Ziplining has been on my bucket list of activities to try for several years. I’m so glad my first zipline experience was with Skyline Eco Adventures. I totally mean it. We had a seriously awesome time as did the other people in our group. The course was amazing and the equipment was top-notch. But, it was really the fantastic crew who made our ziplining in Hawaii tour so special.
TIP: Check out our “30+ family-friendly things to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii w/ Travel Tips” post too!
Ziplining in Hawaii on the Big Island
Skyline Eco Adventures offers tours on Maui, Kauai, and on the Big Island of Hawaii. Since we were visiting the Big Island, we made our way to Skyline Akaka Falls on the east side, just north of Hilo. We anticipated the 2-hour travel time to get there from our resort in Kona but got a late start. The staff was very accommodating and, since there was room in a later time slot, they updated our reservation. That took so much stress off!
Once there, the gal at the front desk was all smiles and kindly walked us through the process of signing waivers. She also instructed us where to store our belongings. GoPro cameras are available to rent but there is no pressure to get one. In fact, guests are encouraged to bring their own phones, cameras, and motion cameras. The same woman gave us tips for using them while ziplining. She even made sure the camera was extra secure on Frans (fastening it with a complimentary carabiner).
We were doing the Akaka Falls Zip Adventure Tour. The ziplines don’t actually go over Akaka Falls but you do pass over its 250-ft sister waterfall, Kolekole. As our 12:00pm tour neared, the friendly staff started to strap us up with harnesses and handed out helmets. Items you will want to bring with you include baseball caps, sunglasses, sunscreen, phone/camera straps, and closed toe shoes.
The three of us joined four other guests and we all hopped into the Skyline Eco Adventures van. It was a short drive to the first course. During that time, our guides told us a bit about the area we were in and the local culture. It was a nice way to start our ziplining in Hawaii tour and we all welcomed the air-conditioning. They were so easygoing and funny too!
7-Line Ziplining Course
Since this was our first time ziplining, we were pretty nervous. But, the capable guides made us feel completely safe. On each line, we were hooked on and all straps were double-checked. We had a guide on either side and they did the stopping for us. One person did get stuck on the second to last line (which can happen if a person is very light). A guide immediately climbed out to bring him in. These guys really knew what they were doing!
The Akaka Falls zipline course includes seven lines and is perfect for beginners or for those who are new to this particular zipline system. The first three help beginners learn how to work the equipment. Lines 4 and 5 help build confidence. The last two lines are all about the experience and the scenery. You don’t zip down the lines crazy fast so it’s not scary at all. Here’s a quick description of each line and our reaction to it. Watch our ziplining in Hawaii video below to join us on all seven lines! (When Munchkin was filming, the first shot of each clip was of her face. So funny!)
- Line 1: Short and close to the ground. Allows you to get a taste of how things work.
- Line 2: A little higher but still pretty short. Helps you feel comfortable in the harness.
- Line 3: Zip over a 40-ft waterfall. Now you learn how to steer.
- Line 4: This line is longer and you able to start enjoying this.
- Line 5: You’ve finally gotten the hang of ziplining! Relax and gaze across the lush greenery all the way out to the Hamakua coast.
- Line 6: Time to step it up as you soar over a deep ravine.
- Line 7: Icing on the cake as you zip over Kolekole Falls and let the wind guide you to amazing sights. So beautiful!
There is a short hike between each line but these are easy and mostly flat. I was impressed by how nicely manicured the areas around each platform were. You could tell it was well-looked after. Even the paths along the ground for the ziplines were wide and clear.
As we walked from line to line, the crew made it interesting the whole time. They pointed out apple bananas and picked off a few for us to try. We saw sleeping ferns close up when touched. Well, I did but Frans and Munchkin were walking further behind. One guide put hibiscus flowers in our helmets (they only live for a day so it’s okay to pick them) and told us which side meant you “were taken” or not. We learned about the wild pigs there, snacked on raw sugar cane, spotted white pineapples growing, and squeezed fragrant sap from ‘awapuhi aka shampoo ginger. There wasn’t a boring moment the whole time (including dodging cow patties near one platform area)!
Why Zipline with Skyline Eco Adventures
I can’t rave enough about the amazing staff at Skyline Eco Adventures Akaka Falls ziplining in Hawaii. They were so helpful and friendly. In fact, they all went above and beyond to make sure we had a good time. We had smiles on our faces from start to finish! A tour crew can make or break your experience and these hard-working people “made it” for us big-time. If these are the type of employees Skyline Eco Adventure hires at all their locations, I can’t wait to try their ziplines on the other islands!
After the final zipline, the guides even offered to take photos for us. Then, we hopped into the van that was waiting for us and headed back to the shop. Our guides helped us out of our harnesses and offered recommendations for the rest of stay in the Hilo area. We were also given (complimentary) cold cans of juice. These were so refreshing after our two hours in the hot, humid weather. We had such a great time! Frans even decided to buy a shirt since he thought the graphic was so cool. An added bonus was the “guide” label on the sleeve. It’s his new favorite shirt!
Wow, what an experience! We had so much fun ziplining in Hawaii that we couldn’t help but talk about it for the rest of the day. And, the views were breathtaking. Hawaii is already beautiful but it’s something else to see it from above! If you’d like to see more of the island, other tours are available: the Lava n’ Zip (includes a tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) and Zip n’ Dip (includes a detour to a private waterfall to swim under). You should definitely book a tour with Skyline Eco Adventures the next time you are on the Big Island!
My family and I received complimentary reservations for review purposes. All opinions are my own.