Hawaiʻi on High

Flying, forests and fun — Kapalua Ziplines is a must-do adventure.

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Inside, McGreavy and his team demonstrate how to put on the zipline harness, a sturdy canvas contraption that resembles a large diaper held aloft by suspenders. McGreavy then shows us a trolley, a set of wheels, metal and straps that will serve as our conveyance for the zipping, and explains how it attaches to the cables. He uses one of the Canadians to demonstrate how he will secure the trolley and clip us onto the cable. Then, with a few tugs here and there, he shortens the woman’s shoulder straps and the inglorious canvas diaper suddenly becomes an ergonomic flying seat.

“To go faster, hold onto the bar overhead and lean back, and to slow down, open your arms and legs out like a starfish and sit up,” says McGreavy. The woman demonstrates both positions. Seems simple enough.

The wind picks up and the clouds get darker, so we each grab a raincoat and our trolley and head to the top of small tower for a test run. The team hooks us up, and two at a time, we launch from the platform, trying both the leaning back and starfish techniques along the way. At the bottom, we reclaim our trolleys, get into the ATVs and head one mile up to the top.

As we climb higher into the forest, the foliage becomes denser and more primal. Tall Jurassic-looking ferns line the sides of the road, and the tree trunks beneath a thick canopy of branches are mossy and damp. The road ends at a roundabout and is separated from the preserve by an eight-foot fence that looks as if it’s meant to keep a T. rex captive. I say as much and McGreavy laughs. “It’s actually to prevent pigs and deer from getting in,” he says. “They eat the plants and dig up the soil; then it erodes and runs into the ocean, choking the reefs.”

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