The east side of Kaua’i has the mouth of the beautiful Wailua River. Take a river trip to see Wailua Falls, Fern Grotto, and the Smith Family Luau!
The Wailua River mouth is on the east side of Kaua’i, between Lihue and Kapa’a. It’s a gorgeous river and accounts for many of the natural wonders of this Hawaiian island. The Smith Family owns a lovely piece of land along the river and have planted a tropical garden, run boat tours, and produce a famous luau and show.
Begin your Wailua River Cruise experience at the boat house waiting room. Learn more about Walter and Emily Smith who started the business in 1946.
The barge type boats have seating, guides, and stunning views of the mountains.
Once the boat lands near Fern Grotto, take a paved trail through the jungle to the Grotto and enjoy all the varieties of ginger.
The ginger and rushing waters.
After Fern Grotto, the boat heads to the gardens. There’s excellent Hawaiian entertainment on the boat!
The tropical gardens are available for strolling or you can ride a little tram to see the extensive grounds. I loved the peacocks roaming around!
The gardens are very peaceful and a beautiful place to relax right before sunset.
The luau is in a covered shelter. The buffet has excellent food for this kind of giant tourist luau. See the guava bread? Poi, lomi lomi salmon and other Hawaiian treats are part of the spread. It is very organized and easy to get seconds or thirds. We met people from Ohio and Oklahoma at the table and they were quite bewildered by the food (maybe do a little homework before you visit Hawaii?). There is musical entertainment and hula while you eat.
After dinner go to the lakeside outdoor amphitheater for the Polynesian show. Highly skilled young dancers perform hula and other dances from Tahiti and other Polynesian lands. It’s a highly produced and entertaining show.
You can visit the Wailua River and Fern Grotto with other tours and the Wailua River State Park. Don’t miss this beautiful part of Kaua’i.
Map for Wailua River
From Lihue, take Route 56 north. Turn left just before the Wailua River bridge to get to Smith’s.
Smith’s Kauai: Garden Luau, Fern Grotto Wailua River cruise, Tropical Paradise
Wailua River State Park from Hawaii Division of State Parks
Wailua River tours from Viator
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