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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Constantine, Michigan
"Beautiful views, great trip"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 17, 2018 NEW
Frank was very informative, and helpful. Falls were beautiful, the swim under the last fall was cold, but felt wonderful after the hiking. lunch overlooking the cliffs was beautiful!
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"Good but long day"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 10, 2018 NEW
The hike itself was beautiful and the waterfalls were excellent to photograph. The guide, Mark, was very knowledgeable and gave good commentary throughout the day. The biggest complaint is the pick up of other guests from their hotels. We spent 3 hours in the van even before we started. It made for a very long day. The lunch is very basic but adequate.
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Jeffrey M
"Waterfall Adventures "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2018
The hike was perfect for us as we had been traveling with my 75 and 76 year old in laws. My 75 year old mother in law swam in the falls. Mike, the guide was great and very knowledgeable and shared a ton of information. Lunch spot was spectacular and a great way to end the adventure. If you are looking for a more challenging hike then book another trip.
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Ken A
Walla Walla, Washington
"A Delightful Experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 10, 2018
My wife and I have been to Kona many times, but on this trip we decided to do something that we wouldn't be able to do on our own. We were picked up at our condo by Mark, who was right on time and ready to go. After a few other stops to pick up the rest of the group, we were ready to transfer all our gear (they provided most of it) into an Aussie ATV rig to take us up into the forest. The gentle hike was on private land and was stunningly beautiful. Mark was an extraordinary guide as he highlighted particular types of plants and how they were part of the ancient Hawaiian life. Unlike some guides I've encountered that just like to hear themselves talk, Mark was particularly engaging, helpful and could also just be quiet and let us experience the moment. The waterfalls, of course, were amazing. We also very much enjoyed the camaraderie with the others in the group...learning where they were from, what other things they've experience on Kona and making new friends. Mark made one of those panoramic photos with the whole group (actually a trick shot so that everyone in the group shows up twice in the picture :), and it was a lot of fun. (Not posted here in case the others care about their privacy). Anyway, the trip was delightful, not particularly physically demanding, and gave us the opportunity be part of outdoor beauty that most will never experience.
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Michelle D
San Francisco, California
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 08, 2017
Mateo, our guide, was so incredibly knowlegeable about everything (plants, volcanos, island history and folklore). The easy hike was so enjoyable and appropriate for pretty much all ages. The transportation in old German military vehicle was a great add to the overall experience. The highlight was the waterfall swim! Highly recommended to make this part of your trip.
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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.