Well it’s been a hot minute since I talked about our Hawaii trip, two months to be exact, so I think that it’s about time that I circled right back around and finished up my recap of this trip, hopefully before it’s been two whole years since we’ve been to Hawaii! Anyways, it’s time to talk about one of the activities on our trip that truly tested not only our endurance, but our marriage as well, our kayaking trip on the Wailua River!

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

When you think of Hawaii, one of the things that probably immediately comes to mind, besides beautiful beaches and mai tais, is beautiful waterfalls. When I was researching our trip I wanted to make sure that we had a good mix of activities that would get us out of the hotel so I wouldn’t get too bored just laying by the beach or the pool, and one of the things that I stumbled upon was a kayaking adventure with Outfitters Kauai. The description said that you could kayak up a river then hike to a waterfall, which sounded totally amazing, so I signed us up for the excursion!

Thankfully the location meet up point was right down the street from our hotel in Poipu, so while we did have to be there very early in the morning (7:45 is very early when you’re on vacation) it really wasn’t too terrible in the grand scheme of things. The parking situation was a whole other pickle though, I recommend getting there even earlier because the parking lot can fill up fast and parking across the street is very limited. Once we arrived at the check in, we got outfitted in our lifejackets, were given brief instructions on how to use the kayaks, and were given a dry bag before loading up in the van to head to the Waimea River, where we’d be kayaking for the day.

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

The kayaks that we were using were tandem kayaks that had a rudder, which meant that while we both had oars and would be paddling, the person in the back could use their foot pedals to steer the kayak a little bit better. Generally they suggest that the stronger person sit in the back of the kayak and steer, so into the back Chris went. We all loaded up our kayaks once we arrived at the river and before we knew it, it was time to kayak up the river so we could make it to the waterfall by lunchtime.

While we had heard horror stories about the kayaking trip that my parents had when they were in Kauai, I don’t think that Chris and I were fully prepared for how hard the kayaking would actually be. We’re by no means super in shape people, but we’re not super out of shape either, so we thought that it would be fine. Honestly, the kayaking wasn’t too hard, what was hard was the navigation up the river. The river was super narrow at some points and sometimes we were navigating through an area with several fallen trees, and poor Chris was trying to navigate as best that he could with me trying to be the “front seat” driver and trying to tell him what he was doing wrong. Needless to say this was probably the most trying thing that we’d done together our whole marriage, and I’m very proud to say that we survived and are stronger for it. They don’t call tandem kayaks “divorce kayaks” for nothing!

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai
Don’t let the smiles fool you!

After we had managed to navigate the river, we had a brief hike before we made it to the waterfall where we’d be having lunch, which is provided by Outfitters Kauai. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by the waterfall, which was really just a trickle, but that really was because of the time of the year that we visited, which was the dry season versus the rainy season. We spent about an hour or so swimming and enjoying the cool water before we headed back to our kayaks and kayaked back down the river. And don’t worry, the trip back was a lot easier than the first part of the trip!

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

Overall, we really did have a great time on our kayaking adventure, even though it was a little bit of a trying day for us. It got us out of the hotel, we got try to something new, and we got to visit a waterfall (even if it was little more than a trickle). So if you’re looking for a different adventure during your time on Kauai, definitely check out Outfitters Kauai and their kayak adventures. The price of our adventure is $108/person but we got ours on discount for $100/person. Here are a few things that you need to remember before your own kayaking adventure on Kauai:

  • Pack lots of sunscreen and bug spray and reapply- You’re going to be outside all day long. I speak from experience, and believe there’s nothing like a really bad sunburn to ruin your trip! Also, you’re literally on a river, so there will be bugs, so wear bug spray so you don’t get bitten.
  • Bring a waterproof camera- You will be out on the water the entire day, so make sure to pack a waterproof camera or put your iPhone in a waterproof case. You’ll be working on paddling for a lot of the day, but there will still be some opportunities to snap some pictures!
  • Wear clothes and shoes that can get wet and that you can hike in- Remember the activity that you signed up for, kayaking, which involves water. Don’t expect to go on this trip and not get wet, so plan your wardrobe accordingly! Also, there is some hiking involved in this activity, so make sure that you can go hiking on some pretty rugged terrain in the shoes that you’re wearing. No flip flops people!

