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Wailuku River with Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots,
by ALOHA DEAN


The Wailuku River, which defines the western border of downtown Hilo, is 18 miles long, making it the longest river in the Hawaiian archipelago. The Wailuku, which means "water of destruction," once had a fearsome reputation because it was so difficult to cross during periods of high rain. The river is now safely traversed by three charming road bridges, the first at the bottom of Waianuenue Avenue, a main thoroughfare in downtown Hilo.
Waianuenue, which means "rainbow seen in the water," leads up to its raison d'etre, the natural wonder, Rainbow Falls where roaring water falls 80 feet into a large pool almost 100 feet in diameter. Behind the falls is a deep cave, the legendary home of the goddess Hina. When the cascade hits the water far below, the mists throw a prism of rainbows into the air. The best time to catch a rainbow is in the early morning before the clouds back up into the looming mass of Mauna Kea.
About 2 miles upstream from Rainbow Falls is a spot aptly named Boiling Pots. During the rainy season, which can be anytime, the river churns through a succession of "pots," resembling a steaming Jacuzzi. Some of the river water flows beneath a level of old lava, then suddenly bubbles up as if it were boiling. The "pots" are visible from the parking area, but if you hike down the trail to the water's edge, it's more exciting. (Just don't enter the water.) To the left is Pe'e Pe'e Falls, a beautiful, five-spouted waterfall.
Please visit Full Screen QTVR tours from:
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>>> Mauna Kea,13,796 ft (4,205 m) high
>>> Waipi'o Valley
>>> Liliuokalani Gardens, Hilo
>>> Wailuku River, Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots
>>> Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo
>>> Akaka and Kahuna Falls (Updates)
>>> Hilo Area(Updates)
>>> Hamakua Coast(Updates)