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 changes 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 the lava flow from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline, you can 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 on an old cane road over private ranchland to our trailhead.

The Adventure: You'll step back into the early 1900s 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. Several 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."

This Tour is great for:
- Couples
- Families

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

Rated: Easy; all ages welcome

Included in the Tour: Deli-style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water, walking sticks, warm wear, day packs, and rain ponchos.

Menu: Deli-style sandwich (turkey, ham, tuna, or veggie), sweet potato chips, sodas, juices, filtered water, and a cookie

Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 14 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.

Tripster 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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Winnipeg, Manitoba
"amazing adventure, guide and tour from start to finish"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 18, 2020
If you're in Kona Hawaii I highly recommend this tour. I am a senior (now) for my birthday I joined my sister and friend on this hike through amazing waterfalls and sights. I got to swim in a waterfall that I probably will never have a chance to do again. From the time we were picked up by Taj (our guide) in a most comfortable mini tour van with captain seats a maximum of 14 people in a tour to the beginning of our tour Taj was knowledgeable, fun and caring of all our needs. We were provided with water, walking sticks, rain cover, towel as well as a back pack to carry our things in. it was an energetic walk through private property that took some energy (But I am only in moderate shape) and I was able to do it quite well. Taj made sure we were careful and safe in our walk. There was waterfalls, walks on bridges going up and down trails that I am so glad I took this tour. After our swim in the waterfall we hiked back up the trail to our van and went to a gorgeous spot overlooking the ocean and cliffs. We had a lunch of fresh made sandwiches, chips and fruit drinks or water with cookies for dessert. The sandwiches were so fresh and filling that I had the 2nd half the next day and it still tasted like it was made that day. The views and information Taj gave us on our way there and home about the Volcano's and history of the island, the birds finished the trip...I even got up the next day none the worse for wear. So if you're looking for an amazing adventure and something different to do the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure tour is the one for you. thanks Taj couldn't have had a better time.
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John G
Minneapolis, Minnesota
"A very worthwhile hike"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 14, 2020
This trip enabled us to see 7 backcountry falls that we would otherwise never have gotten near, and Mark was a superb guide. At the end of the tour we had a picnic lunch at a truly impressive view of the coastline. The hike was not too strenuous, but the tour company supplied walking sticks which we highly recommend that you use.
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"Excellent Honeymoon Experience !"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 29, 2019
Kudos to Justin, our guide, he was amazing! He was very knowledgeable and answered all of our groups questions. We were in a group of about 12, varying in ages from children to mid 70’s. We had such a great time! It was a beautiful hike and the waterfalls are stunning! Definitely not too challenging but not boring either. It ends with a swim in a huge waterfall (chilly water but totally worth the experience ) and a great picnic lunch overlooking a coastal view. We would HIGHLY recommend and we had a great time!
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Newark, Ohio
"Off Road Waterfall Hike & Dip"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 02, 2019
We booked this tour through Hawaii Forest and Trail. We originally booked another adventure but due to low interest they offered us this one which was a good substitute. Our guide Gary was really great. He told us a lot about Hawaiian history on the way to the waterfalls and got to know our interests. He made sure we had a great day of adventure and a wonderful experience with nature. The military vehicle we got to ride in was really cool and added to the experience. The hike was easy and we saw multiple waterfalls along the way. Our guide was also great at pointing out different plants such as taro, bananas, guava, as well as flowers and birds. We also go to swim in the waterfall which was “refreshing”. The lunch spot on this tour was the prefect way to end the trip. It was one of the most beautiful lookout spots I have ever seen and it was private. Lunch was also really good. We got to do a little shopping at the end of the tour while our guide switched out the vehicles. He was also great at taking many photos for us along the way. Would definitely recommend this adventure and Hawaii Forest & Trail.
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Dean B
Cranfield, United Kingdom
"A great day out with a great guide !!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 18, 2019
Gary was a fantastic guide who could not have been more knowledgeable or helpful. From first meeting him he remembered eveyone's names and was keen to make sure everyone was involved. His knowledge of the area was great, and there were no questions he didnt know the answer to. He made sure we were all suitably waterproof before starting the hike as it was raining quite persistently for the first hour of the journey/hike. Gary paced the hike just right so no one was left behind, especially as it was quite slippery due to rain. Once we made it to the final waterfall rain had stopped and sun was out - water was suprisingly pleasant and not as cold as expected. Gary then led us back and took us across to the picnic area - a great location to have your lunch with fantastic views. Day was made more interesting with the road closed due to a tree and powerline down which meant Gary took us down to Kēōkea Beach Park while we waited for the road to open. A great day and great experience !!
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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.