Wondering where to find the most beautiful places on the Big Island of Hawaii? Check out these 7 best Big Island Hawaii waterfalls that are absolutely stunning, keep scrolling down for all the info!
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Compared to Oahu or Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii is massive! It’s 93 miles across and has all sorts of terrain and natural wonders.
People come to Hawaii for many different reasons, but one of the top things to do in Hawaii is see waterfalls! They are lush, tropical, and absolutely stunning!
Big Island Waterfalls FAQs
No, swimming at Akaka Falls is no longer allowed.
It’s illegal to swim at Rainbow Falls.
You’ll find the largest waterfall in Hawaii on the secluded island of Molokai. Olo’upena Falls is an impressive 2,953-foot Hawaiian waterfall.
Most Beautiful Big Island Hawaii Waterfalls
Hi’ilawe Falls is located on the Big Island. To be exact, you can visit Hi’ilawe Falls by going to the Waipio Valley at the Kohala Coast in Hawaii.
It’s an impressive 1,450-foot natural waterfall with a main drop of 1,201 feet. It’s one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls in Hawaii, although it gets a bit dry around March. Nonetheless, it’s still a breathtaking sight to see.
It takes about 60 to 90 minutes to hike to the waterfall. It’s not a difficult hike to get to the foot of the waterfall, so you won’t need any special gear to visit this beautiful waterfall.
‘Akaka Falls is located inside the ‘Akaka Falls State Park in Hawaii. The state park is located along the northeastern Hilo Coast, west of Honomü. It’s a 422-foot natural waterfall.
You can follow an uphill path towards the waterfall, which is about half a mile long. It will take you about an hour to reach the end of the path, which is lined with lush greenery and beautiful scenery.
Before you get to ‘Akaka Falls, you can also visit Kahuna Falls inside the state park. It’s a 100-foot waterfall that you’ll pass by on your way to ‘Akaka if you follow the footpath.
Rainbow Falls, or Waiānuenue, is located inside the Wailuku River State Park in Hilo, Hawaii.
The waterfall got its name from the rainbow that often forms at the base. Its location allows the sun to hit the water in just the perfect angle. If you visit when the sky is clear and the sun is out, you’ll be able to see a beautiful rainbow at the foot of the waterfall.
It’s only 80-foot-tall but it’s still a beautiful natural feature with gushing water all year-round and a large pool below. While visiting the Wailuku River State Park, you can also stop by the Pe’epe’e Falls.
Umauma Falls is located on the Big Island in Hawaii. To be exact, you can find it along the Umauma River in Hakalau. It is comprised of three short waterfalls that are located close to each other—the water actually cascades down this series of waterfalls from the river.
You can view all three of them from an overlook that you can access via a private botanical garden.
However, you need to pay a fee to be able to access the viewing deck. Alternatively, you can zipline or rappel at the Umauma Falls. There are other adventurous activities that you can enjoy here too.
Nanue Falls is located on the Hamakua Coast in Hawaii. It’s one of the quietest and least touristy waterfalls on the island, so you can enjoy a chill day with your friends when you visit.
In fact, some still consider it a secret or hidden spot on the island even though it has been featured in several magazines and TV shows.
It will take you about two-hours to hike to Nanue Falls, but the path isn’t too hard to walk on so you’ll be fine. You can access the waterfall for free. Just make sure to leave it as clean as you found it.
Onomea Falls is located along the Hamakua Coast in Hawaii. It’s easily accessible and it will only take you about half an hour to get here.
However, to visit Onomea Falls, you need to go through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and pay an entrance fee. It is located inside a private property and there’s no other way to access it.
The good news is, while you’re inside the botanical garden, you’ll be able to see the beautiful flora and fauna species that are native to Hawaii. You’ll also pass by Boulder Creek on your way to the falls, which is a gorgeous sight to see.
Kulaniapia Falls is located inside a 42-acre private property in Hilo, Hawaii. To be able to visit the waterfall, you can book a guest room at The Inn or book one of the Experience Packages available at the property.
