Waterfall Tour: Kohala Waterfalls Adventure
Schedule: Tours daily. 8 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.
Rated: Easy; all ages welcome.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Prices: Adult: $159.00, plus tax. ($169.00, plus tax starting 12/15/2013). Child (12 and under): $139.00, plus tax.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 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 or sweatshirt.
Ola i ka wai a ka opua - that tells us “there is life in the rain.” Rain also gives us the resplendent countryside and plentiful waterfalls of Kohala. Nowhere in Hawaii is the importance and story of water more evident than here in the lands of Kamehameha. In its eternal cycle, water continues to shape a dramatic landscape of valleys, streams and cliffs. These same waters reveal the history and culture of Kohala.
The tour begins with a wonderful drive of contrast and change 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 lava flows from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline you are able to 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 we pass through a locked gate onto private property, and the real fun begins, with a bumpy but short off-road drive in our 6WD Pinzgauer on an old cane road.
Out of the Pinzgauer, you’ll step back into the early 1900’s, 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. Seven 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.”
- How much hiking do we do? 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.