Deloris Wallen

Deloris Wallen

Published: 22 Sep 2023


Opaekaa Falls is a stunning natural landmark located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. With its breathtaking beauty and rich history, it has become a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and tourists alike. The falls, which means “rolling shrimp” in Hawaiian, cascade over jagged lava rocks and plunge into a freshwater pool below. Standing at a height of almost 150 feet, Opaekaa Falls is a mesmerizing sight to behold. But there’s more to this majestic waterfall than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into 12 astonishing facts about Opaekaa Falls that will leave you in awe of its grandeur and significance. So let’s dive in and explore this remarkable natural wonder together!

Table of Contents

Majestic Beauty

Opaekaa Falls is renowned for its majestic beauty. Located in Kauai, Hawaii, it is a stunning waterfall that cascades down a tropical lush cliffside, creating a breathtaking sight.

Hawaiian Meaning

The name “Opaekaa” in Hawaiian means “rolling shrimp,” which is derived from the freshwater shrimp that used to inhabit the surrounding stream.

Scenic Location

Opaekaa Falls is situated in the Wailua River State Park, offering visitors a picturesque setting in the midst of lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and a tranquil atmosphere.

Height and Cascade

The falls plunge approximately 115 feet into a freshwater pool below, creating a stunning cascade effect that adds to its charm and allure.

Sacred Site

Opaekaa Falls holds cultural and historical significance for the Hawaiian people. It is believed to be a sacred site associated with ancient Hawaiian legends and stories.

Movie Filming Location

The captivating beauty of Opaekaa Falls has made it a popular filming location for movies and TV shows. It has been featured in films like “Donovan’s Reef” and “Blue Hawaii,” adding to its allure.

Accessible Viewpoint

Visitors can marvel at the beauty of Opaekaa Falls from a designated viewpoint located just off Kuamoo Road. The viewpoint provides a clear and unobstructed view of the waterfall.

Hiking Opportunities

For those seeking a closer encounter with Opaekaa Falls, there are hiking trails that lead to the base of the waterfall. It offers an opportunity to experience its magnificence up close.

Surrounded by Flora and Fauna

The area surrounding Opaekaa Falls is rich in biodiversity, with a variety of native plants and wildlife. Exploring the surroundings can provide a glimpse into the vibrant ecosystem of the region.

Photography Paradise

Opaekaa Falls presents a photographer’s paradise, with its stunning natural backdrop, lush greenery, and cascading waters. It offers endless opportunities to capture captivating shots.

The Legend of Lohiau

According to Hawaiian folklore, Opaekaa Falls is associated with the legend of Lohiau and Pele, the goddess of fire. It is said to be the spot where Lohiau’s body was placed after his death.

Spiritual Connection

Many visitors feel a sense of peace and tranquility when visiting Opaekaa Falls. The beauty of the waterfall, combined with the surrounding nature, creates a spiritual connection with the natural world.


Opaekaa Falls is truly a natural wonder that captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty and fascinating history. From its picturesque location in the lush landscapes of Kauai, to its impressive height and mesmerizing cascades, there is no doubt that Opaekaa Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

As you stand in awe of the majestic waterfall, take a moment to appreciate the rich cultural significance it holds for the Hawaiian people. Opaekaa Falls is not just a sight to behold, but a reminder of the deep connection between land, history, and spirituality.

So, if you ever find yourself on the enchanting island of Kauai, make sure to include a trip to Opaekaa Falls in your itinerary. Experience the magic of this natural landmark and create unforgettable memories surrounded by the beauty of nature.


Q: How tall is Opaekaa Falls?

A: Opaekaa Falls stands at an impressive height of 151 feet, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii.

Q: Can you swim in Opaekaa Falls?

A: Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed at Opaekaa Falls due to the strong currents and potentially dangerous conditions.

Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit Opaekaa Falls?

A: No, there is no entrance fee to visit Opaekaa Falls. It is open to the public and accessible for free.

Q: Are there any hiking trails near Opaekaa Falls?

A: Yes, there are hiking trails in the surrounding area that offer stunning views of the waterfall. One popular trail is the Opaekaa Falls Trail, which is relatively easy and suitable for all skill levels.

Q: Can you see Opaekaa Falls from the road?

A: Yes, you can catch a glimpse of Opaekaa Falls from Maalo Road. However, to fully appreciate its beauty, it is recommended to take the short hike to the designated lookout point.

Q: Is there parking available near Opaekaa Falls?

A: Yes, there is parking available near the falls, making it convenient for visitors to access and explore the area.