Wailuku State River Park (Rainbow Falls Waterfall)
Address: Waianuenue Ave., About 1.6 miles above the ocean
Description: Rainbow (Waiānuenue) Falls is a waterfall located in Hilo, Hawaii. It is 80 ft (24 m) tall and almost 100 ft (30 m) in diameter. The falls are part of the Hawai’i State Parks. There is no fee to see the falls.
Getting to Rainbow Falls from downtown Hilo is simple, but please take note that the directions in Google maps under the colloquial name are incorrect. Be certain to avoid the rough backroads that lack park access by following GPS directions to “Wailuku River State Park” (or continue reading). There are brown Waiānuenue signs posted to help once you are on the right track.
At Rainbow (Waiānuenue) Falls, the Wailuku River rushes into a large pool below. The gorge is blanketed by lush, dense nonnative tropical rainforest and the turquoise colored pool is bordered by beautiful, although nonnative, wild ginger. Monstera is also in abundance. The falls are accessible via Wailuku River State Park, Waiānuenue Avenue, coordinates19°43′9″N 155°6′34″W, and are best seen from the park’s viewing platform.
Known in the Hawaiian language as Waiānuenue (literally “rainbow water”), the falls flows over a natural lava cave, the mythological home to Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess.
Rainbow Falls derives its name from the fact that, on sunny mornings around 10AM, rainbows can be seen in the mist thrown up by the waterfall.