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Zip Isle adds adventure to World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls

Zip Isle features seven lines over the World Botanical Gardens and Waterfalls. (Photo courtesy of Zip Isle)


The new year brought a new adventure to the Big Island.

Kamaaina, local dignitaries and board members of the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls enjoyed grand opening festivities for the zip line adventure back in January.

The Zip Isle zip line adventure is the newest attraction at the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls, 16 miles north of Hilo. Following a traditional Hawaiian blessing and mail lei parting, the two-hour attraction was praised by Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“During these challenging times, it is truly a bright spot to see what hard work, confidence, and commitment to our beautiful island traditions can achieve,” Kenoi said. “We welcome the Zip Isle zip adventure and applaud the spirit in which the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls officials created this exciting new attraction.”

The zip line features seven zip lines through the rainforest on long cables and one suspension bridge. An additional, parallel 1,100-foot long zip line was recently added at the ride’s seventh stage, allowing riders to race and enjoy the excitement along side each other.

Zip Isle significantly helps the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls meet its mission of being a jewel of all botanical gardens, said Ken Francik, chairman of the board for WBGI.

Zip Isle's seven runs carry riders over the botanical gardens. (Photo courtesy of Zip Isle)

“With Zip Isle, we sought to create a new kind of world-class adventure that would complement the popular other attractions at the gardens,” Francik said. “We are excited to add this new attraction that fits so well with our waterfalls, magnificent flowers and plants, guided tours, arboretum, and fun family maze. Its success strengthens our acting as a repository for rare and endangered plant species from around the world.”

“We have been getting rave reviews from tourists and kamaaina,” said Mark Robinson, WBGI board member and marketing director. “Riders are using words like ‘awesome,’ ‘over the top experience,’ and ‘best two hours of my vacation,’ to describe their feelings after riding.”

The Zip Isle Zip line adventure courses are on a small portion of the more than 200-acres that make up the World Botanical Gardens. The thrill ride is located at about the 350-foot level at the base of Mauna Kea, and about one-half-a-mile from the WBG’s Visitor Center.

The zip lines begin shorter rides through seven stages and with ranges in elevation from ground level to approximately 100-feet in height and all tours include safety training and special electric transport from the Gardens to the Zip Isle Zip Line Adventure starting point.

Zip Isle is a member of the Professional Ropes Course Association that is writing the ANSI Standards for zip lines nationwide.

Canopy Tours, also known as Zip Line Tours, have increased dramatically in popularity in recent years due to the thrill of the ride and the increasing range of skill levels that can be accommodated. They been on various challenge reality television shows over the past few years.

Zip Lines have been operating in the United States since 1999. This growing adventure experience became popular in Costa Rica during the mid to late 1990’s. They were based on ropes challenge courses in the United States which gained in popularity since the mid 1960’s.

After the popular movie “Medicine Man” starring Sean Connery hit movie theaters in 1992, the concept of exploring the canopy of the tree tops utilizing climbing ropes, harnesses, and pulleys sparked the interest of adventure travelers around the world.

Advance, on-line reservations are recommended. Walk-up riders are welcome on a space available basis. Additional information is also available by calling toll free: 888-Ziplsle (888-947-4753) or locally at 963-5427.

Zip Isle and the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls are open daily 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. year around.

Complete information, including pricing and schedules are available at:

Zip Isle crews during the construction phase last year. (Photo courtesy of Zip Isle)

One Response to “Zip Isle adds adventure to World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls”

  1. Char VanDiver says:

    Aloha, could you please tell me how far in advance we need to reserve 4 zip line rides and the cost per person. We will BE driving from Kona coast, about how long would it take to get to your gardens? I await your reply, Thankyou Char VanDiver


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