Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is a six acre botanical garden nestled in the heart of Kahului, Maui, Hawai‘i. Unlike other botanical gardens statewide, MNBG is the only botanical garden in the State of Hawai‘i that primarily features collections of Native Hawaiian and Polynesian-introduced plant species within a coastal sand dune environment. The garden showcases Hawaiian plant collections that are specific to the islands of Maui Nui (Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and Molokini) and many are endangered and/or endemic to the islands.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3.5
67 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
18
Average
9
Poor
6
Terrible
11

norman m
Pahoa, HI1,193 contributions
Jul 2014 • Friends
for something different to do....visit maui nui botanical gardens......native and endemic plants planted in the landscape .....the also have many workshops you can attend as well as festivals with entertainment , plants and food...a fun place for the whole family at a festival and you can learn something too...
Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Heather K-H
Houston, TX191 contributions
Mar 2019 • Family
Early March means it is not in full bloom. However, we learned a ton. Staff was very friendly. The audio guide was super informative and makes the visit much longer and more interesting. We learned so much about native Hawaiian plants. Small and not as lush as other gardens but totally worth the stop!
Written March 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Samuel M
Wildomar, CA117 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
This is a must stop if your into plants and gardens. Amazing scenic views travel to and from here.Great place to go if your looking for a nice quiet peaceful day.
Written April 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Keith B
2 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
Very well done cultural botanical garden. We came towards the end of the day and the staff was very friendly and allowed us to stay after closing. She was very helpful. We loved going around a seeing all the native and Polynesian introduced plants and trees that formed the basis for Hawaiian life: food, medicine, construction, tools. The handheld self guided tour devices held a lot of information about the plants and there usages. Both Botanical and cultural information on most of the plants was available. It gives you a botanical view of the interaction of culture and physical world of Hawaii.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
mahalo nui for the review! Thanks for stopping by!
Written February 10, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Valerie R
Palm Springs, CA112 contributions
Feb 2020
My friend is a master gardener and we really enjoyed looking at the native and polynesian plant species. Who knew there were so many different varieties of taro root? Since we were seniors, the visit was free but we had the opportunity to donate on the way out. Parking is on the street. The staff were knowledgeable and friendly.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mauigirl808
Maui, HI112 contributions
Mar 2014 • Friends
I've lived in Wailuku for many years now and often go to the gardens to enjoy the wonderful plants and the serenity you can find there. I just looked at the reviews on Trip Advisor today and was amazed at the comments. I imagine that some of those people came here with preconceived opinions on what Maui Nui Botanical Garden is all about. They want to see colorful flowers from South America, or Indonesia, or Africa. I think they wanted to see tropical flowers from around the world. but, unfortunately for them, that is not the purpose of this garden.

These gardens are planted only (with a few exceptions that the staff can't do anything about) with native Hawaiian plants and plants that were brought over in ancient Polynesian canoes. These are wonderful plants to look at but understand that these gardens are specifically intended to show what types of plants grew in costal areas of Hawaii. This is not to say that there are no flowers. There are. But they are not the showy kind found in many other places around the world.

There are a number of ways that you can get a better appreciation for these gardens. There is a colorful brochure that costs $4 that you can refer to as you walk around the garden. There is also an audio guide available for rent for $5. However, the best way to see the gardens, in my opinion, is to take a tour. There are several docents who have an incredible amount of knowledge about native plants and love to guide people and answer all of their questions. There is a requested $10 donation for this, but it is well worth it.

I would also like to address and correct some of the comments from other reviewers.

1. You do not have to park on the street. There is a HUGE parking lot right across the street capable of handling several thousand cars. You CANNOT miss this lot. I guess walking across the street is just too difficult for some people.

2. YES, there are bathrooms and have always been bathrooms. They are located right across for the main offices just as you enter the gardens. They are practically impossible to miss unless you just come in, spend ten minutes here, and walk out with a bad attitude.

3. Many people are under the misconception that there is a lot of rain all over Hawaii. Actually, there are many places that get very little rain including much of the north shore costal areas. These gardens are located in such an area. Thus, the plants that grow here have to be drought tolerant. Because of this, water is kept to a minimum and done as needed.

4. Some people stated that the gardens didn't look well taken care of. I know many of the staff that manage and work at MNBG. Believe me, they are all a dedicated, caring group of people who would like nothing better than to have a world class garden. Unfortunately, there are just not the funds to do everything they would like to do and to pay the increased number of staff necessary to make that happen. These people work very hard every day to create and maintain an area where people can learn about native Hawaiian plants and how and why these plants were important for the original Hawaiian culture.

These gardens also are leaders in reintroducing local residents to the benefits of using native plants in their personal gardens and conducting classes in Hawaiian culture. They also have plant sales with plants that are grown in the onsite nursery and give away a thousand native plants every Arbor Day. Please come and visit Maui Nui Botanical Garden and plan on staying more than ten minutes. You'll be very glad you did.
Written June 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

