The Wailua River valley is where many motion pictures have been filmed
including the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Outbreak and many
others. The best way to see the valley is by riverboat and both Smith's
and the Wai'ale'ale Boat Tours offer trips down the river to the famous
Fern Grotto. In fact, the only way to get to the Fern Grotto is up the Wailua
River, by boat. In ancient times, only people of Hawaiian royalty were permitted
to go to the Grotto. Now anyone can experience one of the most lush, densely
vegetated examples of a tropical paradise, festooned with draping ferns.
It's official status is now that of a "state park".
The Fern Grotto is a popular place for weddings and the traditional "Hawaiian Wedding Song" is commonly part of the ceremony.
THE RIVER BOAT
We begin our journey down the Wailua river on this comfortable, open and airy barge, designed for maximum viewing of the gorgeous scenery that lies ahead.
LOCAL CULTURE AND SONGS
As we cruise down the river, our guide tells us about the history of the area, local culture, the movies made on Kauai and all about what famous people own the expensive homes along the river. You can see a few of them on top of the cliff. Enlarge the picture and you'll see them even better.
CRUISING DOWN THE RIVER
As we continue past Kauai's lush greenery, our hosts entertain us with some Hawaiian favorites sung in their native language.
APPROACHING THE FERN GROTTO
We disembark and walk towards the Fern Grotto cave, visible in the distance. The leaves on all of the plants in Kauai are strikingly large, compared to what one sees on the mainland US.
THE FERN GROTTO
Here is the Grotto, draped in ferns. The cave does not
go back very far, but a crowd of us were able to congregate within it
for a "special surprise" our guides had planned for us.
Four musicians serenade us with a lovely rendition of the "Hawaiian Wedding Song", in both English and Hawaiian. Many people choose to marry at the Grotto each year and and this wedding song is typically part of the ceremony.
KAUAI'S LUSH GREENERY
Just an example of the absolutely gorgeous scenery on Kauai, the oldest of the 8 common Hawaiian Islands. Amazing what millions of years of weathering and erosion can do!
A little background geology:
FYI: Movies and TV Shows Shot on the Island of Kauai
Six Days and Seven Nights
Raiders of the Lost Ark
King Kong (1976 version)
Star Wars (scenes)
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