The Big Island’s geology makes it have few rivers that run year-round, and nearly all of them are on the windward side of the island. One of those precious few, Kolekole stream, creates the beautiful 44-story ‘Akaka waterfall in a lush valley filled with ferns and tropical trees.
In the Hawaiian language ʻAkaka means, “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale.” It is easy to understand why this exceptionally tall falls would earn such a name.
The falls are located a ways outside of Hilo above the small town of Honomu. Honomu has a couple of pleasant restaurants and shops that serve the steady stream of traffic coming to view Akaka.
Hawaii State Parks describes Akaka Falls like this:
“Pleasant self-guided walk through lush tropical vegetation to scenic vista points overlooking the cascading Kahuna Falls and the free-falling ‘Akaka Falls , which plunges 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge.”