we need to know exactly what went wrong. When we have completed that review and the facts are known, we will release our findings publicly.”

UPDATE: The following was released by Experiential Resources the company contracted to build the ziplines:

UPDATE: Media Release from KapohoKine Adventures:

Experiential Resources, Inc (ERi), the construction company contracted by Lava Hotline in Pauka’a, experienced a tragic construction accident today that resulted in two injuries, one of which was fatal. There were no Lava Hotline employees affected.

As KapohoKine Adventures doesn’t have direct involvement in either the build or operation of the Pauka’a property, we have no further information or details on the accident, but additional information will be made available by ERi.

KapohoKine Adventures offers our sincerest condolences to the entire ERi and Lava Hotline ‘ohanas, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those affected.

We appreciate the outpouring of support received from the community through phone calls and emails, and will share all of them with everyone directly affected, and we ask everyone to join us in respecting ERi’s request to honor the privacy and dignity of the affected families during this difficult time.

For additional information, contact:

ERi – John White, President, Todd Domeck, Owner (808) 665-5406 [email protected]

KapohoKine Adventures – Gary Marrow, Owner (808) 964-1000

KapohoKine Adventure’s Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Zipline Rides Almost Finished

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go up to KapohoKine Adventure’s latest adventure attraction called the Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Ziplines and try out first hand the first four ziplines that have been built on old fallow sugarcane land in East Hawaii.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The ziplines themselves are located about three miles outside of Hilo just past the surfing spot Honoli’i.Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The owners of KapohoKine took me to the airstrip that they had been using for helicopter landings and I was amazed at how far away any houses were from this isolated little landing strip out in the middle of nowhere nearly 4 or 5 miles off the main highway.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Unfortunately, due to a few folks in the area that have a NIMBY mentality… the County of Hawaii has reversed a January 12th letter determining that the airport was a grandfathered non-conforming use airstrip, despite the fact that the airstrip has been used fairly recently for green harvest purposes… but so be it… all helicopter tours will no longer be able to give their guests a zipline experience here on the island like this after June 18th and the county will lose tax revenue from this environmentally friendly type of tourism.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The course begins at the first little hospitality area.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

You gear up and get instructions at this location

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

After gearing up, you are lead to the first tower where you walk up a “Suspension Bridge” type of steps to the first platform.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

On a clear day, I was told that you can see all of Hilo bay and even see the steam from the Pu’u O Vents!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

This zipline course was called what I believe I heard a “platform-to-platform” type of course, meaning that once you get on the first zipline… you don’t touch the ground until you reach the end.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Walking across these suspension bridges high across the ground from tower to tower sure added to the excitement!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are really spending a lot of time to make this the best zipline on the Big Island and each of the the eventual eight lines will all be dual lines meaning you can race your friends around the course.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

My favorite line built so far was line number four which takes you over a couple waterfalls:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/53Ii1jcu6CE]

Here is the incredible view from the pavilion that I had lunch at after line four.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

When I inquired when the entire course would be ready and complete, they mentioned that it should be ready by the First week of July!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are accepting bookings right now for the four line tours however the eight line tours would probably be worth waiting a couple weeks for.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

I sincerely hope the County of Hawaii will rethink it’s decision in not allowing helicopters to fly into this place.  This administration was supposed to be the administration with the “Can-Do” attitude… but with decisions like this… it seems more like a “Cannot-Do” attitude for some folks starting up businesses here in Hawaii.

New Big Island Ziplines Under Construction

The new ziplines being built by KapohoKine Adventures at the Honoli’i Mountain Outpost are currently under construction in the Honoli’i area of the Big Island.

Zipline Platform

A Zipline Platform

It will be open after its finish being built, “…Testing and fine-tuning will take some time, and we will keep everyone posted as to the schedule for opening the course to tours.”

