The Hawaii waterfalls are among the state's premier attractions, partly because of the fact that there are so many of them. The waterfalls in Hawaii can be found on all of the islands, and while you can go looking for them on your own, it's often best to book a guided tour. Some of the guided tours that highlight Hawaii waterfalls come in the form of helicopter tours. If you prefer staying on land, a hiking tour that features a trip to a stunning Hawaiian waterfall might be in order.
Big Island Waterfalls
If visiting some of the best waterfalls in Hawaii is high on your list of things to do, then a trip to the Big Island should be in the cards. The Big Island is home to both Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls, which are two of the most impressive waterfalls in Hawaii. In addition to being impressive, these waterfalls are also relatively easy to access, which lends to their popularity as tourist attractions. Akaka Falls might not be the tallest waterfall in Hawaii, but it drops an unfettered 442 feet into a pool below, which adds to its allure. Many taller Hawaii waterfalls are tiered, which means that they are broken up by land masses on the way down. As for Rainbow Falls, it drops 80 feet into a pool below, and you're bound to hear it before you see it thanks to the crashing sound of the water.
Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls aren't the only waterfalls that you can see on the Big Island. Two others that might interest you include Umauma Falls and Onomea Falls, which can be found in botanical gardens. The former is located within the boundaries of the World Botanical Garden, while the latter is among the highlights at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
While the Big Island is widely regarded as the best place to go searching for waterfalls in Hawaii, Maui visitors certainly won't be at a loss for options. Should you be looking for a Hawaiian waterfall in Maui, the island's windward (or eastern) side is home to a number of them. In fact, this side of the island is where you will find the majority of the Maui waterfalls. Driving along the Hana Highway on the windward side will reward you with waterfall views, and you can also stop along the route to hike to some waterfalls if you please.
One of the more popular Maui waterfalls that you can visit while driving along the Hana Highway is Wailua Falls, which is approximately 95 feet tall. Like most of the Hawaii waterfalls, Wailua Falls is fed by rain. As such, periods of low rain will result in reduced flow, so you might keep that in mind. As is the case with the Big Island waterfalls, there are too many Maui waterfalls to list. The Seven Sacred Pools and the soaring Honokohau Falls are just two of the many Maui waterfalls that make a great place to visit.
Kauai is a dazzling island that offers up a healthy array of natural attractions, and these attractions include waterfalls. Helping to make Kauai a good place to go waterfall hunting is the fact that the island boasts one of the wettest spots on earth. Wailua Falls is the most renowned Hawaiian waterfall destination on the island of Kauai, and it features two impressive falls that are some 200 feet in height. Adding to the popularity of Wailua Falls is its relatively easy accessibility. Unfortunately, most of the waterfalls on the island of Kauai are either inaccessible or very hard to get to. Others can be found on private land, which makes them hard to get to.
In addition to adding Wailua Falls to your Hawaiian waterfall itinerary, you might also consider Opaekaa Falls and Kipu Falls when visiting Kauai. The former tumbles 151 feet down a cliff near Kapaa, while the latter is a small waterfall with a large swimming hole at its base. The Kipu Falls swimming hole is a great place to enjoy a dip if you're looking to swim.
The island of Oahu is where you will find the capital city of Honolulu and the world famous Waikiki Beach. When you're not hanging out in Honolulu and soaking up some rays on Waikiki Beach, you might go searching for Oahu waterfalls. Like Kauai, Oahu boasts lots of waterfalls, though many are inaccessible or hard to get to. Among the easiest to access are Manoa Falls and Maunawili Falls, which aren't far from the capital city. Manoa Falls drops some 55 feet, while Maunawili Falls tops out at just 30 feet tall. While Maunawili Falls is not as tall, it does boast an excellent swimming hole.
Should you be looking to distance yourself more from Honolulu when looking for waterfalls in Oahu, you might make a break for Waimea Falls or Sacred Falls. Waimea Falls is a scenic, 45-foot-tall waterfalls that can be found near Waimea Bay on the North Shore. There is a paved trail that you can take to Waimea Falls, and since there is a lifeguard at the swimming hole, it's a good waterfall in Hawaii for families with kids. Sacred Falls is widely considered to be Oahu's most beautiful waterfall, and it drops approximately 1,100 feet. You'll have to book a helicopter tour if you want to see Sacred Falls.