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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Michelle D
San Francisco, California
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 08, 2017 NEW
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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Kathryn P
"AWFUL Experience. Waited for an hour & forgotten."
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed September 15, 2017
We are on our honeymoon and signed up for the 8 hour waterfall adventure. Our pick up time was 7:40 am, and when we didn't see any sign of the bus around 7:45 we called just to make sure we weren't standing in the wrong spot as we didn't want to miss our ride. The person we spoke on the phone with said that they spoke to the driver and he was just running a few minutes late which was completely understandable. At 8:30, when our bus STILL had not arrived, we called back, where the woman seemed a little concerned the bus was still not there & said she would call us right back. About 5 minutes later, she calls back saying the bus had FORGOTTEN us. Somehow, even though the bus knew we were there waiting on him/her, and had been reminded by the first time we called, they still had forgotten us. I am wondering whether the first person we spoke with even called the bus driver to ask where they were. If they did, then how do you forget two people that are on your list? The person on the phone said we couldn't even drive to meet them because the tour had already started. We are leaving tonight to head back to the mainland, and this put a very sour ending to our honeymoon. Long story short, when you are paying this much for a service, you expect them to follow through and not just "forget" two people. I'm sure this tour is lovely, but that's considering they actually remember you after you've called twice.
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Jeff T
San Carlos, California
"Awesome experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 04, 2017
As soon as we were picked up at the hotel, the journey began. Our driver, and eventually our tour guide, "Uncle Danny" truly made the experience something special. While driving, we began learning about the meaning of Aloha, hula, Hawaiian culture and the history of Hawaii. Uncle Danny was so knowledgeable, informative and spiritually/philosophically grounded that the hike, waterfalls and gorgeous scenery almost became secondary. Not that there was anything disappointing with the hike, it was just that it was all enhanced by the presence and knowledgeable commentary of this 70+ surfer who has seen and experienced so much the island had to offer. To top the day off there was a little surprise at the end of the hike that took every participants breath away… but I won’t spoil that for you.
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Chicago, Illinois
"Great Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed June 26, 2017
This trip was one of the best we have ever gone on! Our guide Gary was very informative - knew history, plants,birds. The lunch was also very good with an incredible view!
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Cyndee A
"Bucket list to swim in a waterfall. "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 26, 2017
Mark was amazing and so knowledgeable. He made sure we were safe and enjoying ourselves. It was a bucket list item for my Mom, who is 72, to swim in a waterfall. Thanks to Mark, she can check this off her list!
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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.