Waterfalls of Kauai

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Known as the Garden Island, Kauai (or Kaua'i) seemed to us to be like the back-to-nature island. It seemed to harbor some of the grandest natural features in all the Hawaiian Islands, and this included one of the wettest spots on earth at the top of Mt Wai'ale'ale, the dramatic fluted cliffs of the famous Na Pali Coast, as well as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific in Waimea Canyon. But like most of the other islands, we didn't have to rough it in order to get close to Nature as there were plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

Even though the island was green and very wet, we had to temper our expectations of having a bonanza of Kauai Waterfalls. While the island did have innumerable waterfalls, most of them were either inaccessible, require difficult adventures, or were on private land. Then, there were some waterfalls that required some dangerous scrambling in order to get the best views that were not attainable from the official overlooks (like Wailua Falls and Opaeka'a Falls). I guess that was the ultimate catch-22 for waterfall fanatics like us - either shelling out money on tours to see them or settling for a handful of waterfalls with the feeling that we had somehow missed out. Not many of them were accessible by self-touring. The map you see at the top of this page shows what we were able to accomplish.

Hanakapi'ai Falls For the purposes of this website, we're grouping the Kauai Waterfalls into three main regions - North Kauai, East Kauai, and West and Central Kauai.

North Kauai encompassed the waterfalls that we managed to see in the Kilauea and Princeville areas such as the Queen's Bath Waterfalls. We're also including the waterfalls we saw on the Na Pali Coast (such as Hanakapiai Falls) since it was accessible from this region.

East Kauai was where most of the developments were. That was mainly because there was no road that went around this island thanks to the ruggedness of the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and the Alaka'i Swamps. So East Kauai was right in the middle of the resulting "backwards C" as it would get traffic coming from of its ends. As a result, this was where Julie and I encountered most of the island's most known waterfalls like Wailua Falls).

Finally, West and Central Kauai encompass Waimea Canyon as well as the publicly inaccessible areas of the interior of the island (by land at least), including the Mt Waialeale Crater. Indeed, finding waterfalls by self-driving were very limited as perhaps Waipoo Falls might have been the only "convenient" waterfall to see. The rest of them required helicopter rides, including Manawaiopuna Falls, which we know had made an appearance in one of the Jurassic Park movies.

There are a couple of waterfalls on this island that have managed to crack our Top 10 Hawaii Waterfalls List. Find out which ones made it by clicking on the link!

Even though the quantity of waterfalls that we were able to visit was tempered by various restrictions, as you can see from the tables below, we were still able to visit quite a few of what was left. You can find out more about these waterfalls that we were able to visit by clicking on the waterfall links below.

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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.

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North Kauai

Hanakapi'ai Falls 3.5 Hanakapi'ai Falls
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

Hanakoa Falls 2.5 Hanakoa Falls
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

Unnamed falls near Kalihiwai Falls 1 Unnamed Twin Falls
near Princeville

Distant view of Kalihiwai Falls 1 Kalihiwai Falls
near Princeville

The lower Queen's Bath Waterfall 1 Queen's Bath Waterfalls

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East Kauai

Wailua Falls 3 Wailua Falls
Puna District / Wailua River State Park

Secret Falls 2 Secret Falls
Wailua River State Park

Opaeka'a Falls

1.5 Opaeka'a Falls

Wailua River State Park

The popular Kipu Falls 1 Kipu Falls
Puna District

The first Ho'opi'i Falls 1 Ho'opi'i Falls
near Kapaa

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West and Central Kauai

Waipo'o Falls viewed from the air 3 Waipo'o Falls
Waimea Canyon State Park

Wai'alae Falls 2 Wai'alae Falls
Waimea Canyon State Park

Manawaiopuna Falls - aka the Jurassic Falls 3.5 Manawaiopuna Falls
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park

The Weeping Wall at the Wai'ale'ale Crater 2.5 Other Kaua'i Helicopter Waterfalls
throughout Kauai

Have You Been To A Hawaii Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see general visitor comments for this region

Click here to see visitor comments for waterfalls that we've visited in this region

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.

Have comments (or would like to read other people's comments) about the waterfalls in this region? Click here

Or have comments (or would like to read other people's comments) about a particular waterfall in this region? Click here

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