Zipline Waterfall

A waterfall at the new zipline course operated by KapohoKine Adventures

Permits back from the County means platforms can finally be mounted on the poles!  Things are moving along now as the hardware container arrived with our galvanized wire rope, pre-assembled platforms, and other necessary pieces.  Views from the platforms are simply stunning, with three gorgeous volcanoes…

…We had a great meeting with the Paukaa community and we look forward to continuing to build relationships with Paukaa and other communities around us.  Feedback on the project was positive…

You can view the entire post and see more pictures here – Zipline Update: Platforms and Permits

Zipline Update: Dispatch from the Outpost

KapohoKine Adventures stated this in their latest newsletter:

“…The first permit issued by the County was for the pavilion at the waterfall, and we started work as soon as we had that permit in hand.  We also had a set back from the County, and began to lay out the entire zip line course with that set back off the conservation zone in mind.  Several State and County entities have been to our site in the last several weeks to make sure that there has been no bulldozing or construction in the conservation area.  Work is completed on that first pavilion, and is wrapping up on the other shelters and structures for which we subsequently received permits from the County…”

More Here: Zipline Update: Dispatch from the Outpost.

Ian Lind and Andy Parx Defends My Post About My Zipline Experience

I mentioned the other day that a Texas attorney was going to attempt to sue me for a blog posting I made on the Umauma Ziplines and the cancellation of my trip that I had planned due to safety concerns.

I’ve gotten a lot of support in the comments on that post as well as email comments from others supporting me.

I had to laugh at Kauai Blogger Andy Parx email to me suggesting I tell him the following:

I’d tell him to go f**k himself and take it up with the people who said it. All you did was quote them. These kinds of letters are bluffs. They don’t want a lawsuit- all that would do is put the guy’s quote in the mainstream media.
Tell him to f**k off and that you “welcome a lawsuit where we can air the issue of the safety of their ziplines before the community and in the mainstream press”.  That’ll scare ’em off.

I was even more stoked when former Honolulu Star-Bulletin Investigative Reporter Ian Lind posted the following blog on his site today “Big Island blogger faces legal pressure to withdraw reporting on zipline safety concerns” where Ian was able to find out some other things about the attorney’s client C.L. Carlile Enterprises, L.P.  that is attempting to in essence… censor me.

“…And just who is this Carlile Enterprises?

It’s involved in real estate, oil and gas back in Texas, and is owned by Cleo Carlile, who splits time between the big TX and Hawaii. Carlile Enterprises also owns several pieces of former sugar land along the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, and is the landowner offering the “Umauma Experience”, as well as owner of the zipline facilities there, including platforms, cables, rain shelters, and a new building for a kitchen and gift shop…”

Ian continues on about what the safety and certification process that may or may not happen with the zipline industry here in Hawaii and then goes on to say:

…Mr. Carlile and his company may have a beef with his former business partners, but it seems to me that his Texas attorney is off-base for this ill-considered attack on a local blogger.

Damon reported the dispute over safety issues in a straightforward and responsible manner. This was not a story that he was reporting, but a direct consumer experience he shared via his blog. And it happens to involve matters of public health and safety, and should have alerted the mainstream media to potential safety and regulatory issues in this relatively new recreational sport. There are obviously more sides to the story which need to be covered, but Damon deserves credit for flagging the issues and sharing them…

I’d like to thank Ian and Andy as well as the others that are supporting me in my effort to blog about my daily experiences. I hate it when folks take things so seriously that they go out of their way to actually stop me from doing something on my own personal blog!

I’m sorry if their business has been affected by what I wrote but that’s not my fault! I should be allowed and entitled to write freely about the experiences I have without being threatened by big money attorneys and their clients that don’t act responsibly!

KapohoKine Adventures Earns Princess Cruises’ Best Tour Award for Its Big Island Zip Line Tours

KapohoKine Adventures – an adventure tours outlet based in the Big Island, Hawaii – was recognized by Princess Cruise as one of its “Best Tours” for its Big Island zip line tour.

The tour takes small groups through the incredible volcanic formations of Kilauea Volcano, lush rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls, and the amazing natural beauty found on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Princess Cruise’s C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing In Service Excellence) customer service program began in 1999. These tour operator awards cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that local tour partners play in passengers’ cruise experiences. KapohoKine Adventures is honored for its recognition through Princess Cruise and remain committed to providing Big Island tours that expose more people to the real Hawaii; tours that showcase the pristine natural beauty and ancient raw power of Hawaii’s Big Island.

KapohoKine Adventures is dedicated to using sustainable tourism to preserve and protect Hawaiian open space and legacy farm holdings. KapohoKine Adventures has unique access to exclusive locales normally off-limits to visitors. The company loves sharing these incredible destinations with guests through their tour packages, such as its volcano tours, lava viewing tours, and its most-popular Big Island zip line tours.

