Review: Princeville Ranch Adventures Zipline


Long time readers of Go Visit Hawaii know that I’m a bit of a chicken.  I have an adventurous spirit that’s in conflict with a cautious chicken that’s constantly “bahking” away inside my head.  For quite a while I’ve been wanting to zipline in Hawaii, but it wasn’t until this last trip to Kauai that I was able to find the time and nerve to try it.  So, what did I think?  It was exhilarating!


After check-in at the Princeville Ranch Adventures office off of Highway 56 in near Princeville, we took helmets and donned our harnesses assisted by our guides Cary and John.  Then we hopped into the open-air vehicles (photo) for a five minute ride into the ranch. There were fifteen people on this tour, which I believe is the maximum number that they take.

When we approached the first zip line, a 170-foot “bunny” line, I got butterflies in my stomach and that internal chicken was obnoxiously loud.  Our guides did a great job of giving us safety pointers and telling us what to expect.  So, with excited reluctance, I climbed to the platform, allowed John to hook my harness to the line. I watched him pull on the harnesses and double check the connection for safety.  I asked again what I needed to do and John kindly explained it all to me again.  I said a prayer, took a deep breath, and ran off the platform. It was fun and I survived.

I really liked the fact that the guides were there to help control the speed.  They did the braking for us, so that took one less worry and one less risk away.  One of my friends tried zip lining in Belize where she had to do the braking which made it more complicated. I believe her husband didn’t brake at the right time and practically slammed into a tree. Ouch!

Slowly the chicken got quieter and quieter with each line.  We were encouraged to scream as we zipped, if we wanted. I have to say, that was quite cathartic.  Hawaii-October_Oct252008_1759Where else can you yell out at the top of your lungs like that?  We were on 2,500 pristine acres of private land and the only “neighbors” were cows on the ranch.

We zipped across nine lines in total. The longest line is 740-feet long.  There was enough variety that you couldn’t possibly get bored, plus the North Shore scenery was fantastic.

We also got to cross a suspension bridge that was 80-foot long.  Our harnesses were also connected for safety while we traversed the wobbly bridge.

We were on the Zip n’ Dip tour which includes a dip into a chilly waterfall-fed swimming hole and a picnic lunch. (Note that you are required to bring your own drink.)  At the swimming pool, you could float on inner tubes. If you aren’t interested in the swimming portion, you can opt for their Zip Express tour which allows you to zip on all the same lines as the Zip n’ Dip but doesn’t include lunch or swimming.  The price for Zip n’ Dip is $145 plus tax, while the Zip Express costs $125 plus tax.  Zip line tours are offered throughout the day.

We enjoyed our Zip n’ Dip tour with Princeville Ranch Adventures.  We had actually reserved the Jungle Valley Adventure ($145 for adults and $89 for children) which includes kayaking, hiking and two ziplines. When we arrived to check-in, there was a mix up with our reservation and weren’t able to take the Jungle Valley Adventure. So we opted for the Zip n’ Dip instead. In hindsight, I think the Zip n’ Dip was the better choice. So, I think we got lucky.

The chicken in me is always safety conscious.  I felt like the guides emphasized safety.  They checked the equipment with each zip.  Each guide is CPR and first aid certified.

What to know before you go:

  • You must weigh between 80 and 280 pounds and be age 12 or older.
  • You need to be in average or better physical condition to zip.  You can’t zip if you’ve had recent injuries or surgeries.  Expectant mothers can’t zip either.
  • You shouldn’t have a fear of heights.
  • You should wear sunscreen and mosquito repellant.
  • Bring water, 16-oz per person is recommended.
  • You should wear shorts that are mid-thigh length or longer.  If you are going for the Zip n’ Dip tour, wear your swim suit and bring a towel.
  • Bring a hat
  • If you have long hair, bring something to tie your hair back.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of rain. Tours will operate rain or shine. Actually, we experienced rain on our tour. We were wearing quick drying clothes.

Here’s a video that we took on the tour. The first part shows me zipping to the end of a platform.  The second part shows Andy taking the camera with him while he’s zipping.  Notice his Tarzan yell.

  1. Hi there,
    We also did the Zip n Dip in August this year – they were awesome!!!!! We have done others on the island but this was my favorite. Their dip spot was awesome and just what we needed to cool off.

    Zipling is not to be missed. Everyone I have ever seen that was nervous at first – loved it after they did the first zip – so don’t be nervous – give it a try!

    It was a highlight of our trip which included Australia and Hawaii.

    Great review!

  2. Hi Melanie,

    I’m glad to hear you had a good experience with Princeville Ranch, too. It was really a blast. After I got over my jitters, I really enjoyed it. What an adrenaline rush!

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hi The Right Blue,

    I felt confident right up to about 30 seconds before doing the first “bunny” zipline, then I got pretty nervous. I decided to simply “go for it” and once I had the first one out of the way, I couldn’t wait to get on the others!

    You might surprise yourself! 🙂

  4. Hi TRB – thanks! I guess we all find ways to be brave. Of course, I think you are super brave because you dive.

    I wonder when the Big Island will have a zipline?

  5. This looks like soooo much fun! Can’t wait to try it out on our next Hawaii vacation.

  6. Wow! – That looks like fun! – Any plans to go sky diving?

  7. @ HH – it was so much fun! Do give it a try if you are able.

    @ Dave – Sky diving? As in S-K-Y D-I-V-I-N-G?? Um, heck no! I’m much to chicken for that. Bahk! Bahk! 🙂 Have you been sky diving?

  8. I’d do some Sky diving! Does anyone offer that over Hawaii? Maybe I could do a guest post on it! 🙂

  9. @ Andy – should we ever run out of things to do in Hawaii and all that’s left on the list is sky diving…it’s all you. 😉

  10. I just wanted to reassure anyone who is afraid to do this zipline that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. About 5 of us in the group were so nervous in the jeep on the way to the ziplining, and just as everyone says on these reviews, after the first zip you can’t wait to do the others. We all had a blast!!!!! The first zip may look intimidating but just push yourself to do it and you’ll see how safe and comfortable the harnesses are and i’ll bet 1 million bucks you will want to keep doing the other zips! The guides are really nice, and take good care of you. Don’t miss out! Have Fun!

    1. Hi Alison – thanks for sharing your review. I agree with you that after the first run…for me it was runs 🙂 … you’ll have a blast. I’m glad your group of 5 enjoyed it too.

      1. how long does the whole trip (zip n dip) take?

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