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Opaekaa Falls, Wailua

4.1
#8 of 31 in Nature in Kauai
Waterfall · Nature / Park
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ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls is a waterfall located on the ʻŌpaekaʻa Stream in Wailua River State Park on the eastern side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is a 151-foot (46 m) waterfall that flows over basalt from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Below the ridge down into the ravine through which the water falls can be seen the vertical dikes of basalt that cut through the horizontal Koloa lava flows. The name "ʻŌpaekaʻa" means rolling shrimp, "ʻopae" being Hawaiian for "shrimp," and "kaʻa" for "rolling". The name dates back to days when the native freshwater shrimp Atyoida bisulcata were plentiful in the stream and were seen rolling and tumbling down the falls and into the churning waters at the fall's base.
Visually, this is a spectacular waterfall and is one of the island's few waterfalls that can be seen from the road. It flows year round and therefore is not seasonal. Most of the time it falls in a double cascade but the two sides may become one after a heavy rain.

There is a highway overlook which provides a panoramic view of the 40-foot (12 m) wide falls and the valley below. The best time of day to see the falls is in full sunlight when the water sparkles the most. If the day is cloudy the view is less spectacular.
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Opaekaa Falls reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
510 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We drove a few miles out of our way to visit these falls. Honestly, it wasn't worth it. You can't get very close to the falls, they are not that big, and there are lots of better falls on the... 
    We drove a few miles out of our way to visit these falls. Honestly, it wasn't worth it. You can't get very close to the falls, they are not that big, and there are lots of better falls on the...  more »
  • Another quick stop and photo op. Would be cool to see it closer but I highly doubt that would be possible. Ventured across the road as well and took pictures of the river. Great views and quick and... 
    Another quick stop and photo op. Would be cool to see it closer but I highly doubt that would be possible. Ventured across the road as well and took pictures of the river. Great views and quick and...  more »
Google
  • Not worth the effort, very far away view and lots road noise.
  • Very moving after a good rain fall and dont forget to acknowledge the preserved Hawaiian culture sites near by also!!!

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