Hawaii November 02, 2016
The One Spot In Hawaii That’s Basically Heaven On Earth
The Hawaiian Islands are an absolute paradise, home to countless pristine beaches, majestic mountains, awe-inspiring jungles and cascading waterfalls. But there are some spots more heavenly than others, like the breathtaking Wailuku River State Park near Hilo. The second largest river in Hawaii, Wailuku River flows 18 miles along the line where lava from Hawaii Island’s two major volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea – meet. The river eroded a gorge in the lava flows, and creates a simply heavenly landscape.
Wailuku River State Park is divided into two main sections: Rainbow Falls and the Boiling Pots.
The first attraction to check out in this state park is Waianuenue Falls.
A short trail from the parking lot offers views of the waterfall’s summit. If you visit on a sunny morning, you might experience how the falls got its name – waianuenue means rainbow in Hawaiian.
The waterfall is 80 feet tall, and nearly 100 feet in diameter - impressive, considering that many of Hawaii’s greatest waterfalls are mere trickles in comparison.
Located just one mile past the famous Rainbow Falls is an equally gorgeous – but quite deadly – natural phenomena; Pe’epe’e Falls feeds a series of several pools known as the boiling pots.
This beautiful slice of paradise that serves as a reminder that mother nature may not always be kind, but she is always in charge.
Connected by a series of cascading waterfalls along columns that were formed from the slow cooling of basalt lava, these pools appear to be bubbling – almost as if they were boiling.
The lush, green landscape surrounding the river serves as the backdrop for one of Hawaii’s many legends. The story goes that Mo’o Kuna, a vengeful lizard, was trying to drown Hina – the Hawaiian goddess of the moon whom dwells beneath Rainbow Falls.
Hina’s son, Maui, came to her rescue and chased the mo’o from Rainbow Falls upstream to the pools just below the overlook. Mo’o was hiding in the pools, and Maui couldn’t get a good shot, so he called upon Pele – the goddess of fire – who gave him hot stones to throw in the river. As a result, the water started boiling, thus driving Mo’o Kuna from his hiding place.
The best way to experience the beauty of this Hawaiian state park is from a cement overlook, just a short walk from the paved parking lot. Flash flooding in these pools is common, and because there are no lifeguards, many have perished in the river by getting sucked into the water and becoming trapped within concealed lava tubes and caves.
Despite the river’s wild nature, the landscape is still a truly heaven-like experience.
Other strong contenders for this “heaven on earth” designation include Maui’s Pipiwai Trail, Kauai’s Weeping Wall, and Oahu’s southeastern shore.