A visit to Waimea Falls on the North Shore of Oahu

Waimea Falls in the north shore of Oahu is a fantastic place to enjoy a waterfall visit that is also family friendly and a relatively easy hike the falls and swim. Located in the Waimea Valley botanical garden and across Waimea beach, it’s a perfect additional spot to visit before or after you do some fun beach time.

Waimea Falls is one of the most family friendly waterfall and swimming areas that is also supervised with a lifeguard and lifejackets are required to swim in the pond area.

A visit to Waimea Falls on the North Shore of Oahu

Where is Waimea falls located?

Located on the North Shore of Oahu at the Waimea Valley arboretum and botanical garden which is about 34.4 miles from Honolulu on the H1 to H2 highway to the North Shore from Haleiwa. From there you take the coastal road to Waimea Valley located on the right-hand side facing Waimea Beach area. Waimea falls is located deep in the canyon and a nice easy flat hike or you can take a paid shuttle direct to the falls and swimming pond if you do not want to do the hike.

Where is Waimea falls located?

Can you swim at Waimea falls?

Yes you can actually swim at Waimea Falls, everyone is required to wear a life vest (available free on site) along with a life guard that is on duty at the falls. You can try out the various life vests for size and required to have them strapped in when you enter the swimming area.

The pond is a nice size and deep in the center but shallow on the edges and it is a safe area to swim and enjoy the waterfalls, view and nature.

Can you swim at Waimea falls?

How far is the hike to Waimea Falls?

Access to the Waimea waterfalls in the botanical garden is mostly on paved and a short a graveled path that is easy with a slight incline the closer you get to the waterfalls area. The hike is only .75 miles takes less than forty minutes to get to the lookout point area and entrance to the waterfall checking and life jacket station.

Along the way to Waimea Falls are the botanical gardens set up into separate garden rooms and there is also a fantastic replica of a typical ancient Hawaiian style village made with indigenous materials for the homes and various buildings on the site with signage to explain what you are visiting on site.

How far is the hike to Waimea Falls?

What is included in visiting the gardens and Waimea falls?

The Waimea waterfalls is part of the non-profit Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Entrance to Waimea Valley botanical gardens includes access to the grounds with various garden rooms and reproductions of a typical village with buildings, artifacts and other structures that were used by Early Hawaiian people living in the area. You can sign up for a docent tour or do your own tour and follow a brochure and map to explore the various gardens and simulated villages that were typically built in the area. The collection of plants is substantial with large native plants and international plant species collected from around the world.

Note – entrance is free to the gardens and waterfall area with a purchase of the Luau ticket and experience at Waimea Valley. Check for more details on their website here for more information if the Luau experience is currently happening during your visit.

What is included in visiting the gardens and falls?

Other tips to visiting Waimea Falls

The hike to the falls is just on a slight incline and mostly paved with a gravel path leading to the waterfall area

Bring sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun

The pond is mostly rocky bottom so wear waterproof shoes if you plan on swimming and exploring the waterfalls

Jumping off the rocks is not allowed at the waterfalls

There are lots of resting areas and shady and grassy areas before the waterfalls if you want to take a break and picnic

Waimea Beach Park is directly across the main road if you want to also enjoy some beach time.

There are food truck vendors that are typically on the main road if you want to purchase any local style food.

Check out these other places to visit on Oahu

Visit the North Shore of Oahu and places to explore

Visit to Haleiwa on the North Shore

Explore and hike Waimea Valley

Enjoy a day on the beach at Waimea Bay

Free or cheap things to do in Oahu

A Diamond Head Hike in Honolulu

Family friendly beaches in Oahu

Top things to do in Honolulu

Top things to do in Waikiki now

Horseback Riding in Hawaii

Conclusion to visiting Waimea Falls in Oahu

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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.