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Rainbow Falls (Wailuku River)

Suitable for:
Everyone, nature enthusiasts
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Known and overrun
TouriSpot
Insider Tip
Time needed: 1-2 hours
1 hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:30 o' clock
Cost:
Free
Suitable for:
Everyone, nature enthusiasts
Insider tip or tourist spot?
Known and overrun
TouriSpot
Insider Tip
Time needed: 1-2 hours
1 hours
Optimal arrival time:
08:30 o' clock
Cost:
Free

Rainbow Falls (Wailuku River) - Description

Breathtaking and at the same time easy to reach: The northeast coast of Big Island in Hilo and the Hamakua Coast are home to some of Hawaii's most spectacular waterfalls. The northeast, with its tropical rainforests and botanical gardens, is the greenest part of the island with the most fertile soil. Besides Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls are also part of a visit to Big Island.

Also called Waiānuenue in Hawaiian, which means "rainbow water". The 25-meter-high Rainbow Falls of the Wailuku River fall into a natural lava pool, the home of goddess "Hina". In the morning around 10, when the sun is at the right position, a rainbow forms below the falls.

Most tourists just take a photo from the lookout, but it can be explored further. From the lookout, you can walk left into a gorgeous rainforest and discover a large banyon tree. Through Fahrne, colorful flowers and lush nature, a barely visible path leads to the flow of the waterfall. In the natural pools, you can climb to the base of the waterfall and sit right on the edge. However, only when it has little water, otherwise the currents are too dangerous.
Rainbow Falls is very touristy, so it is also a popular spot for thieves. Be sure to lock your car. There are also restrooms next to the parking lot. The park opens at sunset and closes at dusk and is free of charge.

Further inland on the Wailuku River are the Peepee Falls, which end in the Boiling Pots. The pots are terraced pools in which the water bubbles as if it were boiling. They are connected by a series of cascades through which the water flows. These formations are created when basalt lava slowly solidifies. As beautiful as these natural spectacles are and as inviting as they are to swim in, one should always keep in mind that it can also be dangerous and that there are no lifeguards available there. Nevertheless, the one or other adventurer jumps from pool to pool into the pools. Otherwise, enjoy the tranquility and beautiful nature that Wailuku River State Park has to offer instead.

What we say

Florian
Like Akaka Falls, I've seen Rainbow Falls on every trip I've taken to Hawaii, since it's right in Hilo. It's no big deal to drive by quickly. The beauty of Hawaii is that nature and conditions are constantly changing. So also here. Sometimes the waterfalls have more water due to heavy rainfall, sometimes less, but the sun shines and there is often a rainbow in the morning. Tropical waterfalls can of course be admired on all Hawaiian Islands with fewer tourists and in the wild, but then mostly on hikes. As with all tourist magnets, the earlier you visit them, the more deserted they are.
Our checklist & tips:
  • Visit in the morning (less people, better weather)
  • Take rain jacket or umbrella
  • Sturdy shoes or water sandals if you want to explore the waterfalls from above
  • Camera tripod for long exposure

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Map and contact data

Rainbow Dr in Hilo, HI 96720
Longitude: -155.10933633261357
Latitude: 19.719242001535534

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