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Opaekaa Falls, Wailua

#8 of 31 in Nature in Kauai
Waterfall · Nature / Park
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 4.0
501 reviews
  • Nice parking area, good view of falls and as you (carefully) cross the street. Wailua River. Nice for family pictures. Public Restroom.  more »
  • This is a quick stop but worth it. Lots of parking, minimal walking and easy access. The waterfall is beautiful. Good spot to take some pictures.  more »
  • The falls are pretty far from the view point and this is close to a tiny village nearby that has kayaking activity. There's parking and benches so it's a fun picnic spot.
  • Beautiful overlook. You can also walk 1 minute and cross the road to see the Wailua River. Worth stopping here!

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