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Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens, O'ahu, Hawaii

Updated on November 2, 2016
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Sadie Holloway writes about enjoying the good life while living on a modest income. She loves finding creative ways to save money.

The Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu is a must see for nature lovers. Preview a photographic guide to plant life at the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens.

Fall in love with the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens.
Fall in love with the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens.

Hawaii is home to an abundance of exotic plants, flowers, trees and wildlife. Traveling all the way to the Hawaiian Islands without taking an excursion to a beautiful rain forest just doesn't make sense. Seeing Hawaii's flora and fauna up close is a definite highlight to any tourist's trip.

But how could a tourist possibly see every plant variety in one trip? By visiting the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Gardens in Hale'iwa on the island of O'ahu, of course! This well-cared for garden is home to over 5,000 types of plants from around the world. Not only will you get a chance to see local Hawaiian plant life up close, you'll also be able to learn about plants and flowers from the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The Botanical Gardens also offer a glimpse into Traditional Hawaiian living by recreating culturally significant sites such as the Hale O Lone Heiau (Temple honoring the god Lono) and Kuahae Hahiko living site.

Visitor Information: Waimea Valley Park

  • Address: 59 - 864 Kamehameha Highway
  • Open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day
  • No animals allowed (except for service dogs)
  • Per person or group entrance fees apply

Tread carefully and quietly and you may just see some of the wildlife that call the Waimea Valley their home.
Tread carefully and quietly and you may just see some of the wildlife that call the Waimea Valley their home.

The Kamananui Stream is home to the O'opu Naniha (the Endemic Goby), one of five freshwater fish species in the Hawaiian Islands. The word Waimea means reddish brown water in Hawaiian.

Many of the walking paths in the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Garden wind underneath a shady canopy of trees.
Many of the walking paths in the Waimea Valley Park and Botanical Garden wind underneath a shady canopy of trees.

The trees in the Waimea Valley Park offer a flickering canopy of sunlight and shade. But don't be fooled by the shade! Always wear a hat and sunscreen.

Unfolded by the water are faces of the flowers. Flowers thrive where there is water, as thriving people are found where living conditions are good.

— Hawaiian Proverb
The Waimea Valley Park and Gardens have are like a living museum of Hawaiian flora and fauna.
The Waimea Valley Park and Gardens have are like a living museum of Hawaiian flora and fauna.

The Waimea Valley Botanical Garden has an entire zone dedicated to showcasing the different species of Ginger and Helicona. In fact, the Garden is divided into 41 unique zones of various plants, from a Hawaiian Hibiscus garden to a garden of Medical plants.

Akways respect the Waimea Valley Park and Garden visitors rules so that this beautiful paradise is preserved for generations to come.
Akways respect the Waimea Valley Park and Garden visitors rules so that this beautiful paradise is preserved for generations to come.

Respecting the Natural Habitat of the Waimea Valley

A visitor's brochure outlines some simple rules to follow when walking through the park. These are a few of the most basic rules:

  • Stay on the main road and pathways.
  • Do not go into waterways, ponds, and streams.
  • Do not eat any fruits, nuts, or seeds found on the ground or on trees.
  • Do not pick or remove any flowers, seeds, nuts, wood, shells, rocks, or other materials from the Valley.
  • Do not drink from the stream, pond, or waterfall.
  • Smoking is prohibited.

The Waimea Valley is considered a sacred place (ahupua'a) that carries the mana (life force) of the people who once lived in and presided over the area. If you have questions about your visit to the Waimea Valley Park, ask the helpful staff for more information or assistance.

Acknowledgements

Mahalo (Thank you) to the many people who care for and preserve this beautiful valley!

Sources: www.waimeavalley.net, Waimea Valley Visitor Information Brochure

© 2016 Sadie Holloway

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