PineappleJoe
Los Angeles, CA7 contributions
Dec 2011 • Family
I had often wondered what the botanical gardens were all about. On our last trip to Maui, my family wanted to see and try some new things. We decided to go to the botanical gardens. This tour was such a delight as we found out about all of the plants that we had seen around the island, and what the ancient Hawaiians used them for. It surely made out hikes more interesting. Our tour guide, Gloria, was amazing with her wealth of knowledge. This tour was free, with a suggested donation. If you are looking for some interesting, inexpensive entertainment, this is well worth your time.
Written March 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Aloha PinappleJoe, I'm so glad that you got to experience one of the best things that Maui Nui Botanical Gardens has to offer our visitors. Our docent-guided tours are a terrific way to explore the garden while having the luxury of being one-on-one with a trained volunteer docent. Yes, on our docent-guided tour, you can learn about how early Hawaiians used many natural materials to survive in life. From cordage making, to adornments, to crafts and life necessities, the tour will give you an educational glimpse of the traditional life of early Hawaiians. If you'd rather enjoy a tour at your own leisure, we also have self-guided tour nd audio-guided tours available. Just stop by our office to learn more as you enter.
Written July 9, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gretchen W
San Bruno, CA55 contributions
May 2018
For the low fee of $5.00, (money WELL spent), you are given a gadget that will tell you about each type of plant within the Gardens. Some of these plants are endangered species, so the information about how and where it grew, along with the use of the plant to the Hawaiian people is really special. We wandered about at our own pace, and really enjoyed learning and seeing (and capturing these plants in pictures). I wondered about the plants for sale before we left, which one/s I could bring to California, and was told NONE. We laughed about that, but was truly sad that some of the Hawaiian flowers couldn't come back with us.
Written May 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ricky L
Atlanta, Georgia80 contributions
Jun 2013 • Friends
With all of the beautiful plant life in Maui, my expectations were pretty high. This place was a terrible let down.

First off, no parking lot, you're going to park on the side of the road. Once inside the visitor center is basically a trailer. One correction to an earlier review I saw, there ARE public restrooms in the building across from the trailer. They're a bit "al fresco", but they were at least clean and in good working order.

You can walk the entire grounds in under ten minutes and see everything. I think I snapped less than 5 pictures, normally at a botanical garden you could add a couple of zeroes to that total. It's free, but maybe they should consider charging because the place needs some help.

The plants that are there are at least labelled, though there's not a lot of info about them. And the choice of plants is less than spectacular. Do not expect a lot of florals. In fact, do not expect much, and what's there isn't particularly well manicured.

Glad I didn't drive out just for this. It was on the way to other sights, so we stopped in. But this is one that you can definitely skip unless they make some drastic improvements.
Written July 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Aloha Ricky, I appreciate your honest review of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and I wish you stayed a little longer to really get a feel for what makes our garden so special. Yes, for some people, they can skim through the garden in ten minutes, use the restroom, then be on their way. But for others who take the time to learn the fascinating stories behind the Hawaiian plants, they can stay for hours! You see, we are a garden that specializes in Native Hawaiian plants and plants brought on canoes by our early Polynesian settlers. We are not a botanical garden with large tropical flowers in which many visitors assume to be native to the islands. Contrary to what most visitors expect to see, our natives are very subtle and delicate, not vibrant and large like many tropicals. With that said, there are still great opportunities to take awesome pictures of rare endangered flowers but only if you take the time to discover them. For many visitors, the garden can come alive when you hear the stories of how Hawaiians traditionally use the plant materials for medicine, art, clothing, crafts, building, etc. Another important feature of our garden are the endangered species that we have. Some of these species are extremely rare with less than five wild populations in the world. Now where can you go on Maui to see such special things like this in a safe, serene setting? I'd like to invite you and all of our other visitors to enjoy the garden and be a little more patient so that you can really immerse yourself in the true essence of the unique plants at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. You can do this by taking one of our tours. You can go at your own pace using a self-guided tour brochure. You can listen to the ethnobotanical and conservational values of our Hawaiian plants while enjoying an audio tour. Or, you can schedule to be on a docent-guided tour where you can have one-on-one discussions with staff and volunteers. There are nominal fees for these tours, but as a non-profit organization, they do their share to help support the garden and every little bit helps! So please don't just "skip it". Take your time and enjoy our site and enjoy Maui. Hey, you're in Hawai`i, a place to relax, breathe, and enjoy the environment. Go at a slow steady pace. Like we say here in the islands - go on Hawaiian time! Aloha.
Written July 9, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Parnassus1
Hamburg, Germany83 contributions
Apr 2012 • Couples
This place looks like a deserted backyard. It seems there is no one taking care of this place. Rotting fruits were lying on the grounds and on grass all over the place, plants looked sad and dying. Gardens of local hotels and restaurants were in much better shape than this so called botanical garden.
Written May 8, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Aloha LKO420, In your review, you compared our garden to a deserted backyard and in some sense, you're on the right track. You see, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden located on an ancient sand dune system. So all of the plants that are growing at the garden, are growing in a very sandy environment. This often gives the feeling that it is a dry place when in fact, the plants featured in the garden, are the type of plants that are well-suited to survive in desert-like environments. Our garden is also located in an area that receives our breezy tradewinds on a regular basis. Therefore, it is only natural that leaves and fruits will fall throughout the day. Please be assured, that our staff and volunteers take great pride in the appearance of the garden and these natural materials are collected daily and composted. With a very limited garden staff, we depend on the help of many volunteers to assist us in keeping the garden beautiful. For example, our Weed & Pot Club volunteers spend two hours a week helping to weed, rake, plant and care for the garden and our nursery areas. We may not compare to local hotels and restaurants, but we are a small non-profit organization with limited funding and resources while still serving our community and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through the preservation of Hawaiian plants. If you'd like to see us improve, please consider financially supporting Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and making a donation toward our cause.
Written July 9, 2013
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Maui Nui Botanical Gardens (Kahului) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is open:
  • Tue - Sat 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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