Zip Line Tours
One of the few ways to really see the untouched beauty of the Big Island is to fly over its lush forests, dense tree canopies, and glorious rushing waterfalls on a zip line. You strap into a harness, get clipped to a cable, step off a platform, and then zip, zip, zip your way through paradise. Most companies start you out easy on a slower shorter line and graduate you to faster longer zips. It's an exhilarating adventure for all ages and, between the zipping, rappelling, and suspension bridges, has been known to help some put aside their fear of heights (at least for a few minutes).
Kohala Zipline. This tour features nine zips and five suspension bridges for a thrilling, within-the-canopy adventure in the forest. You'll bounce up to the site in a six-wheel-drive, military-style vehicle. Two certified guides accompany each small group. Designed for all ability levels, the Kohala Zipline focuses on fun and safety, offering a dual line for efficient confident braking. You'll soar more than 100 feet above the ground and feel like a pro by the last platform. A quickie lesson in rappelling is included. Zip and Dip tours (combining zip line, nature walk, lunch, snacks, and waterfall swim) are available. 54-3676 Akoni Pule Hwy., Kapaau, Hawaii, 96755. 808/331–3620; 800/464–1993; www.kohalazipline.com. From $185.
Zipline Through Paradise. In addition to offering volcano hikes, waterfall swims, and helicopter tours, this company does zipping exceptionally well, in combinations or via à la carte adventures. It has one of the longest zip lines on the island, at 2,400 feet, as well as the only all-dual-track zip, which means you'll be able to traverse the eight stations more quickly and have a friend at your side the whole way. You'll soar over the lush rain forests of Hilo's Honolii River gorge, complete with thundering waterfalls, and get views of the smoking vent at Kilauea Volcano. This is the one big-name celebrities have been known to book, so you might share the platform with someone famous. Tours depart from both Hilo and Kona. 224 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, Hawaii, 96720. 808/964–1000; www.ziplinehi.com. From $179.