The package can include waterfall rappelling, which is the best way to experience Kulaniapia. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with this body of water and have the most memorable time in Hawaii.
If you already have accommodations, water rappelling can also be booked by the general public. The property offers helicopter, lava tube exploration, stargazing, and lava encounter tours as well.
Big Island Waterfall Tours
Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure
If you don’t want to search out the waterfalls on your own, this might be the right tour for you. You’ll be able to see 3 of the most famous Big Island waterfalls (Akaka Falls, Hi’ilawe Falls, and Rainbow Falls) on a half day tour.
Plus. you’ll get to taste seasonal fruit and macadamia nuts, swim at a private waterfalls, and enjoy local food for lunch.
Sign up for this discounted Waipio Valley and Waterfalls Adventure
Majestic Waterfalls Tour
The Hamakua Coast is beautiful and this half-day waterfall tour will stop at Akaka Falls State Park, Rainbow Falls, and Richardson Beach Park.
Plus, you’ll keep an eye out for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and stop at Big Island Candies for the most famous Hawaiian candy on the Big Island.
Sign up for this discounted Majestic Waterfalls Tour
Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls Tour
If you want to check out some Hilo waterfalls AND eat chocolate, you’ll want to sign up for this tasty tour!
You’ll get to try fresh tropical fruit and freshly picked macadamia nuts while exploring a family-owned farm with a beautiful waterfall.
This guided tour is off the beaten path and you’ll learn about Hawaii’s sugar industry and enjoy lunch
Get your discounted Hilo Chocolate and Waterfalls Tour
Deluxe ATV Waterfall and Swim Experience
For the adventurous, go off-roading on the Big Island’s Hamakua Coast in a Honda ATV or a Side x Side UTV.
Enjoy spectacular views of Mauna Kea and the Pacific Ocean, awesome photo spots, swim in a private pond, and really experience off-road Hawaii.
Get your discounted ATV Waterfall and Swim Experience
Waterfall Rappel and River Experience
If ATVing isn’t adventurous enough for you, try rappelling down a waterfall at the Big Island’s Umauma gorge and river.
This tour includes wet suits, flotation devices, and safety briefings.
This is for kids at least 8 years old and not suitable for people who are pregnant or have a history of back or neck injury.
Get your discounted Waterfall Rappel and River Experience
Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour
Take a full-day waterfall adventure tour of the Big Island’s Kohala coast. You’ll start off driving up the Kona coastline pas lava flows and check out sweeping views form the old Kohala Mule Station lookout.
You’ll experience 7 incredible Kohala waterfalls plus a picnic lunch.
Sign up for this discounted Kohala Waterfalls Adventure Tour
Legends of the Waterfalls & Volcano Full-Day Tour
If you’re staying in Hilo and enjoy learning about history, you might get a kick out of this Legends of the Waterfals tour where you’ll learn why Hilo was one of the favorite places for Kamehameha the Great.
You’ll get to play in the ocean, explore a tidepool, and see Rainbow Falls.
Sign up for this discounted Legends of the Waterfalls & Volcano Tour
Waterfalls of Kohala
There may be no better way to experience Hawaiian waterfalls than with a helicopter tour.
This one has amazing views of the Kohala Coast while listening to fascinating commentary from the pilot. You’ll see places on the Big Island only accessible by air.
Get your discounted Waterfalls of Kohala Tour
Majestic Waterfalls from Kona
If you are staying in Kona, meet up with a local driver who will show you the prettiest Hilo waterfalls. This is awesome for those not renting a car.
Get your discounted Majestic Waterfalls from Kona Tour
Magical Waterfall Tour
This air tour hits up the 7 Kohala waterfalls from the Kona airport. First, you’ll head to the Kohala Mountains where you’ll fly the coastline of Waipio Valley and Waimanu Valley.
This is a great way to see some of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii.