Wailua Falls is not only one of the most picturesque waterfalls on the island, it is also among the most accessible. While many of the island’s other waterfalls require you to hike for the views, this one can be viewed from a roadside overlook. The easy access makes the waterfall a popular stop on island tours that also visit other natural attractions such as Waimea Canyon and ʻOpaekaʻa Falls. You can also visit the falls on a movie highlights tour that visits filming locations of Hollywood hits such as “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Castaway,” and “Jurassic Park.”
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wailua Falls is an ideal destination for visitors who want to view a waterfall without hiking.
- The roadside overlook is paved and wheelchair accessible.
- The trails that lead to the base of the falls are steep, muddy, and officially closed to hikers.
- There is no entrance fee to visit Wailua River State Park.
How to Get There
The falls’ overlook is located just 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Lihue (and Kaui’s main airport).xa0 Head north on Highway 56 and then turn left at Ma‘alo Road (Highway 583). You can’t miss the overlook, it is at the end of the road.
When to Get There
The falls are beautiful year-round, but to catch them at their most impressive visit in the rainy season (November through March). For the best photo opportunities, visit mid-morning on a clear, sunny day—if you’re lucky you may be able to see rainbows in the falls’ mist.
The Best of Wailua River State Park
Home to the lush Wailua River Valley, Wailua River State Park is ideal for outdoor recreation. One of the top activities is a riverboat ride to Fern Grotto—a natural lava cave draped with ferns. You can also enjoy two waterfalls (‘Opaeka‘a Falls and Wailua Falls) and visit the Wailua Complex of Heiau, a National Historic Landmark.