Hawaii (Big Island) Parks and Gardens

(The Big Island, Hawaii - HI, USA)

Photo of Nani Mau GardensNothing short of a tropical paradise, the Big Island of Hawaii boasts a truly exceptional selection of botanical gardens and public parks. Many of the most outstanding gardens on Hawaii feature free admittance and so there really is no excuse not to visit at least a couple of the Big Island's most special offerings.

Situated upcountry in Papaikou and next to Omomea Bay, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a wonderful oasis, being filled with exotic flowers and colourful birds. Also of interest on the Big Island and to be found upon the dry, slopes of the magnificent Kohala Mountain Range, the Pua Mau Place Arboretum dates from the middle of the 1970s and was created for plant research, being today very much an unmissable attraction.

Hawaii Big Island view of Nani Mau Gardens

Nani Mau Gardens

Address: 421 Makalika Street, Hilo, HI-96720, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
Tel: +1 808 959 3500
The Nani Mau Gardens can be found within Hilo and is around 20 acres / 8 hectares in size, being known for its romance and weddings. Divided into a number of different themed areas, Nani Mau features European-style landscaping, ponds, coconut palms, a museum and even a couple of restaurants, should you require a bite to eat whilst enjoying the pleasant surroundings. Also of interest is the enormous collection of orchids, which is amongst the world's largest and numbers over 2,000 varieties.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children under ten years old, children four years old and under are free

Amy BH Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

Address: 82-6188 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI-96704, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
Tel: +1 808 323 3318
The Amy BH Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is located within the Captain Cook area of South Kona and is home to a wealth of endangered, indigenous plants from all over Hawaii. Guided tours are available on some Saturday mornings, and offer an insight into the history of this immense botanical collection, which covers some 15 acres / 6 hectares in total. Close by, the Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve may also be of interest.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested

Image of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Address: 27-717 Old Mamalahoa Highway, Papaikou, HI-96781, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
Tel: +1 808 964 5233
Visitors coming to this idyllic spot can expect to see ornamental ponds, waterfalls, meandering streams, lush foliage, coastal views, and even a boardwalk next to the oceanfront. The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden enjoys a scenic valley setting and features more than 2,000 different species of plants, which are spread around this specious 17-acres / 7-hectare site and have been thoughtfully landscaped, with plenty of room to grow and mature.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 17:00
Admission: free

Manuka State Wayside Park

Address: Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11), Hawaii (Big Island), USA
The Manuka State Wayside Park is located within the South Kona Forest Reserve and off the Mamalahoa Highway, where it encompasses just over 13 acres / 5 hectares. This park is actually especially historic, being planted as long ago as the middle of the 19th century, with many native Hawaiian plant species and other exotic South Pacific plants.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Image showing Pua Mau Place Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Pua Mau Place Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Address: 10 Ala Kahua, Kawaihae, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
With more than 200 hibiscus varieties, beautiful floral displays, sculptures and seating areas, this attraction also contains a number of friendly peacocks and guinea fowl. An information book is available as you enter the Pua Mau Place Arboretum and will ensure that you make the very most of your visit here, being packed with information about the plants and layout.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge, concessions available

Photograph of the Rainbow Falls State Park

Rainbow Falls State Park

Address: Rainbow Drive, Hilo, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
Home to a breathtaking 24-metre / 80-foot waterfall, the Rainbow Falls State Park has gained it name from the visible rainbow spectrum, which forms most mornings when the sunshine alights on the mist. The waterfall itself it at its most impressive following heavy rainfall, when it cascades down into the Wailuku River below with great force. Near to Wainuenue, the park is easy to find and is close proximity to the Peepee Falls and the volcanic ponds known as the 'Boiling Pots'.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

View of Sadie Seymour Botanical Gardens

Sadie Seymour Botanical Gardens

Address: 76-6280 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
With no entrance charge and a scenic location, the Sadie Seymour Botanical Gardens may be fairly small, but they are cram-packed with interest. The site is split into a total of 11 tiers, each of which concentrates on a specific geographical origin, being planted accordingly. These tiers include Australia, Central America, Indonesia and New Zealand.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

University of Hawaii at Hilo Botanical Gardens

Address: University of Hawaii, Hilo, 200 West Kawili Street, Hawaii (Big Island), USA
These glorious botanic gardens are part of the campus of the University of Hawaii, which stands within the capital city of Hilo. Visitors will discover a large group of mature palm trees originating from all over the world, as well as an exceptional collection of cycads, which number just under 100 different species. Many towering 'fan palms' (pritchardia) are also growing here, which are particularly eye-catching when their pendulous yellow flowers are present.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Picture of the Puuhonua O Honaunau Historical Park

Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

Address: Highway 11 / Junction 360, Hawaii (Big Island), HI-96726, USA
Tel: +1 808 328 2326
Lying within the Big Island's South Kono area, the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park covers a vast area of around 420 acres / 170 hectares. There are a series of walking trails within the park, which pass a number of sites of historical importance, some of which were used as refuge by defeated warriors and Hawaiians who had angered the gods. Many local artisans regularly display their works within the grounds and often demonstrate their craftsmanship and skills. Also here are a number of reconstructed temples and historical ponds, where fish were once kept and farmed.
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to 20:00
Admission: charge

World Botanical Gardens

Address: Honomu, Hawaii (Big Island), HI-96728, USA
Tel: +1 808 963 5427
Opened to the public since 1995, the acclaimed World Botanical Gardens proudly boasts over 5,000 different species, which is continually expanding and reputed to be the largest collection of its kind throughout Hawaii. Sited on the northern side of Hilo and within the Umauma area, the gardens span over 300 acres / 120 hectares and lie off the Highway 19, being conveniently close to the Mile Marker 16. The dramatic Umauma Falls are located here, along with an excellent rain forest walking trail.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge, concessions available