Before getting to Hilo on our drive we made one last detour to Akaka Falls. We were a bit concerned about leaving all our stuff in the car* but it was so crowded that we figured no one would consider trying anything.
*Another reason why we didn’t do either the Pololū or Waipi‘o hikes.
You can skip most of the walk and just see the falls but it’s actually a really nice short nature walk through the rainforest. After so many days on the lava where everything is dry and struggling to live it’s great to walk through almost the exact opposite climate and experience all the lush plants and flowers growing like weeds. The falls are indeed fantastic and it’s totally worth the $5 parking as well as the detour off the main road.