Manawaiopuna Falls

Hanapepe Valley, Hawaii, USA

About Manawaiopuna Falls

Hiking Distance: tour
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2006-12-26
Date last visited: 2006-12-27

Waterfall Latitude: 21.98881
Waterfall Longitude: -159.52513

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Air_Kauai_heli_036_12262006 - Aerial view of Manawaiopuna Falls
Aerial view of Manawaiopuna Falls

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.

Kauai_Inter_Island_heli_584_12272006 - Context of Manawaiopuna Falls seen in the morning from a doors-off chopper tour
Context of Manawaiopuna Falls seen in the morning from a doors-off chopper tour

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 in the island of Kauai, Hawaii. 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.

Air_Kauai_heli_041_12262006 - Approaching Manawaiopuna Falls
Air_Kauai_heli_044_12262006 - Closer look at Manawaiopuna Falls
Kauai_Inter_Island_heli_573_12272006 - Manawaiopuna Falls again by this time in the morning
Kauai_Inter_Island_heli_606_12272006 - Last look at the falls

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.

Find A Place To Stay

Tagged with: manawaiopuna, hanapepe, kauai, jurassic park, hawaii, waterfall, helicopter, private

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

Wonderful! (Manawaiopuna Falls) September 23, 2013 2:31 am by Pakala - The only way in is by helicopter so this spot is very secluded. On private property, only one heli company is licensed to land there. It a gorgeous falls cascading at thend into a huge pool. Lots of watercrest growing wild in the surrounding rocks. A must see. ...Read More

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

Helicopter ride to base of Manawaiopuna Falls (“The Jurassic Falls”) August 26, 2013 9:27 pm by Ron Andrews - We visited Kaua'i for the first time this month. As usual, we spent part of our time visiting waterfalls. We rode one of the helicopters that gave us a tour of the entire island. While flying over Manawaiopuna Falls we noticed a helicopter taking off from a helipad near the base of the falls. This… ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps

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.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.