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Take in the Lush Beauty of Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden


Tropical Botanical Garden

The colors, scents and sights at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden will delight all the senses. All of the beautiful flowers that Hawaii is known for are included all in one magical place. If you get a chance to hit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on your visit to the Big Island, it’s certainly worth the time spent here.

Affectionately called the “Garden in a Valley on the Ocean,” this garden is situated off Highway 19 on the Hamakua Coast’s 4 Mile Scenic Drive, north of Hilo. This is essentially a museum of living plants that attracts photographers, gardeners, botanists, scientists, and nature lovers from all over who are eager to see this natural feast for the eyes. Never before have you seen a more diverse collection of tropical plants; not just Hawaiian plants but international ones too. More than 2,000 species, 125 families and 750 genera are featured here, making this 40-acre valley a must-see for the nature lover .

Amazingly, it functions as its own natural greenhouse. Why? The trade winds that are so common in Hawaii are shielded here because of its position. Plus, the gardens are rife with fertile soil from the volcanoes, which helps plants grow robustly. Take one of the many nature trails that brings you on a winding journey through the tropical rainforest, taking you across babbling brooks and ending up at gorgeous waterfalls hundreds and even thousands of years in the making. The craggy Pacific coast, a majestic and powerful sight, can be seen at points along the trail as well.

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a non-profit organization, was created with the mission of serving as a nature preserve and sanctuary, a living seed bank, and a study center for trees and plants of the tropical world, according to the garden’s website. As such, its members do all they can to collect and display the world’s tropical plants, all while educating young and old alike as to the wonders of the rainforest. The Garden is hard at work preserving plants and environments within the rainforests, as these native plants are being threatened as the years wear on.

You can’t miss the dramatic 500-foot boardwalk that takes you down into the garden for an unbelievable ocean view. This is one time you don’t want to forget your camera! However, you can’t access the boardwalk with a wheelchair, as it’s quite a slope, but you can rent a golf cart to navigate it for $5. You can use non-electric wheelchairs through a majority of the garden.


The Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with the exclusion of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. No more entries are permitted after 4 p.m. The self-guided tour will take about an hour and a half for a one-mile round trip. Adult admission is $15, while children ages 6 to 16 are admitted for $5. Children under 6 get in free.

If you’re making a side trip to Oahu, consider an educational excursion from Hoku Hawaii Tours.

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