Take in the Lowcountry’s wildlife while fulfilling your need for speed
Looking to soak up the Lowcountry’s nature but don’t want to idle along with the only excitement coming when the first dolphin fin breaks the surface of the water? Then Harbour Town Adventures in conjunction with H2O Sports has the right formula for you – their Waverunner Safari. It’s an eco-tour on steroids.
You’ll depart from the heart of the Island, Harbour Town, with the iconic red & white lighthouse as the backdrop for your launch. From there, you’ll board your single or double wave runner and follow your guide through the serene creeks and marshes of the Hilton Head Island area. While you never know what you’re going to see as all of the animals are wild and unpredictable, safari-goers regularly see ospreys, bald eagles and other sea birds plus possibly even sea turtles and, most often, the star of the Lowcountry’s waters, the bottlenose dolphin.
The great thing about this tour is everyone can go at their own pace. I was the captain of our wave runner with my mom on the back. We were pretty calm on the water with bursts of wild patches that made each of us scream/giggle uncontrollably. While we were more sporadic, my husband on the other hand, went solo. Taking advantage of no passenger, he went full speed, made sharp turns, got some air and even took the plunge into the water a few times. My sister and dad took a slower path taking in the sights and sounds. And my dad got to prove his navigational skills by touring my sister, from Chicago, around the waterways.
Safari-goers must be 18 with a valid driver’s license to operate a single wave runner. Those under 18 may drive with a licensed adult onboard. The Waverunner Safari is $134 for a single and $144 for a double. Wave runner rentals are $109 for a single and $119 for a double.
Looking for a more traditional enviro tour? Harbour Town Adventures offers a variety of other options from a dolphin/nature tour, sunset and early morning tours (1 ½ hours) and even a beach combing tour on Daufuskie Island (2 hours). Want to get off of the ocean? H2O Sports offers tours of the freshwater lakes in The Sea Pines Resort’s Forest Preserve where adventurists can explore the Island’s indigenous plants and animals including the American Alligator.
And, with Harbour Town as the launch site, you can save the best for last – lunch and drinks on the water at The Quarterdeck.