The island Kaua'i in Hawaii is one of the top destinations in the world. Wellness writer Rachel Grunwell visits the 'Garden Island' and shares some "wow" experiences.
The island of Kaua'i is one of the best destinations in the world to travel, according to TripAdvisor.
The travel site recently revealed the top 10 places for tours, activities and experiences. First place is La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica; Kaua'i second; Then Tromso, Norway. New Zealand's Rotorua is fourth, and Queenstown, seventh.
After visiting Kaua'i, I agree this place is a bucket-list destination.
Kaua'i boasts: blissful warm temperatures, green and lush rainforests, endless waterfalls, majestic jagged mountains, a breath-taking red canyon and stunning palm-edged beaches. And then there's the top Hawaiian hospitality, enchanting Hawaiian dancers and mouth-watering fresh produce.
One of the most "wow" experiences was the Jurassic Falls Landing helicopter tour of Kaua'i by Island Helicopters. This is the only tour that includes a stop at Manawaiopuna Falls — famous in a Jurassic Park movie.
While on this flight the helicopter pilot Kylie tells me it's a good time to arrive at these falls.
"I've done two trips here already today and so the dinosaurs are no longer hungry," she quips.
On the tour, we spend 90 minutes chasing secluded waterfalls via helicopter through the Waimea Canyon, Napali Coast and over Mt Waialeale. My jaw is dropped the entire time.
One moment I'm up above bright red rocky canyons for miles.
Then it's endless cliffs to stunning coastlines and more waterfalls than I can count. Near the end, the helicopter weaves through green, jagged canyons and we arrive at the 'wall of tears'.
This is a gigantic green lush wall of so many tiny waterfalls that it looks like tears from a distance. We hover and it's awe-inspiring. The magic of the beauty here grabs your soul.
This "weeping wall" goes a staggering 1544m up to the sky and showcases multiple waterfalls that cascade down the Mount Waialeale, which is one of the wettest places on the planet.
For the adventurous and fit, sign up for the Kaua'i Marathon/Half-Marathon on September 1, 2019. I loved seeing this beautiful island by foot too and running past Hawaiian girl dancers and lots of ukulele players.
Finishing this race was so satisfying and their giant square race medal with flowers is epic race bling.
The hotel I stayed at in Kaua'i (close to the marathon start-line) was The Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Resort & Spa, which was a top experience too.
The string of restaurants, shops and activities at this hotel are numerous too. Lessons include hula dancing, making fresh flower leis, playing the ukulele to watching lots of crafters.
Meanwhile, the hotel's Anara Spa is the ultimate place for pampering.
This place boasts traditional healing customs to inspire lokahi — balance and harmony of body and spirit. If you experience a massage, facial or body treatment here among the rainforest-like setting, you will feel rejuvenated, I promise.
I'd also highly rate travelling here via Hawaiian Airlines to aid your blissful escape.
Their new and exciting Ola Pono (live well) Wellness videos stretching series is amazing. It's on in-flight screens and on their website.
This is hosted by stunning Hawaiian yogi Wainani Arnold from the Wainani Wellness Centre. In the videos, she shares stretches that travellers can do before, during and after flights. This combats stiff joints, sore muscles, poor circulation and deep vein thrombosis (the formation of blood clots).
I meet Wainani in Hawaii and she says that moving benefits you no matter your age, gender or physical condition. She's passionate about the series as it helps Hawaiian Airlines guests to feel "well" and at their best and so they can make the most of their experiences.
The in-flight stretches include subtle leg movements to shoulder shrugs. The post-flight series is done laid on the floor (at home or in a hotel) to undo tight muscles and joints .
This completes the blissful Hawaii experience!
You can fly Hawaiian Airlines direct to Honolulu and beyond to neighbour islands and the US Mainland. Flights ex-Auckland operate 5 days per week, book at www.HawaiianAirlines.co.nz
Check out Ola Pono: www.hawaiianairlines.com/our-services/in-flight-services/in-flight-entertainment/ola-pono-series
Rachel Grunwell is an award-winning writer, wellness expert and director of website http://inspiredhealth.co.nz
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