Kauai Backroads 1/2 Day Tour
KAUAI Activities - This half day Kauai Backroads departs from Kilohana, the home built by Gaylord Wilcox in 1935. Kilohana is now the home of Gaylord's Restaurant and numerous shops. The tour covers 33 miles of mostly private roads and follows a figure 8 route, covering the area from the top of Kilohana Crater to the rugged coastline of Mahaulepu. We pass through the cane tunnel built in 1948 and 1949 to take miles off the round trip to the mill and harbor for the cane trucks.
* Explore the back country of Kauai that few experience
* Safe 4x4 offroad vans
* Small group of people
* Only a half day to give you time to enjoy something else in the day
Kilohana Crater is 1250 feet in elevation. Its height is deceptive because of the gently sloping sides of the crater. On the way up, the vegetation changes from sugar, to rat berries and guava, to a mixed pine and bamboo forest. Wild orchids sprout beside the road. From the east viewpoint, you can see into the bowl of the crater about one half mile across. Now filled with vegetation the area is home to wild pigs. From the viewpoint on the western rim of the crater, you get a 360 degree view of the eastern part of the island. From the Anahola Ridge, Kapaa, Wailua, Lihue, Puhi, Mt. Haupu, Knudsens Gap, Mt. Kahili and Mt. Waialeale. It makes your head spin. Passing trade showers often oblige us with rainbows and waterfalls. If you are interested, please check out our photo gallery.
As we wind our way down the back side of Kilohana towards the rest area, our expert guides elaborate on the formation of the islands, the migration of the Polynesians, Hawaiian history and culture, the sugar industry and diversified agriculture. The typical tour has 10 or fewer passengers. The small groups and the comfortable vehicles make for an interactive tour. Your questions are welcomed and the conversation can focus on areas of your particular interest.
The cane tunnel is a prominent point of interest on this tour. Built after WWII, the tunnel through Haupu Ridge saved many miles for the haul cane trucks heading to the Koloa mill and the trucks delivering raw sugar to Nawiliwili Harbor. The climate is drier on the south side of Haupu Ridge. Seed corn and coffee dominate now where sugar used to grow.
Mahaulepu is a beautiful area of rugged coastline and pristine beaches, still on Grove Farm land. The tour returns to Kilohana through Koloa, Hawaii's oldest plantation town. Koloa translates long cane. As you return you will be amazed at how much you have seen and learned in only four hours. Bring a camera, lots of film and an inquisitive mind.
Tours depart from Kilohana seven days a week. Check in time is at 7:45 for the morning 8:00 departure and at 12:45 for the afternoon tour.
By placing an online order or making a phone reservation with a concierge you acknowledge our PRICING & CANCELLATION POLICY
Cancellations must be made by calling our concierge lines at 808-214-9283. We will not accept cancellations via email, voicemail, fax or chatline. You must call at least 48 hours before the event for credit or refund to be applied. Some activities require a longer notice or will not allow cancellations once booking is made (each tour description will show exceptions to the 48 hour rule if applicable). Activities are 100% refunded in the event of your tour being canceled by the Activity Provider for any reason, such as weather, mechanical, etc. Ohana Fun! Hawaii will make every effort to get approval from an activity provider but cannot guarantee a refund until such approval is granted. If you have any questions regarding a specific activity refund policy please call our concierge lines at 1-808-214-9283 prior to making your booking.