Says Tony DeLellis, co-founder of KapohoKine Adventures, “The Hawaiian word ‘kuleana’ means, among other things, responsibility. It is a very important part of the kuleana at KapohoKine Adventures to give back in any way we can. We’re honored that groups big and small, from local community charter schools to national organizations like Make-A-Wish, have approached us for help in many different ways.”

About KapohoKine

Making a Difference in the Hawaii Community
KapohoKine Adventures offers the finest Big Island zip line tours. KapohoKine Adventures was born out of a desire to explore the natural beauty of Hawaii first-hand, and then share this knowledge with guests. The Big Island zip line tour truly provide a unique, exciting and intimate experience that you will remember for years to come.

Find KapohoKine Adventures at http://www.kapohokine.com

A Whale of a Weekend at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel

The Sign Outside the Hotel

Two weekends ago I had a chance to take a relaxing vacation away from the craziness of the upcoming census work I would be doing for the next few months and I couldn’t think of a better way of doing it then by going over to the Kona side of the island and staying at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

I arrived there just as the sun was setting over the mountain leaving a beautiful reflection of the sun off the waters onto Kona Village.

The sun sets over Kona Village

I guess I should have turned the lights on before I tried to take a picture of the room from the doorway… but I think you can get a good idea of just how large this room was.

Bathroom to the left closet to the right

I had a nice cozy sleep in their newly remodeled rooms which had these “Cush” beds that made me not even want to wake up in the morning.

Now this was comfortable

The room had a small fridge as well as microwave, but I only used the fridge of course.

When I woke up in the morning… I washed up and got ready for the day spending it with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 25 years.

Rise and Shine!

When I walked out onto my lanai and saw this view… I knew it was going to be a special weekend.

Beautiful view off the lanai

My friend and I actually went Ziplining at two separate places on the first day before I dropped him off with his family.

Here is a video of Dave Haggen Ziplining the longest Dual Zipline on the Island of Hawaii:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3CRJPqxKrc&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

That night I spent some time around the hotel and ended up eating at Wendy’s only because I was too late and I missed their Island Breeze Luau.

Island Breeze Luau I've heard is one of the Big Islands Best

After having a long day of activities with Dave, I dropped him off and then went back to the hotel to relax for a while.

There is nothing better then being able to swim in a pool, take a hot tub and being just footsteps away from a nice cold drink.

A nice way to close out the evening

The next day I took a quick tour around the hotel and realized that the pier that was out front of the hotel was the pier where the big marlin fish get reeled in.

One big fish displayed in the lobby

I was intrigued by much of the Hawaiian Collection that they had on display.

Some of the Kamehameha Lineage

Even though the hotel is currently going through a remodel, many of the display cases were readily available to see.

More of their Hawaiian Collection of art and treasures from the past

After grabbing breakfast in town with Barbara Uechi of the Guava Bee Blog, I grabbed my friend again and took off for Kona Boat Rentals where we had a 21 foot boat waiting for us.

At the helm of a 21 footer

It was like old times for Dave and I as we used to always take out his ski boat on Lake Whatcom… the only difference this time was that it was in the Pacific Ocean and we were 25 years older.

Kona by the sea

And of course back then… we didn’t have to worry about WHALES popping up out of nowhere!

Humpback Season in the Pacific

I really had a great weekend at the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, I just wish that weekends like these… could last forever.

Another last look out the lanai before saying Aloha!

It was really great seeing my old best friend from High School and I really wanted to say thanks to the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel and it’s friendly staff for hooking me up with a great weekend.

Kayaking in the Umauma River Courtesy of KapohoKine Adventures

Last weekend I had the opportunity to do a lot of things with my old high school friend Dave Haggen, courtesy of a few great companies.

One of them was KapohoKine Adventures, who gave me an opportunity to go Ziplining again which I will be blogging about when I get time.

But before the tour started, and because Dave and I arrived early, they opened up this killer little area that I had been to before, but this time I got the nerves to actually go kayaking in the Umauma river.

Kapohokine worker "Honey" assists me into the kayak

I slowly paddled out into the middle as there wasn’t much water compared to the last time I had been there, so I wasn’t afraid of a flash flood or anything.

