Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls
4.5
About
This two-tiered 80-foot-tall waterfall located near Lihue is famous for being featured in the 1970s TV series, Fantasy Island. These spectacular falls are easily accessible—no hiking required—and can be seen from the nearby carpark. Visit after rainfall when the falls are exceptionally impressive, or in the morning for a chance to catch a rainbow when the light is just right. Be careful though—it's not recommended to hike to the base of the falls as it's steep and slippery. You can see the falls on a day trip or from up above on an air tour of Kauai. – Tripadvisor
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  • MariaBCalifornia
    Chino Hills, California638 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty falls
    The falls are easy to drive up to and park, then walk a short distance from your car to view. We didn't go down to the bottom, but you can see them perfectly from the overlook on top. There is free parking available, though a small lot. Many wild roosters, hens, and chicks running around too.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 28, 2023
  • LnS2004
    Cypress, California8,977 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Waterfall
    We drove along narrow winding road to reach the trail head, only to notice that the area was fenced off and a sign indicating trail to the base of the fall closed for being too dangerous. Found out later a tragic accident had occurred last year. Fortunately we could still admire the gushing majestic, beautiful waterfall and the surrounding lush foliage from a safe distance at the roadside lookout.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 24, 2023
  • LivinglifeinPA
    870 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning Tiered Waterfall!
    This waterfall is easily seen from a pull-off on the main road (Ma'alo Road). The hiking path to it has been closed...apparently, it was a very dangerous trail. The waterfall is nicknamed the Fantasy Island Waterfalls because it was shown in the opening scene of that TV show. We were told that the best time to see the falls is in the morning......rainbows at the falls are often seen during that time of the day. Unfortunately, we didn't see any rainbows, but the falls themselves were amazingly beautiful!
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 2, 2023
  • Vedran O
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The best swim on my Hawaii trip - little adventure!
    It was the best experience on my Hawaii trip. View from the top was nothing compared to the one from the bottom. There is a trail you can take down to the bottom and swim. The trail is not safe at all but if you’re young go for it. It was worth it. Not to mention having that poll just for yourself and 2 other people who can take wonderful photos of you while you’re swimming. I took a day trip from Oahu just to come and swim here. Water temp was perfect - the best swim on my whole trip - and no crowds.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 5, 2023
  • bps
    New Haven, Connecticut2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely to look at, easily accessible.
    The falls were beautiful, easy to drive to and look at. We were there in the rainy season and they were full and flowing but not as tall as we expected. We were the only ones by the edge of the road looking at them. We turned the car around and drove back to the main highway, not far away.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 26, 2024
  • ORMum
    Lake Oswego, Oregon149 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful falls but not much else
    Beautiful falls very close to the Lihue airport. We went to the falls right after we arrived at Lihue airport and picked up our car. It is an easy 15-30mins drive by car and there is a small parking area where you can park and go to the viewing area to see the waterfalls from the top. There is not much else to do after you've seen the falls, so we drove back and stopped at a fruit stand on the way back. We spent about 30mins max at the falls.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 10, 2024
  • jbbyers67
    Kingsport, Tennessee289 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Falls beautiful but local selling bracelets is a bit aggressive. Free visit and great picture spot!
    The falls were pretty. Because of all the rain, the falls were powerful. You can only view them. You cannot hike into them. The visit is free and there is limited parking but since views don’t take long, parking should open quickly. I would like to give a heads up. We were the third car in the lot. The weather was not great. We parked parallel with the vehicle next to us. The Hope bracelet asked us to straighten. My husband moved the vehicle to straighten and make it shorter walk since I was on crutches. As I was seeing the falls, I heard the man screaming at my husband that he parked crooked. His language was not PG and he kept yelling nasty things and calling us names because we parked crooked (no lines and we thought we were straight)! He even told me I didn’t belong there since I couldn’t walk. Another group waited in their car until we were safely in ours before they left. They were worried for our safety. We were the last of three cars to leave and no one else showed. The falls are worth a stop but be mindful if this gentleman is there and do not engage in conversation!
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 17, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,587 reviews
Excellent
1,869
Very good
1,254
Average
405
Poor
44
Terrible
15

Liz P
Topeka, KS973 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We made the easy drive to see Wailua Falls because if the nice reviews. Parking was abundant probably because of the time of year and early morning. I agree that it might get crowded at other times.

