Wailua Falls

The majestic falls of Wailua Falls have been used as the backdrop in countless pictures, but most notably seen in the opening credits of the TV show, “Fantasy Island (1978 to 1984)” This waterfall actually consists of two twin falls tumbling down about 80 feet to the pools below. There is a small parking lot near buy and locals selling fresh fruit drinks for you to try.

The best time to visit the waterfall

The falls are pretty great regardless of the time, but we suggest checking out the falls in the morning.  Sometimes, you you're lucky, the sun hits the water just right and produce a beautiful rainbow.  Also, if you happen to visit just after a heavy rain, the waterfall can change dramatically.  Rainwater flows from the Wailua River from Mt. Waialeale and can turn these tranquil twins can turn into a thunderous giant - a pretty great sight to see. 

Directions to Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls is actually one of the easier waterfalls to see in Kauai, as you can easily drive straight to the falls and even see it from the road. Drive north from Lihue to Hanamaulu. From there, turn off Highway 56 a little north of Walmart onto Ma'alo Road. From there, drive up a slightly twisty 4-mile road to a parking lot and observation deck. The parking lot is small with about 10 spots at the most. If its full, just wait a bit as people are come and go pretty quickly. After parking, its an easy walk to the observation deck and the stunning panorama of the lush and magnificent valley. 

How to get to the bottom of Wailua Falls

Signs are posted around the falls to not cross the barriers, and could result in fines.  But for those rule-breakers who want a closer look, there are loose trails leading to the pools but are pretty steep and dangerous. Be careful and you do so at your own risk. The trails are surrounded by water and mist, meaning they can be muddy and overgrown.  Use extreme caution. 

There is another trail about a quarter mile back down the road from the falls. It is a longer but less steep hike. Again signs are posted and trek at your own risk. 

Another quick tip: do not dive off! While Ancient Ali’I, or royalty, used to dive from the top of this 80-ft fall as a test of their manhood, many of them lost their lives! In 2016, a man narrowly avoided death after he jumped from the falls and was knocked unconscious. Today, it is illegal to dive from Wailua Falls. 

Is Wailua Falls worth seeing?

Hawaii has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.  And there is something about the force of so much water, falling into the depths below that is mesmerizing.  So, if seeing twin waterfalls is on your bucket list, definitely check out this spot!  And if its not on your bucket list, Wailua Falls can be a pretty quick (10-20 min) and beautiful sight as a stopover on your journey for the day.  With its easy access, Wailua Falls should be on the things you visit while in Kauai.