The Wandering Weekenders- Kayaking The Wailua River In Kauai

So there you have it, finally all about our kayaking adventure on Kauai. I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women for the first anniversary of Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

Have I convinced you that you need to try kayaking during your next trip, or have I scared you away from it?

Other Hawaii Posts

My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala
A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
Where To Eat On Maui
An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon
Zipline Kauai with Skyline Eco-Adventures
Exploring Kauai From The Air
Why You Should Luau at the Sheraton Poipu on Kauai

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All about a crazy adventure kayaking the Wailua River in Kauai. Be prepared, those tandem kayaks are called divorce kayaks for a reason!


  • I feel like I did this same exact kayaking trip back in 2003, but I’m not sure! Nonetheless, it looks amazing! #WanderfulWednesday – Stumbled

    • I bet that you did! Outfitters Kauai did such a great job and they have a lot of different tours that you can take. I hope that you didn’t fight as much with your kayaking partner as much as we did though!

  • I did the exact same tour when I was in Kauai and I was surprised at how difficult the paddle there was but at least coming back was easier. I cant’ get over how different the waterfall looked when we were there though. Crazy!

    • I know! It’s so crazy to me that the season can totally change how the waterfall looks! And the paddling was really hard, but I loved the fact that it made me feel not as guilty about drinking a fun alcoholic drink when we got back to the hotel!

  • Jen

    I would love to do this someday. It’s always fun trying something new that gets you outside and moving. 🙂 The photos are beautiful!

    • Thank you! And I totally agree about getting out and trying something new when you’re on vacation. Plus I felt like it gave me an excuse to have a cocktail later on too! And the only thing that I wish is that the waterfall had been flowing better, but it was still a lot of fun!

  • What fun!! I would love to do this!! Great pictures.

    • Thank you! It was a blast, and I hope that you get to try it out soon! It was definitely a learning experience with the kayaks!

  • This sounds great and I would love to do it! I have only tandem kayaked with my best friend and we did it just fine, but I can imagine the frustration if Gentleman Caller and I did this, funny how that works when you team up with a man!

    • Exactly! I feel like if I had been with a girlfriend we wouldn’t have fought as much, but maybe that’s because women tend to operate the same. Ultimately though it ended up being a lot of fun and we at least learned that we can work through anything!

  • What an awesome excursion! Kayaking can definitely be tricky, especially if you get in tight spots, and those sound really tricky with the foot pedals to steer.

    • It was amazing to me how different it was to kayak in Hawaii versus when we did it in San Diego. The tight spaces were definitely so much harder to navigate versus the wide open space of the ocean. But in the end it still was a lot of fun, even if it was a little stressful.

  • Ashley Angle

    What a wonderful way to see Hawaii!
    Ashley @ A Cute Angle // acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

  • Man I want to be back in Hawaii. The Atlantic Ocean just isn’t the same.

    • I know! I feel like the coast of the Pacific Ocean areas are so much prettier! I hope that you make it back to Hawaii soon!

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    I am happy you took us back to Hawaii. I love these posts to pieces! Mr. Nine says he never wants to tandem kayak with me, lol.

    • Haha I honestly didn’t know if I’d want to tandem kayak with Chris again after this trip, but we end up going in San Diego, and it was so much better the second time around. I think that if you want to try it out, definitely go for a trip in the ocean because there’s more room to navigate.

  • I am glad you made it! Wow, divorce kayaks? That is a rough name. Long time ago, I used to plan a little bit more adventurous activities but I had bog fails. I once booked a horse riding excursion. I was worried about my husband since he had never ride a horse. Well, he ended up being a horse riding expert and I was scared to death. I made a fool of myself by screaming like three thousand times. My husband kept telling me things and I was getting madder and madder. He said it has been one of the most stressful experiences during out marriage. Never again! #WanderfulWednesday

    • I know I definitely laughed at the name, but I definitely understand why they call it that now, especially after actually experiencing how stressful it can be. Normally my husband and I do ok with outdoor adventures, but this was definitely one that tested our relationship. The good news is that we did it again in San Diego and the second time around was definitely a lot easier, but I think that’s because we were in the ocean and not a more tightly confined river. And I totally would have gotten mad at my husband too if he started making suggestions!

  • I love kayaking and wish there were more places around us where we can go! But, I mean, how can you beat kayaking in Hawaii! Too bad the waterfall wasn’t all full strength, but it looked beautiful either way!

