[Kauai TR] Day 7: The Kauai Waterfall Safari

March 12, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Ok, the photos from the last day of our trip are up in the gallery!

On our last day on the island, Mark and I packed everything up and checked out of the condo. Because we knew that we’d be sitting on airplanes all night long, we figured it would be best to try to stay clean and dry for the day. We hadn’t spent much time exploring the waterfalls on the east coast of the island, so we spent our last day taking in some beautiful places.

The first waterfall of the morning was Wailua Falls, just northwest of Lihu’e. These falls were huge, and raging, and right off the side of the road! Basically, I took these shots while dodging traffic of all the tourists driving by and gawking. I understand the gawking, it’s a beautiful waterfall!

Wailua Falls

The next waterfall on our tour is called ‘Opaeka’a Falls. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that, I have no idea. These were further from the road, and required the telephoto to get the shot above. There were houses built above it, and the area surrounding was again, relatively urban and busy. Because we’d spent so much time in crowds and traffic, we decided that our last waterfall would be more remote.

To get to Ho’opi’i Falls, we had to park on the shoulder of a quiet, forested neighborhood street, and then hike down into the rainforest for a half-mile or so. As we got deeper into the jungle-like area, we started hearing voices and a “pop-pop-pop” noise. Down by the river, there was a big group of guys playing paintball in the woods. We were a little worried about walking through their battlefield, but they called a cease-fire as soon as they saw us, and we walked through unscathed.

Once we got down to the waterfall, though, we seemed to be all alone. I waded across the river with my camera, and then climbed through knee-deep dense logs and ground cover (boy am I glad there’s no snakes in Hawaii!) to get to the best shot on the far side of the falls. While I was setting up, two boys came back and started diving into the pool below the falls!

We hung out with them for a little while, and I tried to get some shots of them jumping, but the light was too slow to catch the action. After a while we cleaned up and hiked out. A nice dinner, and then we headed to the airport. The trip home was epic, but the trip was awesome and well worth every minute on the plane! We had an incredible time.

Ho'opi'i Falls