Find the best Big Island of Hawaii waterfalls from the articles below.  You can't go to the Big Island of Hawaii without finding a waterfall to make you smile. 

Big Island of Hawaii Popular Waterfalls

Those who arrive on the Big Island of Hawaii via the Kona International Airport at Keahole may wonder if they are in fact on the island that has some of the more beautiful and accessible waterfalls in the islands. After all, the scene from a window seat reveals a dry landscape of ancient lava fields and pockets of white sand beaches along with clear azure ocean that blends to turquoise along the shore.

The west side of the island known more affectionately as the Kona side, is the leeward coast of the biggest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. The normal trade wind weather fails to bring as much rain to the Kona side which results in dry parched landscapes and sunny skies all year long. The large grand resorts like the Four Seasons and Fairmont have embraced the Kona side and the adjacent Kohala Coast for the dry weather sunny days and warm temperatures.

The other side of the island is quite a different story. The eastern coast or Hilo side of the island is truly the tropical fantasy world. Rainforests, flora and fauna abound on a stretch that starts along the Hamakua Coast and winds ever southward to the small bay side town of Hilo.

Although most may venture to the Hilo side on the way to and from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a stop ant any one of several waterfalls should not be missed.

Those who are traveling with those with mobility issues will be happy that one of the more popular waterfalls is entirely wheelchair accessible. Rainbow Falls is a part of the Wailuku River State Park. Located off Waianuenue Street in a residential area just a few blocks from the bay, this waterfall cascades over a cave in two streams that merge into one during times of heavy rains. The falls is mentioned in ancient Hawaiian legends to be the home of the goddess of the moon Hina and the mother of demi-god Maui. Most enjoy the falls from the viewing area near the parking lot although there is a short trail that takes the adventurous to the top if the falls for a different perspective.

Those who prefer their waterfalls less mainstream can drive upstream for about a mile and a half to Pe'epe'e Falls. The small parking lot can be found just off the main road and access to this waterall and the popular local swimming spot called Boiling Pots is typically less crowded than Rainbow Falls.

Another wonderful set of waterfalls can be found a few miles north of Hilo in Honomu. A visit to Akaka Falls and smaller Kahuna Falls is accessible via a paved and hand-railed loop trail that meanders though a tropical rainforest across streams and gullies. Like other waterfalls, this one has a story. This time it is about the smaller Kahuna Falls, a Chief named Akaka his wife and infidelity that lead to the Chief’s demise.

Further up the road, Umauma Falls gets a lot of attention for families and those who are active. Aside from the lovely waterfall, the Umauma Expereince includes a zip line course, kayak rentals, a children’s maze and a garden path to enjoy. Activities are available for a fee.

Although all islands have beautiful waterfalls, the Big Island certainly is one where access and enjoyment is far easier.

Big Island of Hawaii Waterfalls Photo Gallery

Article Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick & Michele Lopez
Published/Updated:

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