I was a little disappointed in the area around the falls. Weeds, trees and foliage have grown up along the railing between the road and cliff to the river. It is difficult to get a nice view of the Falls. Young people climbed on top of the railing to get a better view and a good picture, but I am too old to climb on top of the railing.
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina T
Boulder, CO12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The falls were really pretty, but we could only see them from a distance, on the side of the road, as they had blocked off the trails going down to the actual falls. The parking lot is super tiny so finding parking is a huge issue if you are going during tourist season (which is when we went). I would recommend coming here if this stop is on your way, but I don't think it's necessarily anything worth going out of your way for. It is possible, however, that the trails were blocked off for just the time we were there, so definitely be sure to check that out before going.
Written April 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SDB545
Helena, MT221 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Family
I was disappointed that the road just ends at the falls, with no good place to turn around. We had to rely on other drivers to let us maneuver a multi-point turn around. The falls are spectacular and worth the drive, but I can’t begin to imagine what this car situation would look like with lots of traffic. I don’t have a solution, just mentioning this so other travelers are aware. The man and son with the coconuts were a kick and worth the $8 for our grandkids to watch and then get to drink right out of the coconut.
Written January 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BeppesPop
Boston, MA8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
You observe the waterfall from the top, we could find no trace of a trail to the bottom mentioned by other reviewers. Space for about 8-10 cars only
The waterfall is about 15-20 minutes off the main highway on the coast, through a more flat section of the island than the very mountainous north.
Total time about 10 minutes
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

arlenejoe
Tacoma, WA151 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
It’s an easy drive to the falls, and I think we were lucky to get up there with a place to park, given the low tourist season. It must be a challenge during the high summer season. There is a viewing platform, the only place to enjoy the fall’s beauty, but the viewing is a little limited. That said, we enjoyed the excursion, not long at all.

On the drive down, we stopped at a cemetery that appears to be managed by a Catholic group, and Mother Mary was prominent on the grounds. But there was also a beautiful Buddha, which I thought was lovingly inclusive, especially for all the Japanese-American families buried there.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

abrp722
Honolulu, HI331 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
If you are renting a car and planning to see Wailua Falls from the dead end of Rt 583, in my believe, it is just not worth your time. You will only see a small part of the whole picture. Vegetation around is pretty impressive. But the same vegetation you can find in many other places.
Written June 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cassidy S
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This was not a hike to do if you are not prepared for muddy and steep conditions. You should have on hiking shoes or hiking sandals. Many people attempt this not prepared which makes it very dangerous. Given the proper footwear, anyone with athleticism and patience will make it to the falls properly. You can swim in the pool or go behind the falls. Be prepared to get wet.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack T
Olathe, KS25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
Just as anyone in their right mind should never go to Kauai without seeing the Jurassic Park waterfall, neither should anyone come here without seeing the Fantasy Island waterfall. Many reviews if this place are not accurate. Some say you will only spend a few minutes there. True only if you fail to hike to the bottom of the falls and walk around their base. You MUST do that, as it is a short hike, but prepare for it to be very muddy and challenging. It is so steep there are ropes tied to trees to help you lower yourself and pull yourself back up. You will be very muddy when done, but it's totally worth it. Plus, the camera shots from Fantasy Island were taken from the bottom, so for the right view to re-create what you remember from the show, you have to be at the bottom. Some reviews also state that it isn't a Must See place. True if you didn't grow up watching Fantasy Island, but i pity such people!!!
Written April 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

traveltheworld461
Fort McMurray, Canada2,873 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
You may recognize these falls from the opening credits of Fantasy Island. The viewpoint is easily accessible by car and there was no hiking necessary. There are many tips online how to hike down to get closer to the falls. We were planning on doing a hike, but ended up just staying up top. There was a very irate tour bus lady who screamed at us for looking at trees through the chain link fence. She yelled that it was illegal to pass the fence (we were on the same side as her) and any hiking was considered trespassing. We later talked to a guy who was there making hats who had a lot more chill than that lady (and also had the cutest dog) - he said yes people hike - the signs are posted because someone got hurt and tried to sue the state. All I can say is the view from the parking lot is incredible and hike at your own risk.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N2dd
Denver, CO80 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
beautiful falls, We took the longer route apparently some people went trough the cut off fence and that one was shorter. Not matter what shoes you are wearing is a hard hike since it is so slippery. I recommend to spray a lot of mosquito spray before adventuring. enjoy it!
Written November 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Wailua Falls - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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