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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Austin, Texas
"Scenic hike with spectacular waterfalls"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 07, 2018
This small-group excursion (12 people in a specialty all-terrain vehicle) took us on a 2-mile hike through beautiful Kohala rainforest with many spectacular waterfalls. Our guide Mateo was great -- very knowledgeable and helpful -- and we loved being able to swim in the waterfall pool.
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Louisburg, North Carolina
"hiked up to a waterfalls"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 23, 2018
traveled by van to pick up a 6 wheel army type jeep to travel up the mountain walked about 1 mile up on a beautiful trail saw many waterfalls at the largest there was a pool that you could swim in then hiked back down to a picnic area overlooking the ocean for lunch. The tour company supplied walking sticks rain gear if needed and backpacks to carry things in. The tour guide Manato was very knowledgeable about plant life ect. a very pleasant trip.
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Grace M
Milford, Massachusetts, United States
"Secret Waterfalls of Kohala on Big Island Hawaii"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 16, 2018
This small group adventure is a MUST-DO when on the Big Island!!!! Took tour from Kona off the Pride of America cruise. Only 8 people; excellent driver and guide Frank was informative and knowledgeable. We hiked in the Kohala rainforest and saw seven beautiful and unforgettable waterfalls!!! We swam under one of them which was a blast!!! The lunch provided was delicious with homemade cookies for dessert. The ride through old sugar cane fields in a military ATV was so exciting! We got to see the gorgeous Kohala coast of the Big Island; lava flows and incredible tropical flowers and trees- do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience!!!!
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Sarah R
"Great adventure!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 17, 2018
We had an awesome day with Justin M as our guide. He was super informative, funny and is excellent at his job. The light rain and mud did not dampen our trip. Swimming in the waterfall was refreshing we wore our tennis shoes for swimming or bring some water shoes because it is rocky. Awesome experience.
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San Diego, California
"Great time but be careful! "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed July 07, 2018
Moderate hiking, But Not easy. Muddy, can be slippery. Very informative for the whole family. Plenty of picture taking opportunities. Experienced guide. Passionate about the environment. Would recommend! But for the more senior people like me, bring a light jacket and make sure you wear the proper shoes. You need one with traction otherwise it can get slippery. The all terrain vehicle can get a bit bumpy and you’ll need to bring a light jacket. The swim in the waterfall can be refreshing but a bit tricky. Plenty of rocks than can be slippery and rough. Get the walking stick offered. I slipped twice but overall I’d do it again.
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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.