According to TLC back in the 1990s, we shouldn’t be chasing waterfalls.. Well after our recent experience, I plan on hunting out as many waterfalls as I can find..
We took guidance from Nathan at the Turtle Bay Resort activities counter, Guidepost, and headed out to Waimea Valley for a swim under the 45 foot (13.7 meters) waterfall. Swimming in the 30 foot deep pond requires the wearing of a life-jacket (which are provided free as part of your entry fee), but despite the limited restriction they provide when swimming out to the falls, they certainly provide reassurance when you want to sit back and watch the falls cascade into the pond.
The waterfalls are easily accessible via foot (or for a small fee via the shuttle) from the entrance into Waimea Valley – approximately 30 minute walk. (please note that there is no disabled access to the pond and waterfalls)
Waimea Valley is also known as the ‘Valley of the Priests’, and has a history dating back to 1092 AD, when the Valley was handed to the Kahuna Nui (High Priests) of O’ahu and Hawaii. The gardens throughout the valley are utterly spectacular. If you do as we did and catch the shuttle up to the falls, I strongly suggest you then slowly walk back down the hill through the gardens.
We accessed Waimea Valley via Hawaii’s public transport system – The Bus. With a daily ticket cost of $5.50 (the trip was free for Isabella), the bus trip took approximately 15 minutes from the carpark at Turtle Bay. From the bus stop at the entrance to Waimea Valley, it was a 10-15 minute walk up to the Valley park entrance and ticket booth.
If visiting the North Shore, or have transport from your hotel/accommodation in Waikiki, Waimea Valley is definitely worth adding to your Oahu itinerary.
For more on Waimea Valley, check out their website: https://www.waimeavalley.net/