The falls on Kauai

Most of the waterfalls on Kauai are impossible to get to short of a helicopter ride, but Opaekaa Falls is viewable right from the highway. Photo by David Lansing.

If Kauai wasn’t called The Garden Isle they’d have to call it The Waterfall Isle. How many waterfalls are there on the island? Too many to count. Most of them are unnamed (and almost impossible to get to). They plunge off the many side of Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on earth (100 years’ worth of records show that rainfall on Waialeale has varied from a low of 244 inches in 1993 to 683 inches in 1982). And all this rain has to eventually make its way down the 5,148-foot peak to the ocean.

One spot on Mt. Waialeale is called the “Wall of Tears” because there are so many waterfalls plummeting down the deep, tropical green sides of the mountain that it looks as if it is crying. But the only way to really see the Wall of Tears is by helicopter and even then you have to get lucky since the area is usually socked in with clouds.

I’ve been looking into taking a helicopter tour. There are quite a few companies that offer you a ride up to Mt. Waialeale but the one that has got my attention is Island Helicopters. According to their web site, they’re the only helicopter tour company that will not only take you up to Mt. Waialeale to see the Wall of Tears but they also will take you to the 400-foot-high Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as Jurassic Falls because this is where the helicopter bringing Laura Dern and San Neill lands and they get into the vehicle that takes them into Jurassic Park. Better yet, the helicopter actually lands at the base of Jurassic Falls and lets you hang out there for awhile. And they’re the only tour company that can do that.

So this afternoon I called the helicopter company to see if I could go up tomorrow. They told me they were fully booked but if I wanted they’d put me on a wait list and give me a call in the morning if they had a cancellation. So now I’m anxiously waiting to see if I’m going to make it on a flight. I figure that if I’ve truly made amends to Ganesha through my offering at the fruit stand, I’ll get the call. If not, I guess I’m still on the outs with the elephant god.

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1 comment

  1. Azeem Ahmed @ Travel Tamed’s avatar

    Looks a very interesting spot. A helicopter ride could be so much fun at the high peaks. Recently i had toured one of the hotspots in India which is a hill station located 5000 feet above sea level in South India. Also got chance to visit few waterfalls. These waterfalls at such heights are just pleasure for the soul, mind and body.

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