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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"Excellent Honeymoon Experience !"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 29, 2019 NEW
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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Cedar Hill, Texas
"Exactly what we wanted!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 27, 2019
My wife is an avid hiker and was so excited to do the hike! The views were spectacular and Justin, our guide, was a ton of fun! Overall, there were 12 of us in the group and even though we went in not knowing anybody, we all had a great time! Swimming in the waterfall was the perfect cap to the hike and the picnic lunch with a view was awesome. We loved it!
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Dale T
Sarasota, Florida
"Best excursion we've ever taken"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 14, 2019
Who doesn't love swimming in a waterfall! My wife and I had an awesome time on this tour. Our guide Mike was knowledgeable, kind and a lot of fun. There was a person in our group who was losing his sight. Mike made sure that he was able to do as much as he possibly could. In fact, Mike fostered a camaraderie in our group that really made it special. If you are going to book this tour, I would highly recommend booking it with Mike as your guide. It will be a wonderful experience. Thanks Mike for one of the best memories we have of our trip to Hawaii!
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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.