    • I know! I think that I’ve seen a few people kayaking or canoeing on the bayou, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about where to actually rent some to try it out. And even though it sucked that the waterfall wasn’t at full strength, everything else about the trip was so beautiful and totally worth it!

  • These photos are absolutely gorgeous. I live in PA but I’ve been thinking about buying a kayak and these photos might have convinced me! 🙂

    • You totally should if you have a good place to go! It’s a lot of fun, once you get the hang of it, plus it’s good exercise too!

  • I can totally imagine how hard it is to navigate and how painful it must be for the shoulders. My biggest fear though would be to tip over so I’m glad that that hasn’t happened to you 😀

    • I’m glad too! I’m definitely a very clumsy person, so I kept on imagining that we were going to tip over! Thankfully that didn’t happen!

  • Nadine

    Hahahahaha I had to laugh at the test on your marriage part. I dont have any desire to ever do this, I am just not a very outdoorsy person and I cant swim. But it is fun reading about others experiences!

    • It’s so funny because I totally didn’t think that it’d be that bad when I booked it, but it was so rough! Thankfully when we did the tandem kayaks in San Diego we had a much better experience.

  • Such a fun adventure but I can picture my husband and I arguing as well!! LOL Happy Friday!

    • Haha there just must be something about a marital relationship that means that you’ll argue when doing something that involves teamwork like tandem kayaking! I think that it has to do with everybody thinking that they really know the right way to do it.

  • Sometimes the craziest adventures make for the best memories, and I’m really glad you guys were such good sports about it! Let’s be honest, sometimes these things make my hubs melt down 😉

    • Exactly! I know that Chris and I will always remember this trip, and at least we can laugh about it now! We definitely almost had a couple of meltdowns, but I’m glad that we came out of it ok!

  • Isn’t it funny how something that seems so simple like kayaking can be such a tester of a relationship hahah .. It’s like putting together IKEA furniture! Makes for some pretty funny stories though and great adventures! Looks like you guys still had a lot of fun and next time you’ll be ready !

    • Exactly! I think that once we figured out what we each needed to do in order to make it work we were a lot better, but it was definitely a relationship tester. I’m just glad that the second time around when we kayaked in San Diego we had an easier time with it. And overall we did have a lot of fun, which is the ultimate goal!

  • Ahaha 2 things 😉 I’m glad I’m not the only one behind on blogging past adventures!! I still need to finish off Morocco!! And hurrah for keeping your marriage intact after kayaking. It’s defo not easy!! Sucks that it was dry season and you only saw a trickle… Well, guess you need to go back!! 😉

    • Exactly! We did miss out on the waterfall, but it gives us the perfect excuse to go back! Plus I’ve heard that during the rainy season is when the whales are there which would be amazing to see! And girl I don’t think that I’ll ever be caught up on blogging about past adventures, but that’s a good thing because we haven’t been on that many adventures lately!

  • hahah oh no! Divorce Kayak! Yikes. Glad you enjoyed it even though it was a bit tough. I have got to try kayaking soon.. I’ve been day dreaming about it for years. Gosh, trying to catch up on blog reading post-trip… oy. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • That’s always the hardest part after going on vacation, getting caught up on reading blogs! And you totally need to try kayaking! It can be a lot of fun in an open area with tandem kayaks, but it’s definitely hard in a confined space!

  • Divorce Kayak! Ha! I do not think we would be good at that. I have the upper body strength of a gnat so I’d be useless. The scenery does look beautiful though, was the water freezing or not so bad? Good tip on the bug spray, too. There aren’t really bugs in the UK so it’s not something that crosses my mind to bring. I have learned that lesson the hard way!

    • Believe me if I can do it, you can do it too because I have zero upper body strength too! And the water really wasn’t too bad. It was river water as opposed to Pacific Ocean water which was nice. I actually only went in the ocean one time while we were there, which is kind of ironic! And we’re the exact opposite in Texas, we have tons of mosquitos and other bugs, so we always try to bring bug spray with us.

  • This looks amazing!! I suck at anything requiring upper body strength (it’s a wonder I ever played tennis, but that’s another story), so I might not be the best person to try this… but it does sound like a lot of fun!

    • Believe me if I can do it, you can too! I have zero upper body strength and Chris and I managed just fine, besides fighting about navigating the actual kayak. I hope that you give it a try!

      • LOL… fighting about navigating an actual kayak is something that would happen with us. I just know it.