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Cruising the Wailua River Valley With Four Generations of Smiths

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Kauai 2021, Things to Do

Sharing songs and legends of the Wailua River Valley is a family tradition. In 1946, Walter Smith, Sr. and his wife, Emily, started our family business with a small rowboat and a borrowed outboard motor. Four generations later, we continue Grandpa’s tradition of sharing our love of Kauai and its rich cultural heritage.

Wailua River Above

Some activities take all day or must be reserved well in advance of your arrival- especially with Covid restrictions in place. The Wailua River Cruise is a great way to sit on a covered boat, meandering up the historic Wailua River, learning about the significant history of the area and enjoying live music.

It’s a great way to get out of the sun for a short time, and you can still book a cruise after you’ve arrived on Kauai.

During the two mile river journey, you’ll hear songs and stories of ancient Hawaii — like the King’s Highway, sacred Mount Kapu, and the First Hau Tree. In addition, guests enjoy learning the hula during a lesson provided by one of our cousins. Everyone gets into the act during the river cruise!

Smith’s famous Wailua River cruise boats are powered by an ingenious rear-engine system invented by Walter Smith, Sr. The spacious, open-air boats provide excellent views from either side during the trip upstream.

The Wailua River is known as “the only navigable river” in all Hawaii. The river’s fresh water pours down from Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale, one of the wettest spots on the planet. Lands along the river were the sacred capital of ancient Kauai and the birthplace of the island’s ali‘i, or royalty.

At the Fern Grotto landing, you’ll enjoy a short nature walk through the rainforest to the lush Fern Grotto.

The Fern Grotto is a geological wonder of Kauai. Ferns grow upside down from the roof of the grotto, which was formed millions of years ago. Native Hawaiian plants and colorful exotic tropical plants provide a rain-forest atmosphere.

 The entire tour takes one hour and 20 minutes round-trip. 

For more information go to smithskauai.com.

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