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Wailua River State Park

Paddle upstream on a kayak for a picnic at Secret Falls and climb the trailhead to the Sleeping Giant hillside.

Wailua River State Park is a lush, verdant park known for its waterfalls and namesake river, where kayaks and riverboat cruises explore the rainforest. It has Hawaii’s only navigable river, which provides the playground for such activities as waterskiing and motor boating. Explore the various historic landmarks interspersed with the tropical vegetation of the park. 

Rent kayaks and discover the picturesque gems of the park at your leisure. Enjoy the serenity in this scenic park, away from the bustle of civilization. You can also participate in one of the many river excursions arranged by tour operators here. Paddle to Secret Falls and bathe in the swimming hole. Pay attention to weather alerts as the river and trails can become dangerous during times of flash flooding.

Among the highlights of this vast, green area is Wailua Falls. Embark on a hike through the tropical forest to these twin falls. See the Opaeka’a Falls, where water flows over basalt from a height of 151 feet (46 meters). The nearby highway overlook offers a panoramic view of the falls and its surrounding valley. 

Climb the trailhead to Nounou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) and snap photos of the excellent views of the park. See the landmark of Fern Grotto, which comprises a cave made of moss-covered lava rock.

Note that the Wailua River was considered among the most sacred parts of the island by early Hawaiians. Approach the river mouth to find the remains of significant heiau (stone temples) and pu’uhonua (places of refuge). Among the most important are the Hikinaakalā (Rising of the Sun) and the Malae. Admire the intricate petroglyphs dating back many centuries. Tour guides may share the legends of ghost warriors and deities.

Wailua River State Park is in the Wailua River Valley, a little west of Wailua on the eastern part of Kauai Island. See some of the nearby landmarks, such as the Kalepa Mountain Forest Reserve, the Wailua Golf Course and the Smith Family Garden Luau.


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Kauai Beach Resort C$331
Kauai Beach Resort

Kauai Beach Resort

4331 Kauai Beach Dr, Lihue, HI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Hanamaulu, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Kitchens Beach, and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Nukolii Beach Park and Wailua Golf Course are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Inquire for Specials! Super Private, Very Central - Excellent Reviews
    Inquire for Specials! Super Private, Very Central - Excellent Reviews

    Inquire for Specials! Super Private, Very Central - Excellent Reviews

    Kapaa, Hawaii
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Kapaa, this romantic cottage is within 2 mi (3 km) of Wailua River State Park, Kadavul Hindu Temple, and Opaekaa Falls. Opaekaa Falls Overlook and Iraivan Temple are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Luxurious Wailua Hideaway Vacation Rental at the Base of Sleeping Giant Mountain
      Luxurious Wailua Hideaway Vacation Rental at the Base of Sleeping Giant Mountain

      Luxurious Wailua Hideaway Vacation Rental at the Base of Sleeping Giant Mountain

      Kapaa, Hawaii
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated by the ocean, this romantic apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wailua River State Park, Opaekaa Falls, and Opaekaa Falls Overlook. Kadavul Hindu Temple and Iraivan Temple are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Wailua Hideaway - One Bedroom Stream-side Apartment
        Wailua Hideaway - One Bedroom Stream-side Apartment

        Wailua Hideaway - One Bedroom Stream-side Apartment

        Kapaa, Hawaii
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Kapaa, this romantic apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wailua River State Park, Opaekaa Falls, and Opaekaa Falls Overlook. Kadavul Hindu Temple and Iraivan Temple are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Kauai Shores Hotel C$227
          Kauai Shores Hotel

          Kauai Shores Hotel

          420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa, HI
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nestled on the beach, this Kapaa hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Lae Nani Beach and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Beach Park and Smith Family Garden Luau are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay C$216
            Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

            Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

            3-5920 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Offering direct access to the beach, this Lihue hotel is next to a golf course and within a 15-minute walk of Wailua Beach Park and Lydgate Beach Park. Lae Nani Beach and Kitchens Beach are also within 15 minutes.

              Sleeping Giant Cottage, a Private Vacation Home! Tvnc 1244
              Sleeping Giant Cottage, a Private Vacation Home! Tvnc 1244

              Sleeping Giant Cottage, a Private Vacation Home! Tvnc 1244

              Kapaa, Hawaii
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Kapaa, this cottage is within 3 mi (5 km) of Wailua River State Park, Opaekaa Falls, and Opaekaa Falls Overlook. Lydgate Beach Park and Kadavul Hindu Temple are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Aston Islander on the Beach C$213
                Aston Islander on the Beach

                Aston Islander on the Beach

                440 Aleka Place, Kapaa, HI
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Nestled on the beach, this Kapaa hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Lae Nani Beach and 1.9 mi (3 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Beach Park and Waipouli Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km).