Sometimes I wonder if there are things in this world you are deliberately not told about. I'm not talking about the secret of Santa Claus or things you learn after time. I mean, are things that exist in this world that someone has discovered, yet will not share with the rest of world. I'm thinking it may be to protect it, either from what you may do to it, or what other s you tell may do to it. I sincerely hope its not to hoard it for yourself. That leads us to today's waterfall, Naniuapo.
What is Naniuapo, you may be asking? Well, during my many excursions into the Manoa forests, I would run into other hikers, and me being the welcoming type, I usually ask how they're doing. It was during one of those conversations that another hike mentioned to me had been to the other waterfall to the left of the one I was going to. Assuming that he was referring to another waterfall, I told him yes. That somehow stayed in my mind.
The next thing I also noticed during these hikes was a tour company that always brought tourists into the same hiking area I was going into. However, they never went to the waterfalls I was going to. I remember once seeing their group, and some of the tourists were wet, like they had gone swimming. Now, I know you can't swim at the waterfall I thought they were going to, so it piqued my interest.
I was bumming around the internet, and I found their website. It lead me to a youtube video that gave me many clues. After that, it was on like Donkey Kong, I had to find out what this was. I read geocaching websites. I looked over terrain maps. I scoured my Hawaiiana books. The only mention I found was in my place name book. It mentioned Naniuapo as a stream in Manoa. In fact, it is only mentioned as a stream in all those references, never as a waterfall.
Well, I found it. It's not that hard of a hike, but there are absolutely no ribbons to speak of leading up to it. You have to trust your instincts when you do this hike-follow the stream, and never let it out of your site. There are several stream crossings that you must do, but there are ropes at each one, a big sign that the trail is maintained, and they don't want you to get lost.
About 150 yards down from the waterfall, there is this super beautiful pool that you can access via a side trail leading down into the stream. The pool is surrounded by bamboo. It's a shallow pool, but big enough to dunk your body in. And the water is VERY clean. From the pool, you can see the waterfall in the distance.
This waterfall is absolutely spectacular. I would estimate that it's about 200 feet tall, starting with one beautiful ribbon of water falling over the top ledge. It then hits another short ledge, which it then breaks up into two streams of falling water. After this, it hits another, bigger ledge, and breaks up into four streams. It is inspiring!
There is no pool at the bottom of the waterfall, so get your swim in at the lower pool. I spent my time up there being thankful that I had found it, and wondering why I had never ever read anything about something so naturally beautiful. I'm positive that the Hawaiians must have surely known about the falls, yet I can't find any narrative about it. If you have one, can you please share it with me?
I know that the lands that front the waterfall are private property, or they used to be. According to the tour group website, they have permission to be up there. I will agree with this- There are reasons why you never learn about such things.
From what I know, here are the waterfalls one can find in the back of Manoa, from Ewa to Diamond Head: Aihualama, Waihi or better known as Manoa Falls, Lua'alea, Naniuapo, and Waiakeakua. Does anyone know of any others?
If you want to know how to get to Naniuapo, I better trust you with my life, or a supremely hot local lady may work on me as well. Know that you have to deal with going on private property, and timing is an issue as well, since you don't want to run into the tour group. Other than that, another waterfall in the bag!
BTW, Chinese BU ended up going to Kalauao today with a whole bunch of people. He claims to have some pretty cool videos of the waterfall. I'm very excited that he reports that the waterfall is raging right now. I'll be going there later this week with the teens!
Aloha and have a blessed week!