After our adventures ziplining in Kauai, we decided Maui would also be a great place to continue our foray into that level of adventure-tourism. (Watch out, one day we’ll go bungee jumping! You never know!)
From all the various zipline tours we could choose (and there are quite a few!), we picked Flyin’ Hawaiian for two reasons: 1) Maui Revealed* liked it the best, and 2) they have the longest zipline on Maui.**
We got up at the crack of dawn (not a problem for me, because I was still coughing from all that sugarcane pollen) and made our way to the Maui Tropical Plantation. The only place that was open was Flyin’ Hawaiian, so we knew we were in the right place. After suiting us up (if you plan on taking this tour, take note: you have to consolidate everything you want to take with you into a small 6″ x 6″ pocket on the zip harness. They will not let you bring your own backpack on the tour), they drove us to the test site where we got our safety speech and an overall briefing about how these particular ziplines work (hint: they were nothing like the ones we experienced in Kauai).
Then it was a bumpy, almost vertical climb via ATV and then by foot to the first zip. I never knew ATVs could climb 60-degree slopes. I’m not entirely sure they are supposed to. But this one did, and it got us there safely, thankfully.
The views were gorgeous. The group was in a good mood. There were a few people who were scared (I remember how I felt in Kauai, so I sympathized!), but everyone was a good sport.
The best part about the tour was the company’s commitment to preserving the ecology of the West Maui Mountains. Previous tours had planted an endangered plant – the Hawaiian hibiscus, or ma’o hau hele – along the hillside, and it was our job to water them and help them grow. The idea is that even if the land is sold again, nobody would be able to tear up the hillsides because of the plant’s protected status. I would have sung to my plant, but my voice was shot.
The longest zip, at 3,600 feet (WHAAAAT? Yes, it is that long), was the most exhilarating. I was going so fast (50+ mph) that the wind was pushing at my cheeks and whipping around my sunglasses (thank goodness for eye protection!). I was too chicken to go upside-down on some of the lines, but several of the people in our group weren’t!
At the end of the tour, we went back down the mountain, this time on a UTV (still not sure what the difference is between that and an ATV, but whatevs), and had several heart-stopping moments when it felt like I was perpendicular to the side of the mountain while also being strapped into this metal cage on wheels. Surprisingly, we made it back in one piece, and my allergies started acting up as soon as we went back into the valley. Just another week of breathing all this sugarcane pollen…but I’m still determined to have a good time while I’m here.
*If you ever travel to the Hawaiian islands, I highly recommend the “Hawaii Revealed” guidebooks, particularly their apps, which are incredibly user-friendly and use your phone’s GPS to help you find your way around.
**I was not given any money or free things by either Flyin Hawaiian or Hawaii Revealed for these reviews. This is just my plain, honest opinion of these companies.