advertisement

The first new railroad to be built in Hawaii in 100 years opened in 2007 after 5 years of work, 6,000 ties, 30,000 hand-driven spikes, and 480,000 pounds of iron rail. The Kauai Plantation Railway is part scenic tour, part-cultural tour, part agricultural tour, part educational tour, and 100% fun for the family. The train, consisting of two refurbished diesel engines and four custom (hardwood floors) passenger cars, travels along a 3-mile figure-eight track through the grounds of Kilohana . The 40-minute tour is narrated by very knowledgeable guides dressed in green palaka print shirts like those traditionally worn by plantation workers. They not only weave in Kauai's history but also point out the more than 50 different crops that have been planted along the train route, everything from Hawaii crops like sugar, pineapple, and taro to fruit trees to fragrant plants (ginger, gardenia, plumeria), vegetable plants, and even hardwood trees (milo, koa). The train stops briefly at the "animal farm," where some pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and cows are available for petting. Coming are a train/hike adventure into Kahuna Nui Valley and a "Gourmet Deli Lunch Tour." Check the website for details.