Rainbow Falls, known as “Waiānuenue Falls” (meaning: Rainbow Water in Hawaiian) is a major Hawaii Island Featured Attraction! Appropriately named you can witness the water droplets create multiple rainbows around the base of the falls on a sunny morning. The falls are located just out of the town of Hilo, Hawaii just below the Hilo Hospital. The falls cascade over a rocky ledge and plummet 80 feet into a pool at the bottom. This has been happening so long that the rock has been slowly concaving, creating a large cave on the back side. The Wailuku (meaning freshwater destruction in Hawaiian) River feeds the Falls on it’s path to the Pacific Ocean further east into Hilo. The vegetation in the surrounding area is brilliant green teaming with hanging plant life of all kinds. The access is very easy and handicap accessible. There are handrails to protect the visitors from falling into a 60′ deep gorge that has been cut into by the Wailuku River. Surrounding the falls area is natural landscaping including non indigenous wild ginger and monstera that clings to cliffs edges.
There is a hiking trail that rises up to the left of the viewing point that will lead you by stairs to the base of a massive Banyan tree. Nothing grows under this behemoth due to lack of sunlight. If you are unable to climb the stairs there is a road above the falls that will also lead you to the base of this massive tree. From here there are other pathways that will lead to the top of the falls, but it should be noted that this is a flash flood area and at anytime a wall of raging water can come like a tidal wave and can be very dangerous!
The river is 28 miles long and starts at about 11,000 feet in elevation and heads east towards Hilo from the slopes of Mauna Kea. This is the largest River on the Island and accounts for 25% of all drownings on the Big Island. Be sake and follow the recommended guidelines on signage in the area! We hope you enjoyed our visit to Rainbow Falls. To continue to join us on our tours of the Big Island, Like our Facebook Page or Follow our Twitter Feed to get weekly updates!
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