Driving from Kona to Waipio took about two hours, but after a funny break in Waimea, the Wild West town of Big Island, Hawaii, where stop signs say ‘whoa’, we got to the magical valley of Waipio.

There are two famous hikes here – the 2 or 3 night hike to Waimanu, and the waterfall hike.

If you do the former, you start from the lookout carpark and trek down the 4WD hairpin road to the black sand beach and traverse the valley to the steep track the other side.

For the waterfall hike that we did, take your 4WD down to the valley floor and go left to the ford. Start from the ford.

What to wear: swimwear, no clothes and trainers with socks.

Route: some track along the river side, some swimming upstream (keep shoes on), some rock hopping.


Beware: Of Lepto. This is a disease caught in freshwater in Hawaii. I still swim here, but might get fever in a couple of weeks. Unpleasant, but easily treatable I hear.

Timing: It takes about two hours to get to the waterfall base, about 45 mins back.

Dogs: Don’t take them, ours ended up in a backpack on the way back, she got tired of scrambling.

Bugs: I didn’t wear repellant and normally I’m annihilated, but I was fine.

Izzy and her owner Gavin. Izzy started by drinking from a makeshift rucksack bowl. Finished by being piled inside it when she got tired.

Black sand beach at Waipio Valley

After we’d had our picnic on luxurious tree trunk seats, we found these cool little things at the corner of the beach and creek. If only we’d walked a few metres further and found them earlier… Gavin and Tyler. And IZZY!

When we turned the corner, we were like… WHOA! This photo doesn’t really depict that scenario, the waterfall looks a lot bigger than this honest, and hopefully your friends won’t be pretending to throw up. Steve!

Amazing waterfall. And that was Day Seven. Over and Out.