A must visit to scenic Wailua Falls and Kauai’s east side attractions.

Probably Kauai’s most scenic waterfalls, Wailua falls is stunning to visit and capture in pictures and admire from the top. Visiting Wailua Falls just outside of Lihue is one of the first things you should try doing when you visit the island.

Visiting Wailua Falls

History of Wailua Falls

Wailua falls has cultural significance to the Hawaii people. In ancient times, the royalty or ali’I would actually come and jump the cliffs as a right of passage and manhood. Nowadays, It is not allowed to do this feat and just left for historical note on what was done in the area.

Best time for visiting Wailua Falls

Best time for visiting Wailua Falls

Early morning in order to miss the crowds and avoid most of the noise and busy parking lot, there’s something to be said about enjoying a place in solitude away from the masses even at a popular attraction. The impressive falls are over 173 in height and drops down into a lush vegetation underneath with a deep pool that you can sometimes see some fantastic rainbows to capture. This is an easy to get to waterfalls viewing direct from the parking lot to the view areas with no hiking required.

Some try the challenging hike to the bottom which is dangerous and extremely slippery even though the trail is officially closed and illegal

Driving Directions: 

The drive inland from Lihue is only four miles and past scenic sugarcane fields and beautiful mountain views. Look for all the wonderful rainbows you may find over the falls or around the basin where water sprays can create this effect.

Turn on Maalo Rd. (Hwy. 583) between Wilcox Hospital and Hanama`ulu on Hwy 56.

What else to see around Wailua Falls area

What else to see around Wailua Falls area?

From Wailua Falls you can do a variety of nature inspired activities, outdoor adventures or even do a nice road trip in the area. Here are some easy to do suggestions of visiting afterwards.

Do some kayaking on the Wailua river – Go kayaking on the river and rent sup or kayaks by the hour

Visit Lydgate State Park – a fantastic kid friendly beach with ponds that are fun to snorkel in.

Enjoy some beach time at Wailua Beach – a great spot for a nice picnic and watching surfers.

Do the Wailua Heritage Trail – A series of historic and ancient sites that you can drive through and enjoy

Explore Wailua River State Park – a park that you can kayak through and visit the fern grotto, The Wailua Complex of Heiau and ‘Opaeka‘a Falls

Do the Secret falls hike to Uluwehi falls – a fun kayak and hike that’s about 6.1 miles roundtrip including the short hike to the waterfalls.

If you visiting the areas around Lihue, check out my post on the top things to do in Lihue here for more cool attractions, cultural sites and fun things to explore along the way.

Enjoy beach fun at Lydgate State Park area
Enjoy beach fun at Lydgate State Park area

Explore uluwehi waterfalls at Wailua State park
Explore Uluwehi waterfalls at Wailua State park

Birthing stones of the alii at Wailua heritage trail
Birthing stones of the alii at Wailua Heritage trail

Where to stay around East Kauai

If you are exploring the area, you can easily base yourself around the Wailua area or even around Lihue to get to many of these attractions.

Check out places to stay around Wailua area here for more details, availability and prices.

Check out places to stay around Kapaa area here for more details, availability and prices.

Check out places to stay around Lihue area here for more details, availability and prices.

If you are looking for the best rated places to stay around East side Kauai, check out these places here for updated information and current prices.

Check out these other topics on visiting Kauai now

Visit Kauai’s best beaches

Top things to do in Lihue

Explore the north shore and Hanalei area

Best Hikes on Kauai

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Visit Wailua falls and east side kauai now

Have you been to Wailua Falls?

Have you been to Wailua Falls?

Please share your thoughts and other recommendations in the comments below with your recommendations.

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.