Stroll Through a Botanical Garden
Not far from Hilo, two public gardens are laid out in exquisite natural environments: the Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden and the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls.
Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Garden, opened in 1984, is nestled in a 40-acre valley edged by the Pacific Ocean. Here you’ll find more than 2,000 species of exotic plants that include orchids, palms, heliconias, gingers and bromeliads, among others. Located on Highway 19, it is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
World Botanical Gardens offers great fun for everyone. Fly through the rain forest on Zip Isle’s seven-stage Zip Line Eco Tour. Glide past beautiful gardens and magnificent waterfalls on Hawai‘i’s only botanical Segway tour. Get up close to amazing Hawaiian beauty, immersing yourself in lush gardens with hundreds of orchids and exotic plants on the guided tour (reservations required). Don’t miss the impressive Kamae‘e Falls and other waterfalls. Open daily, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
On the other side of the island, Pua Mau Place is a botanical garden and arboretum laid out on the west slope of the Kohala Mountains near Kawaihae. The gardens feature a maze planted with 250 species of hibiscus, an aviary populated by about 150 exotic birds, and a collection of original sculptures. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Finally, take a journey back to a time before Captain Cook landed at Kealakekua Bay with a visit to the Kona Field System—a rich agricultural complex teeming with gardens and groves. The Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is a 12acre garden built to reflect plant life in Hawai‘i prior to foreign contact. Here you can learn about how Hawaiians cultivated various species and what uses they served, from materials for tools to clothing, fishing, cooking and building implements.
The garden offers guided Plant Walks at 1 p.m. daily.
Located in Captain Cook, 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Highway 11 at the 110 mile marker.
• Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden (808) 964-5233 • World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls
(808) 963-5427 or (888) 947-4753 • Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden