The Afu Aau Waterfall – originally called the Olemoe Falls – are series of spectacular cascades and swimming holes along the Faleata River. The well-maintained trail soon reaches the lowermost pool, which has at least six small cascades. A very rough path takes you down to the edge of the pool.
This is the least busy pool, and a good option if the main pool is busy and you want to avoid the crowds.
The middle pool has a single, picturesque cascade – and offers a glimpse of the main waterfall which is a little further upstream.
This pool is also suitable and accessible for swimming.
The walking trail continues to follow the Faleata River upstream.
Soon the main Afu Aau Waterfall and swimming hole comes into view – it’s about a spectacular rainforest pool as you can get!
The main waterfall is about 15m in height, and is surrounded by rainforest.
The pool is very shallow near the edge, but gets very deep in the middle and near the falls. You can jump ino the pool from the rock platform at the end of the trail, and if you can swim across the pool there are shallow caves to explore (you can clamber behind the waterfall).
When is the best time to visit Afu Aau Waterfall?
The waterfall and pool is open Monday to Saturday from about 8am 5pm (I was told I could enter from 7:30am) and is closed Sunday. It was the only place in all of Samoa I would have described as crowded on a Friday afternoon, with many local families enjoying a swim. The following day I had an hour to myself, arriving around 8:30am. So if you want some solitude a weekday or Saturday early morning is the best time to visit Afu Aau Waterfall.
Getting to Afu Aau Waterfall?
The waterfall is well signposted along the South Coast Road, about 12km (15km) from Salelologa and the ferry terminal. There’s a larger carpark next to the entrance fale, where the entry fee is collected, and if it’s not busy you can drive a bit further to a small parking area where the walking trail starts. The trail is very well-maintained, as it follows the river for about 300m (one-way) up the main falls.