Kohala Waterfalls Adventure in Kailua-Kona, HI

Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740
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Offered by Hawaii Forest & Trail, the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure offers an 8-hour round trip through the rainforest, ideal for guests of all ages. The tour includes a trip up the North Kona and Kohala coastlines near the lava flows (caves) from Mauna Loa, Mount Kea and the Kohala Mountains, and more. Guests are provided lunch, as well as walking sticks, warm wear, backpacks, and ponchos.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Kailua-Kona, Big Island Travel Experts
  • Tour duration: 8 hours.
  • Deli-style lunch included.
  • Recommended for all ages.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.
  • Visit 7 beautiful waterfalls, swim in a waterfall, and ride in a Pinzgauer on rugged Hawaii trails.


from Kohala Waterfalls Adventure
The Kohala Waterfalls Adventures tour begins with a wonderful drive of contrast and change from the dry-side resort area to the lush green country of Kohala. Along the way, you'll journey up the North Kona and Kohala coastlines over lava flows from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline you are able to see splashing spinner dolphins or in the winter months, breaching humpback whales. You'll pass through the quaint plantation towns of Hawi and Kapaau, site of the life-size statue of King Kamehameha I. At the end of the road a brief rest stop at the historic Kohala Mule Station offers one of Hawaii's most spectacular coastal views. Then the real fun begins, with a bumpy but short off-road drive in our 6WD Pinzgauer on an old cane road over private ranchland to our trailhead.

This Tour is great for:
- Couples
- Families

The Adventure: Out of the Pinzgauer, you'll step back into the early 1900's, when plantation owners began construction of the Kohala Ditch Trail to bring much needed water to the sugar cane fields. Along the 1.5-mile loop trail, you'll see tunnels blasted and carved from solid rock, walk over an aqueduct on two bridges, and learn the story of the tremendous effort it took to build an irrigation system stretching over 22 miles. You'll delve into ancient Hawaiian history as well, visiting a former taro farming site just off the path. Seven beautiful waterfalls grace the trail. You can take a refreshing dip in the last pool we visit and play under a refreshing cascade. With stunning mountain panoramas, green valleys, and pasturelands, and of course the abundant water, the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure is a fascinating way for young and old to experience Kohala's "story of water."

Schedule: Tours daily. 8 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.

Rated: Easy; all ages welcome.

Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water

Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.

Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.

What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes or reef walkers, bathing suit, hat, sunscreen and a light jacket.

Reserve Hawaii Customer Reviews

Terry McIlveen
1 Review
"Kohala Waterfalls Adventure"
December, 2015
The waterfalls were spectacular, and the knowledge of the flora and history of the area by the guides just added to the enjoyment of the trip. I would strongly recommend the trip.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Ryan J
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
"Backcountry of Hawaii!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 28, 2018 NEW
Great activity with a great company! The adventure is around 8 hours from beginning to end, sometimes if you’re staying in Kona on the way back you hit some traffic so it adds a little more time to the trip. Takes place in the backcountry of Hawi (way up North West of Big Island). You get to follow your guide through lush, beautiful areas no one else can visit. You get to see 5-7 waterfalls along the 1.5 mile trail and then swim in one. The water is chilly but don't let that stop you, because it's behind refreshing and worth it. You get a simple deli-style lunch overlooking Pololu Valley and my guide was amazing! Favorite part was getting to swim in the waterfall. If you have any questions let me know, feel free to email me to, email address is on my page.
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Delray Beach, Florida
"Serene tour with an outstanding guide"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2018
Eric was an outstanding tour guide on this waterfall adventure. He had never ending knowledge of the big island’s history and he was very mindful of our safety and well-being. This tour is highly recommended.
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Victoria, Canada
"Mahalo Melanie & Ashley!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2018
Melanie was our tour guide in November 2017 for the KLH( Kilauea Lava Hike ) in which we got all the way to the edge of the field but the then got turned back due weather and emergency operations in the field. We were successful two days later! It was amazing and a life changing experience. We enjoyed it so much, we wanted to do it again and booked it for our current vacation, requesting Melanie as our guide. Unfortunately, due to the recent events in lower Puna and HVNP, that trip was not to be. We re-booked the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure instead. We were not disappointed! We were fortunate to get Melanie again as our tour guide along with Ashley who’s new to HFT, but yet very knowledgeable. She has a great story about Ohi’a Lehua. One thing Melanie is good at is engaging all her guests to the point that everyone feels comfortable and it starts from the moment you get her briefing and doesn’t stop until you’re dropped off. Seriously, if you don’t want to hear about the Island, how it was formed and it’s people and culture, stay home. It rained a lot during our tour but it didn’t matter. Everyone enjoyed it! Our group of 8 ranged from late 20’s to mid 70’s. We weren’t able to go swimming because the flow coming over the Falls was pumping and just not safe. If that’s important to you, check before you go. The hike was fairly easy and only slightly challenging in some locations, more so due to the heavy rain during our tour. The pace was nice and easy with a lot of stops to cover off and experience the beauty along the way. We weren’t rushed at all, and Melanie and Ashley were always there to help out and make sure everyone’s experience was safe and enjoyable. Riding in the back of 6x6 Pinzgauer was hoot, even in the pouring rain! Mahalo Melanie & Ashley! Looking forward to future trips down the road....Aloha from Vancouver Island; we consider the Big Island our second home!
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Teri F
"Volcano and Waterfall Tours"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 15, 2018
Peter and Taj were terrific. They made the volcano and waterfall tours(respectively) interesting and fun. I will call Hawaii Forest & Trail again when we come to Hawaii. Thank you very much Peter and Toj for a couple of very fun and informative days. Teri and Carly
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Brittney W
"This tour was absolutely amazing!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 14, 2018
My husband and I agree that this was the highlight of our stay in Kona. Our guide Taro was so knowledgeable and went above and beyond to make sure everyone was comfortable and had a good time! The waterfalls are beautiful, the hike isn’t too strenuous, and the lunch provided was very tasty! The picnic area where lunch was served had an amazing view as well! We highly recommend doing this tour and maybe even requesting Taro as your guide, You will not be disappointed!!
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Kohala Waterfalls Adventure is located at Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740
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Frequently Asked Questions about Kohala Waterfalls Adventure

How much hiking do we do on the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure?
Expect to cover approximately 1.5 miles in 1 - 2 hours.

Is there elevation gain?
Expect to do minimal climbing. The estimated elevation gain over the course of the hike is about 200’.

What is the water temperature in the pool we swim in?
Water temperature varies by season and the amount of rainfall. Temperatures range between 60 and 70 degrees F.