Smith’s setting up limited Nov. 11 reopening

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Aulani demonstrates the puili, or split bamboo, in a hula Wednesday at the Smith’s Motor Boat Service lobby at Wailua Marina.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Ku‘ulei performs to “Beautiful Kaua‘i” Wednesday during a tune-up performance at the Smith’s River Boat Tours office in the Wailua Marina. At left is Sean Carrillo.

WAILUA — Smith’s Tropical Paradise gardens and the Smith’s Motor Boat Tours Wailua River tour to the Fern Grotto will open on a limited basis starting Wednesday, Nov. 11.

“We’re taking reservations online,” said Kahanu Smith.

The gardens will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last entries being allowed at 3 p.m. for the self-guided tours.

The river tour to the Fern Grotto will also open on Wednesday and Saturday, with the first tour starting at 9:30 a.m. and the last tour leaving Wailua Marina at 3:30 p.m.

The Smith Family Garden Lua‘u is pending approval for large gatherings and is making adjustments to follow national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols.

Due to the novel coronavirus safety measures and the limited capacities of the different venues, reservations are highly recommended to avoid disappointment.

“We need to get the ‘ohana together again,” said Smith.

The Smith ‘ohana is hosting a free musical performance in the marina lobby at 11 a.m. today above the moored barges as a tune-up for the tours. The performance allows the ‘ohana to work with the new health and safety protocols that are in effect because of the pandemic, including how to handle face masks, social distancing and the use of hand-sanitizing equipment.

“Seven months is a long time for not having any hula, or Hawaiian music, too,” Smith said. “For the visitors who are here, they’re welcome to enjoy the performance. They’ll have to wait until Nov. 11 for the real thing.”


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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