Maybe not as well-known as nearby neighbor Akaka Falls, Kolekole Falls is hidden beneath a bridge along the Hamakua Coast, north of Hilo. Lush and almost jungle-like, the waterfall is part of Kolekole Beach Park.
There is a rocky beach where the Kolekole Stream meets the ocean that has a reputation for being rough. Kolekole Beach Park, like other coastal areas along Hawaii can experience seasonal high surf and strong currents, making the ocean unsafe for swimming. But the stream is usually calm and a favorite swimming spot complete with a rope swing tied to a banyan tree.
The streamside park is also a popular place to fish and picnic. Along with picnic tables, there are barbecue pits, pavilions with electricity and restrooms.
There is no cost to enter Kolekole Beach Park to see the waterfall or to enjoy any other activities. To get there, take Highway 19 north from Hilo about 12 miles. The park will be on your left. It is open from 6 am to 11 pm. Camping is allowed with a county permit.