"Kolekole Falls"

Kolekole Beach Park / Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA

About “Kolekole Falls”

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-03-09
Date last visited: 2007-03-09

Waterfall Latitude: 19.88281
Waterfall Longitude: -155.11982

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

“Kolekole Falls” is a name I’m using for this little cascade which looked like a place with a lot of potential for being a popular swimming area as well as for rope swinging.

Of course I use the word “potential” because no one was swimming on the day we came here.

Kolekole_026_03092007 - The 'Kolekole Falls'
The ‘Kolekole Falls’

That was because the stream fronting the falls moved fast and the ocean at the mouth of the stream churned.

I got the name of this waterfall from the fact that it sat within Kolekole Beach Park.

Contrasting the peace and serenity of our visit, I had read later that the Kolekole Beach Park allowed tent camping.

Past visitors had complained of rowdiness here (especially on the weekends).

So maybe we just got lucky with the timing of our visit.

Kolekole_021_03092007 - Waves funneling into the mouth of the stream at the bouldery Kolekole Beach
Waves funneling into the mouth of the stream at the bouldery Kolekole Beach

As for the beach itself, it was more boulders than sand, especially at high tide (which was the case when we were there).


“Kolekole Falls” resided in Kolekole Beach Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is administered by Hawaii County. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) website.

Kolekole_002_03092007 - The Kolekole Beach Park with Hwy 19 passing overhead
Kolekole_016_03092007 - Julie looking across the stream at the tiny Kolekole Falls
Kolekole_028_03092007 - Closer look at Kolekole Falls
Kolekole_013_03092007 - Another look at Kolekole Falls
Kolekole_008_jx_03092007 - A picnic table before Kolekole Falls, suggesting that this is also a nice little picnic spot

Kolekole Beach Park is right below Highway 19 between Akaka Falls and Umauma Falls on the Hamakua Coast.

From the Hwy 19 and Hwy 11 junction by the Hilo Airport in Hilo, take Hwy 19 north for about 14 miles. Beyond the 14-mile post, just before a long bridge, is a turnoff signposted for Kolekole Beach Park. Turn left onto that signposted turnoff, which is a narrow paved road.

Just before the Kolekole Stream, the road descends to a junction. Turning right at the junction takes you on the road to the spacious Kolekole Beach car park. Staying straight at this junction would’ve taken you into a vine forest with tsunami-devastated mill ruins at Hakalau Bay.

To give you some geographical context, Hilo was 79 miles (under 2 hours drive) east of Kailua-Kona via the Saddle Road. Otherwise, taking the more conventional route along Hwy 19 through Waikoloa, Waikoloa Village, and Waimea, this drive would be 96 miles long taking over 2 hours.

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Tagged with: kolekole, beach, hamakua, big island, hawaii, waterfall, picnic, swing

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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