This summer I got to spend a few days on the island of Kauai and was lucky enough to visit the north shore of the island and the town of Hanalei. One of my favorite things to do in Hanalei is to go kayaking the Hanalei river, so I made sure to spend a half day out on the water with my family during this trip.
There are many kayak shops in Hanalei where you can rent kayaks, but for me the most convenient shop is Kayak Hanalei located on Kuhio highway at the entrance of Hanalei town.
I like Kayak Hanalei because their shop is located on the river, and the staff will help you load your watercraft right on the spot. Here they rent by the day, so you don’t have to worry about rushing back and watching an hourly time. They are a little pricey, but do offer Kamaaina discounts. I think it’s worth paying for the convenience and their kayaks, SUPs, and gear are in really good condition. Also, they provide free dry bags to take your small belongings and even drinks and snacks along. This place is best for people who have some paddling experience and don’t mind a little adventure. For newbies, it might be better to get a guided tour by one of the other companies who will meet you at Hanalei Bay.
From the Kayak Hanalei shop there are two different routes you can take on your kayaking journey. If you turn right, you can do a couple hour paddle up to the taro patches. If you turn left, you can do a short 30 minute paddle out to Hanalei Bay.
My family and I decided to head right up to the taro fields with three two man kayaks and one stand up paddle board. There was a little wind that day, so we went at a slow pace. After about an hour of paddling up river my family and I decided to turn around and head towards Hanalei Bay. It took us about 40 minutes to go down river to the bay. There we pulled our water crafts onto the beach and went for a swim in the bay.
Hanalei Bay is a day trip in itself, so it was a special treat to be able to spend some time on the bay. The water there is calm and cool and picture perfect! After about an hour at the bay we headed back to Kayak Hanalei to return the kayaks.
If you’re looking for a fun day on the water in Kauai kayaking Hanalei River is a great day activity. Don’t forget to bring lots of sunscreen and your waterproof camera to capture the special day. For more kayaking info and rental rates visit Kayak Hanalei.