Paddling Out

When I got out to below the waterfall, I felt a bit nervous just thinking what if a bunch of water just all of a sudden came rushing down the river… So I turned myself around.

Fighting the wind despite having the current

And as I got closer to landing the kayak, I realized my friend had my camera!

Hey... that's my camera!

I really appreciated last weekend more then words can say.  Mahalo to those that made it happen.

Ziplining Umauma Falls Again…

For those of you that I have invited to go ziplining at Umauma Falls Zipline Experience (Website now available) coming up… I just wanted to let you know that the event has been pushed back to about the third week of January.

The second of eight ziplines

It’s better to be safe then sorry… and I’d rather wait until it actually has it’s “Soft Opening” before going on those buggahs without the brakes in place like I did the last time! (See the ending of this video)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds1sPP5T1v8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

I’d like to thank KapohoKine Adventures as well as Umauma Zipline Experience for this opportunity to bring some friends along.

Nothing Like a Cold Mehana on a Thirsty Thursday

What A Cool Combination... KapohoKine and Hawaii Nui Brew

I forgot to mention the other day when I went Ziplining with KapohoKine Adventures on the Umauma Falls Zipline Experience that not only did we drink awa to loosen up our minds.  The folks at KapohoKine were kind enough also give us complimentary Mehana Beer as well as champagne mixed with some sort of a juice.

The above gentlemen is the guy that personally cooked us our lunch that day.

Ziplining in Paradise Courtesy of KapohoKine Adventures and Umauma Falls Zipline Experience

*If you must watch any of the youtube clips… the very last one is the best!

Today wraps up the third day of three great days that the Big Island Visitors Bureau has provided me.

One of the things that I had always wanted to do at least once in my life, was to be able to go somewhere exotic and go ziplining through the jungles, woods and waterfalls of the area.

Well we are in luck here on the Big Island of Hawaii.  A new “Zipline Park” is being opened up called the Umauma Falls Zipline Experience and it should be open in about three weeks.

Today, some mainland travel writers and myself got to be the first “Clients” of this zipline park.  I will tell you one thing… there is nothing more scary than being a “Guinea Pig” for something that hasn’t been tested before.

We gathered at 10:00 in the morning at the baseyard of KapohoKine Adventures and then rode up to Umauma Falls in one of their 10 passenger Chevrolet Express VIP vans.  Once we got to Umauma Falls we had a gourmet lunch of Paniolo Pork Ribs with Guava BBQ Glaze, Hibachi Boneless chicken and a choice of a few salads to choose from.

What was cool about the location of this lunch… was this was where one of the sets that the most recent Bachelorette Shows was shot at.  After we ate, I prepared some Awa for everyone to try and relax their minds before we set off on this adventure.

Umauma Falls Zipline Experience has 8 Ziplines although the owner mentions here that there are 9 technically.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsLS3ga1NO4&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

After lunch, we climbed into this Pinzgauer and headed up to the ziplines.

They started us off nice and easy with this little zipline so that we could get the control of how the ziplines worked and how to turn on them.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aUnSsqtOyI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

But right after that one, they put us on the only dual track (side-by-side) zipline on Hawaii.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds1sPP5T1v8&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

Because these ziplines are still being built… they didn’t have the braking system in place and they literally had their staff there to stop us.  However, the braking system is in the process of being built.

The third zipline we went on was conveniently 808 feet long… and yes that was done on purpose as the area code of the State of Hawaii is 808.  What was cool about this one… was that instead of at the end of the zipline going down stairs to get to the ground… you actually rappel from the platform.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f5Jwegrsf0&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

We got to ride on 4 of the 8 ziplines today as they are still finishing doing some things with the others so they weren’t ready yet.

It was totally awesome and I can’t wait to go back there again when it does have it’s grand opening… which the official date has not been set yet.

Just for those that are wondering.  Age 10 is the youngest that they will allow.  And riders also need to weigh between 80 and 260 lbs although technically the cables will hold a couple ton of weight… it’s just that the heavier you are the faster you go and it becomes a safety issue.

I’d like to thank KapohoKine Adventures and Umauma Falls Zipline Experience for providing something that I have always wanted to do before!

The video below is me going on their longest zipline that we took today zipline number 4.  Sorry in advance if I swear in these videos  as I was just really overwhelmed.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UIAncT8FYs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]