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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kauai: Kayaking to Secret Falls

On our first morning in Kauai, we kayaked the Wailua River to visit Secret Falls.
Of course, we took this picture of kayakers in the river from a lookout point later in the day. The skies looked a little different first thing in the morning! It was raining when we woke up and left the hotel, but Hawaii rainstorms are warm and short so we decided to just play through the rain.
The decision paid off. Not only had the rain stopped by the time we got our kayak in the water, but it had apparently scared off other tourists and we had the river almost all to ourselves. The water was like glass, and the Wailua Valley was so beautiful in the early morning light.
A couple miles later, we arrived at the trail head. Matt and I had heard that Secret Falls can get really crowded with 60-80 people at a time, but our kayak was the first one to park that day. We could hardly believe our luck!
From the trail head, it's about a 30-minute nature walk to the falls. (My maiden name being what it is, I have a hard time calling these types of things "hikes.") The trail was beautiful, and even included wading through the stream below.
Even more beautiful, though, was the sight of absolutely no one at Secret Falls.
Well, except for Matt. But he can stay.
There is a little rocky ledge right up against the waterfall, which is highly convenient for taking pictures. I loved all the little rainbows the falls created along the rocks.
Turns out, though, that the ledge isn't an awesome place for the camera to be since the lens just gets constantly sprayed by water.
So our newfound photographer friend relocated across the little pool to get a lovely picture of us sitting on the rock next to the waterfall. At just that moment, however, the falls decided to change directions. See? (Click on the picture strip for the full effect.)
Let's just zoom in on that middle picture for a sec, shall we?
Yep, we were drenched! It was pretty hilarious, and I love that we have a picture of it. Naturally, as soon as the waterfall had its fun with us, it went back to its original path and stayed that way for the remainder of our time there. Go figure!
Matt and I relaxed and played in the little pool for about an hour before heading back out. During that time, we learned that it is extremely difficult to tread water right next to another person. Who knew?
On our way out, we passed three different groups of about twenty people each making their way to Secret Falls. They'd all delayed their plans because of the rain, much to our delight! Needless to say, the trail head had just a few more kayaks on our way out than it did when we arrived that morning.
Kayaking back to the marina was a bit more adventurous this time around, too, with plenty of boats creating pretty decent-sized wakes. Matt liked to rock our kayak with the wakes so we would almost tip. Yeah, he kept things interesting alright!

Random fact: In the picture below, we are kayaking past the same spot that Harrison Ford runs out of to catch his plane in the opening scene of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
After another couple miles of paddling (talk about a great morning workout!), we made it back to the marina. 'Twas a fun little excursion!


  1. what an amazing adventure!!! I am so glad you shared!!

  2. sooo fun! kauai is definitely my favorite island! its soo gorgeous!

  3. Your trip to Kauai was so different then ours. Everything was closed (including the kayaking) because there was too much flooding (pretty sure we had one day out of 8 that gave us sun).... Go figure. ha ha it was still amazing though.

  4. That waterfall was devious! Hilarious that you caught that on film. It brings me joy to know I'm not the only one addicted to photographing everything.

  5. Looks so fun! Can't believe you guys got it all to yourselves. A fun little gem you had to yourselves for a moment...I love Hawaii and I can't wait to see more of your adventures out there!

  6. lol at the waterfall adventure! so lucky to have the place all to yourselves. Where do you get all your super cute swimsuits?!

  7. Super cute. The waterfall adventure was hilarious. Ditto, where did you get all your cute swimsuits.

  8. Wow, this looks SO romantic!!!!

  9. Cass- Bummer about the rain! The 45-minute-long rainstorm at 7 a.m. on our first day was the only rain we saw all week, luckily.

    Stacie & Nina- I actually found this tankini top at a random store on the day after Thanksgiving, of all times. It has a cute criss-cross back and was only $10. Not bad, right?

  10. That waterfall is beautiful! I wish I could go there! Everything is absolutely breathtaking!

  11. Oh my gosh, this is absolutely ridiculous! Could things possibly get any more perfect?! Wow wow wow. Amazing!!! And I'm so so curious about how you got the pictures of the two of you in the kayak. Did you ask someone or set it on something? That's a tricky one. Also do you usually set the camera to take multiple rapid exposures when you set it on things? I guess that would make sense so you'd be sure to get a good shot. You guys are picture pros.

  12. Ang- I actually never use the multiple exposure, but that's a great idea! I might try that next time. We actually made friends with another couple at Secret Falls and did a bunch of picture swapping with them. (By the time we left the falls, there were 3 other couples there in our little group.)

    She took the ones of us with the waterfall, and just decided to take a bunch in a row because she thought it was hilarious when the falls moved over to us. I liked her :-) She took the kayaking ones as well, and we took the same for them. I don't think my self-timer skills are quite good enough to capture those kinds of tricky shots haha.

  13. Found your blog today through Kelly's Korner. My husband and I went to Kauai in October for our honeymoon and I have enjoyed reading your posts about yours! We did the secret falls kayak trip too. It was beautiful!


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