So its been a long while since my trip to Hawaii - the summer holiday season is definitely over and almost time to pull out the furry coats. I write this as I sit on another 8 hour plane journey and I am the first to admit the time for me to put pen to paper is well overdue.
Hawaii - one of my most adored spots in the world. I feel as though each time I visit, I find yet another amazing activity to try out. This time round, I stumbled upon a gem of an experience on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Island doesn't always get a mention, and often sits lazily in the background of its neighbour islands - Maui and Oahu, but along the east side of the island not too far from the famous 200ft Akaka Falls sits the scenic Umauma Falls. Here, in the midst of the most tranquil setting I found a Zip and Dip Adventure Experience.
What is a Zip and Dip?
Exactly as it states - you spend the morning ziplining over a stretch of many different scenic waterfalls. After you make it through the zip, it’s time for the dip. You are driven back up to one of the waterfalls you have just ziplined over to have lunch and spend the next few hours cooling down with a swim.
On the day, I wanted to get there as early as possible, finding it however was a bit more difficult than I had expected. This particular area is beautifully untouched, the roads were few and far between and because of this, signage (or lack thereof) wasn't great until you actually arrived at the gates. In a car, we took a few wrong turns, but the locals were super helpful and we managed to find it in the end.
Our booking was at 10am, but I would suggest arriving an hour and a half early to give yourself enough time to follow the trails up to the areas you would be ziplining over.
After an hour of light trekking, it was time to head to the visitor centre to meet the guides and be briefed on the equipment.
The guys were incredible and made it really fun and easy for the group to get straight into it. There were adults of all ages and in other groups I also noticed some young kids being accompanied by the guides. I've ziplined before (in smaller activity centres) but ziplining from such height at quite a fast speed over some of natures prize views was something else entirely.
The first two ziplines were shorter to help everyone ease in. We were encouraged to push ourselves as fast as we wanted to go and pull as many crazy poses while zipping down the line. The first time everyone pretty much hung straight but by the second a few of us started to cannonball and throw ourselves upside down.
My personal favourite was number four. It was over a minute of zipping, suspended 50ft above lots of green, calming streams and waterfalls.
After this zipline we were faced with crossing a rocky suspension bridge to reach the fifth zipline. Before the fifth, we had a water break and had some time to just stop for a moment and take in the views.
There are nine ziplines in total, the last one being over the visitor centre so you have the chance to show off all your new tricks to the visitors just arriving for their booking. It takes almost 1.5 - 2 hours in total to complete the zipping so we were back and ready for the next part of the activity by midday.
After nine ziplines in the heat of Hawaii I was ready to immerse myself in the cool plunge pool of one of the waterfalls. One of our guides Keivan came on with us and took the better swimmers of the group up the rocks to cliff jump into the waterfall. There were also kayaks and paddleboards on the side for the group to use.
Lunch was pre-prepared as per your predetermined choices in picnic baskets ready to eat and there was a lovely log style seating area right next to the waterfall. As this was one of the falls we zipped over we could lay back and watch the later groups zip over.
We finished at about 2pm and I headed straight to the airport to catch a flight to Oahu. Overall, the experience was so much fun and keeps you active for the whole 5 hours. I recommend it to anyone visiting Hawaii at any age and fitness level, as this was one of the highlights of my trip this summer.
Oahu may be buzzy and Maui may be a small paradise but the locals say you haven't been to Hawaii until you have been to the Big Island. I have to add, you haven't been to the Big Island until you've tried the Umauma Experience!
- four that strut