Stroll Through a Botan­i­cal Garden

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - TOURING -

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

(808) 323-3318

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