Manawaiopuna Falls is more famously known as the Jurassic Falls because it was featured in the movie Jurassic Park.
And unlike the false claims that called other waterfalls to be the Jurassic Falls, we can at least vouch for this one after seeing it on one of the syndicated movie adaptations on network TV.
By the way, we witnessed one of the false claims firsthand while on Maui when we were told by one saleslady on Front Street in Lahaina proclaiming Honokohau Falls was the Jurassic Falls.
It was her attempt to get us to fly with the helicopter company she was representing.
Manawaiopuna Falls sits on private land owned by the Robinsons.
So the only way we were able to see it was by helicopter.
However, I have seen in the literature that some hardy hikers have managed to hike to it (whether they were trespassing or not, I’m not sure), but I wouldn’t count on this option.
When we were there in December 2006, just about all of the chopper tour companies touted this waterfall as one of the features to be seen.
That was one of the reasons why we did the tour (though we probably would’ve gone on one of the “Kaua’i mosquitoes” anyways).
In fact, we did get comped by Inter-Island Helicopters for a second helicopter tour after complaining that our pilot missed Manawaiopuna Falls on our initial two-hour waterfall tour.
It’s for these reasons that I’ve chosen to single out this waterfall on its own page instead of lumping it with the other waterfalls seen by helicopter.
After all, I’m sure it’d look real familiar to a lot of people, and it seemed to be a highlight for most helicopter tours on Kauai.
To my knowledge, access to Manawaiopuna Falls sits on private property. Since I generally don’t keep up with ownership situations, you may have to either go there and read the signs or contact someone beforehand. 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.
I know there were several helicopter companies in Lihu’e (near the airport) as well as Inter-Island in Hanapepe.
Since we did Inter-Island, we can say we went about 17.5 miles west on Hwy 50 from Lihu’e past the Hanapepe River Bridge then turned left onto Route 543 towards the Port Allen Airport.
If you’re going with any of the other tour companies, I think the they will also assist you with driving directions to their respective helipads.