A Day In Hilo Chasing Waiānuenue and Akaka Falls

Misty mornings set the tone for a scene of lush, deep jungle greens. In the distance, that recognizable, powerful sound of the force of nature signaling waterfalls up ahead.

Waiānuenue Falls–popularly known as Rainbow Falls–is located in the town of Hilo, notorious for its rainfall which allows for evergreen landscapes and year-round waterfall activity.

The Wailuku River, the longest river in the Island of Hawai’i, flows through and makes up Waiānuenue Falls. The falls, though short and wide, derives its name from the light refractions that can only be seen at a certain time of day, during certain weather conditions. Heavy rainfalls can also turn the river and falls from calm or serene to raging and dangerous in an instance–reminding visitors of the natural force that are part of all waterfalls.

Akaka Falls, located on Kolekole Stream in Akaka Falls State Park in the small town of Honomu just north of Hilo, is much larger than Waiānuenue Falls at 442 ft tall. A paved trail leads visitors through the lush rainforest within the park to a vista viewing point of the falls.

Waiānuenue Falls and Akaka Falls are two popular natural wonders and tourist destinations on the Island of Hawai’i that hold both cultural and historical significances to Hawai’i as well as awe-inspiring photo opportunities for those who visit. As with all sacred, natural wonders, its preservation for generations to come depends on the care and consideration of all who visit.

Jamie Balaoro

Photo + Video Maker | Visual Storyteller | DIY-er | Creator of The Golden Bullet Magazine

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