Waikaumalo Park

Waikaumalo Park—A Perfect Picnic Stop on the Scenic Hamakua Coast
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Add a stop to Waikaumalo Park for a quiet, picturesque picnic stop to take a break along your Hamakua Coast trip. While the park is small, visitors love the quiet setting and beautiful scenery of this park located off the beaten path and favored by locals.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Located just to the north of Hilo, Waikaumalo Park is a small park that is a picturesque picnic stop on your travels along the Hamakua Coast.

When you visit Waikaumalo Park, you’ll see mostly locals enjoying the picnic tables and the swimming hole. The park’s small size and location off Old Mamalahoa Parkway mean that most visitors don’t travel here. That means that you have a greater chance of experiencing this park without crowds of people around, making it easier to enjoy the serene stream and surrounding forest.

Because this park mainly caters to those who live in the area, it does not have as many amenities as parks designed for large crowds. You will find restrooms, a pavilion with covered picnic tables, and picnic tables without cover near the stream. In the past, when the restrooms had to close, the city provided portable toilets for park users.

As you approach the parking area for this park, snap a quick picture of the beautiful wooden bridge you cross over Waikaumalo Stream. The quaint-looking bridge will be the first of many photographic places around the park.

You’ll find numerous sites to take pictures of the stream and surrounding forest. Plan your visit for the spring to catch the royal poinciana trees in full bloom. While these trees put out their impressive displays of bright orange and red flowers in the summer in other places, the tropical weather in Hawaii moves the blooming time to the spring. Unless you live in a very warm climate with frost-free winters, your visit to Hawaii may be the only chance that you get to see the stunning tropical blooms of the royal poinciana tree.

Don’t spend all your time taking pictures, though. Make some time to simply relax at this quiet park or engage in one of the other popular activities among park visitors.

Enjoy the following during your visit to Waikaumalo Park:

The convenient location near the coast and the beautiful setting make this park an ideal place to take a break during a tour of the Hamakua Coast. Bring a picnic with you and enjoy it at one of the picnic tables. Open-air picnic tables next to the stream offer the best view. In rainy weather, opt for one of the tables under the pavilion for protection from the elements while you eat.

While most people enjoy picnics here, another draw is the cold stream and swimming area. Refresh yourself from the afternoon heat with a dip in the swimming hole. The hole is just deep enough to jump into from the adjacent rocks. This also means that there is no lifeguard.

If you forgot your swimsuit, you can simply sit by the stream and dip your feet into the water to cool off while you enjoy the surrounding beauty of the stream and forest.

You may encounter rappelers in the parking lot. This park is the parking location and end for rappelers who travel along the Waikaumalo Stream canyon and down the many waterfalls. The journey upstream to the rappelling area and waterfalls requires a 1.9-mile hike up Piha Hakuku Road to Stone Road northwest to the first bridge over Waikaumalo Stream. Here, rappelers descend into the canyon for the 1.8-mile trip downstream back to the park. The narrow nature of the stream makes accessing the waterfalls directly from Waikaumalo Park impossible.

Add Waikaumalo Park to your list of things to do on the Hamakua Coast as a quiet oasis from the surrounding tourist areas. Bring a picnic or take a dip in the cool stream surrounded by beautiful tropical forests.

Insider Tips:
-Bring a picnic lunch with you because this park does not have on-site food services nor are there restaurants in the immediate area.
-Bring rappelling gear if you have advanced climbing skills. Use Waikaumalo Park as your starting and ending point to a trip down Waikaumalo Stream and its many waterfalls. Exercise extreme caution along this slippery climb downstream.