Hipuapua falls are easily seen from Highway 450. Walk to the waterfall takes approximately one and a half hour in one direction. It is advised to unite it with a walk to the nearby Moa’ula Falls. Hipuapua Falls is somewhat harder to access than Moa’ula, but more impressive.
Falls have formed on Hipuapua stream and are perennial. From the distance, they look like a narrow ribbon but as one approaches the base of the falls, turns out that there is fairly wide river thundering down along the basalt cliff.
Falls have one main drop – some 152 – 160 m tall (estimates differ in different sources). For the most part, there is no free fall of water, it flows along the steep cliff. Below the falls there has formed rather large pool.
The beautiful Halawa Valley is one of the first areas to be inhabited in Hawaii. Settlers from the Marquesas Islands came here around the 7th century AD. The fertile valley experienced a boom of the population – it was densely inhabited and the main foodstuff was locally grown taro. Unfortunately, this beautiful valley experienced much warfare.
With the arrival of Europeans the life of native Hawaiians changed. The last blow to the traditional lifestyle though came in the middle of the 20th century, when powerful tsunamis covered the valley with sea salt in 1946 and 1957. Taro fields were not fertile anymore and most people left for cities.
Nowadays in the valley there live few families – but otherwise, the valley looks pristine and primeval. Walk through the valley though reveals signs of the past: it leads along the ancient temples – heiau – some as large as a football field.
Walk to the beautiful waterfalls inevitably leads through private properties. Naturally, locals are not too happy to see endless lines of tourists passing there and back through the peaceful valley. In fact – not so peaceful – there is frequent noise pollution coming from other tourists flying around with helicopters.
Sadly – this is the price for living in an extremely beautiful place.
Tourists walking to the falls are kindly advised to take local guides (in fact – not so cheap!).
Hipuapua Falls are included in the following list:
- Hipuapua Falls. World Waterfall Database.
- Hipuapua Falls. HawaiiWeb.com.
- Hipuapua Falls. World of Waterfalls. Accessed on June 7, 2010
Hipuapua Falls on the map
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||21.1550 N 156.7677 W|
|Where is located?||Oceania, United States, Hawaii, near the north coast of Moloka’i, beginning of Halawa Valley|
|Alternate names:||Hīpuapua Falls|
|Height:||Roughly 152 – 160 m|
Video of Hipuapua Falls (to the right)
nokia afridi, July 2013
This informative and easy-to-follow guidebook makes the ancient sites of Maui, Molokai and Lanai available to the general public for the first time. Grouping th sites by location, the book characterizes the cultural background of five main types of sites: heiau (temples), pohaku (sacred stones), petroglyphs, caves and fishponds.