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Wailuku River State Park is a tropical paradise with many exotic plants and unique natural wonders. It’s best known for being home to Rainbow Falls, a massive waterfall, and Boiling Pots, a geological formation with big pools that are filled with bubbling water. The state park also contains the Wailuku River - a deadly yet beautiful waterway known for flash floods.
This destination is situated on Hawaii’s Big Island and near towns and cities such as Hilo and Honomu. The weather tends to be very warm and humid year-round, although rain is a common occurrence during the winter.
Visitors to Wailuku River State Park will find plenty of things to do while here. One option is hiking. The park is filled with a handful of different trails, most of which will take you by Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. These pathways wind around the terrain and vary in their elevations. Keep in mind that while giving you beautiful views of the landscape, the trails often have flash floods during sudden heavy rain.
Another outdoor activity to try out is photography. Wailuku River State Park is home to quite a few unique species, such as wild pigs, monk seals, and feral cattle. While they often try to stay clear of humans, you might be able to catch a glimpse of them during your exploration of the park and capture the moment with your camera. In addition to wildlife, the area features many interesting plants for visitors to photograph, such as banyan trees.
You could also go bird watching at Wailuku River State Park. This island is full of rare and exotic birds, including many that call Wailuku River State Park home. A few you might see while here include palilas, Hawaiian crows, stilts, petrels, and loxops. Many birds often enjoy singing through the park as they fly, and you’ll find yourself captivated by their beautiful sounds.
When you book an RV in Hawaii County, you can stay at a few campgrounds situated near Wailuku River State Park. One option is the Kulanaokuaiki Campground. Located within the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, this spot has a few drive-in camper sites available. While this option is pretty rustic, it does have vault toilets and picnic tables.
Campers could also keep their RV at the Wailoa River State Recreation Area. This ADA-accessible option is somewhat primitive but offers amenities such as water, trash cans, restrooms, and picnic tables. You’ll also find plenty of hiking trails conveniently located near its RV sites.
For those who would like to explore the surrounding area with their motorhome, you’ll discover a handful of attractions nearby. In Hilo, there’s the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo. Covering 12 acres, this zoo is one of the only in the United States to be found in a rainforest. It’s home to over 80 different species, including the endangered nene, spider monkeys, donkeys, and lemurs. Visitors will also find plenty of native Hawaiian plants here as well, like orchids, bamboo, and palm trees. Admission is free.
While in Hilo, explore the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. This botanical garden is a sought-after spot on the island thanks to its breathtaking natural wonders and impressive plant variety. The grounds hold over 2,000 plants that rapidly grow thanks to the land’s volcanic soil. Visitors can hike through lush palm forests to find these plants while also listening to babbling brooks and searching for waterfalls. Besides plants, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as geckos, birds, crabs, spiders, and monk seals. Guests can also check out the garden’s seed bank, which is designed to help prevent tropical plants from going extinct.
About two hours away on the island’s western side is the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. Situated in Captain Cook, visitors can tour this 1920s coffee plantation and learn more about how Hawaiian coffee was grown and the people who helped to harvest it. Visitors might also come across one of the many costumed interpreters roaming the grounds who will be able to tell you more about this time period. This living history farm is also home to numerous donkeys, an animal once vital for coffee harvesting. When you’re done touring the farm, you could stop by its gift shop where you’ll be able to buy fresh Kona coffee and other local goods.
Also, head over to Honokaa with your travel trailer to see the Waipio Valley. This valley offers views of the Pacific Ocean and was once home to many Hawaiian royal family members. Visitors will also find trails carved through the land they can trek down, a few of which will take you by the valley’s black sand beaches.