In a nutshell: Wailua Falls is a stunning side-of-the road ~80′ waterfall and plunge pool.
Minuses: Maui’s “most photographed waterfall” is usually crowded.
Sound-bite: “Did that car just say something!?!”
The stunning Wailua Falls are impossible to miss – right smack next to the road. Don’t worry about consulting the map when you’re close to here – the crowd likely standing on the bridge snapping photos will almost guarantee that you’ll turn your head!
Often called the most photographed waterfall on Maui, it is not in Wailua Valley – not even on Waliua Stream (which was the stream just prior to this); Wailua Falls is located past Hana, en route to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o on Honolewa Stream.
Unlike most of the roadside waterfalls you have passed so far, there is plenty of parking here. That also means that most visitors (and all the guided van tours) stop here as well. But if you are willing to spend a little time, you’ll be surprised how fast the crowd turns over, giving some peace in between. (It can also become deserted later in the day.)
The parking lot usually has some vendors set up selling trinkets for you to bring back home. One of these vendors, Auntie Sharon, is loaded with so much Aloha, that you absolutely must spend some time talking story with her. Auntie is very easy to spot, as she is Maui’s biggest Elvis fan! (Also check out her Elvis-themed Firebird – it has a secret surprise for you!)
There is a nice plunge pool at the base of the falls if you want to take a dip – surprisingly very few of the folks grabbing snapshots from the bridge take the few extra steps down to the pool (so even if you’re not swimming, it is usually much less crowded down there.)
View Wailua Falls in a larger map