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Our tour guide picked us up at the pier right after our cruise ship pulled into port in Kauai. We had reservations to go tubing with Kauai Back Country, but Dennis said we needed to see Wailua Falls first. It was just up the road from where we needed to go.
Wailua Falls is behind the Kalepa Mountain Forest Reserve, which was established in 1944 when erosion on the ridge necessitated reforestation. In the midst of the lush regrowth, Wailua Falls was featured in the open credits of Fantasy Island.
Visiting the falls is easy. It can be viewed from a small parking lot with an overlook. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can hike the steep trail down to the bottom and swim in the pool. The lot does fill up, so best to get there early.
Ancient Hawaiian men sometimes jumped from the 173-foot waterfall as a rite of passage. Dennis told us that some crazy guy had jumped from the falls a few years ago and knocked himself out on the way down. He was saved from drowning by a swimmer in the pool.
- Wailua Falls
- Lihue Plantation Hanama‘ulu Ditch
- ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls
- Wailua River State Park
- Mount Waiʻaleʻale
- Fuji Beach
- Moloa’a Beach
- Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
- Kīlauea Lighthouse
- Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
- Wai’oli Hui’ia Church
- NININI POINT LIGHTHOUSE
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Red Dirt Falls
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Waimea Canyon Lookout
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Waipo’o Falls
- Kōkeʻe State Park: Kalalau Lookout
- Kōkeʻe State Park: Pu’u O Kila Lookout
- Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park
- Hanapepe Swinging Bridge
- Spouting Horn
- Koloa Heritage Trail: Spouting Horn
- Koloa Heritage Trail: Keoneloa Bay
- Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Location: Ma’alo Rd Hwy 583, Lihue, HI 96766
Designation: State Forest Reserve
Date designated or established: 1944
Date of my visit: 4/18/2019