Wailua Falls in Kauaʻi

Water Falls

During our visit to Kauaʻi, we thought it would be nice to see some of the waterfalls that are on the island. There are not many of those around where we live, so seeing a real, live waterfall is always a treat.

The first waterfall we visited on Kauaʻi was Wailua Falls, which is located in Wailua River State Park. As you might guess, Wailua Falls is located on Wailua River. Hence the catchy name.

All that we could see of the falls is what you see in the photo above. There was an overlook of the falls, which is where we were. And there was a small parking area that was not nearly adequate for all of the cars trying to park there. So we enjoyed the view for a short while and then moved on to something else.

I suppose we could have hired a local guide who would lead us to the lower part of the falls either by walking on trails or by kayaking up the river or something like that. But we decided to just stick with this overview. Because it was still a really nice view. Much nicer than watching the water running through the ditch near our house after a heavy rain. This was the real deal. And it was really cool.

Incidentally, we did not know at the time that Wailua Falls is the waterfall featured in the opening of Fantasy Island. How cool is that? That is if you are old enough to remember the show. I am. So if seeing this photo makes you think, “The plane! The plane!”, now you know why.

Man-made vs. Real

These days, people have the ability to design and build some pretty cool things. Sometimes, those things even look almost natural. I have seen some man-made waterfalls that look almost like the real thing. Almost.

But to me, no matter how cool people can make something, it does not quite compare to the real thing. Even though they may make a waterfall that looks almost real, surrounded by real-looking rocks and even real plants, it still is not quite as good as the real thing. 

No matter how great or how well-done the man-made thing is, it does not quite compare with God’s creation. So much of what we do is an imitation of what we see in nature. And there really is not anything wrong with that. For example, they can’t have a real waterfall in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, but they can create one that looks pretty convincing. We may marvel at how real it looks, and we may marvel at the design and engineering it took to construct it. It is fun to see, but it is not quite real.

Seeing the real thing brings about an even better sense of wonder. Even more than engineering and construction, we can marvel at the amount of water that constantly runs over the falls. We can marvel at the fact that there is no on/off switch to stop the waterfall from running. There is no way to turn it off at night when everyone goes home. It is there running all the time, just the way that God intended it to be.

God’s creation is magnificent all of the time. While the man-made things are nice, be sure to take some time to notice the wonderful things in the real world around us. They are truly great.

Bible Verse

For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His. The sea is His; He made it. His hands formed the dry land. - Psalm 95:3-5

About the Photo

Following in the slight departure from previous photos in processing for the Pineapple Dump photo, this one is also a bit of a departure. When I tried the “old” processing, the green tones of the grass and trees were way too overwhelming and diverted attention from the waterfall, which should be the main focus. So I made a second try, doing something similar to the processing on the Pineapple Dump photo, and I liked this version much better.

The original photo was actually nowhere near as dark as this final version is. For example, the rock wall to the right of the waterfall was much brighter and clearer. But along with the subdued green tones, I liked how this version is darker overall. Even if it is not quite the same as most of the photos that have been shared here in the past.

Different is better sometimes.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: July 5, 2018
Location: Wailua Falls, Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi

2018 Kauai Trip Report