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“Nice Small Zoo”

Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens
Ranked #23 of 80 things to do in Hilo
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nice Small Zoo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

This is definately worth a stop if you are looking for something to do while in Hilo. The zoo is free and is a nice outing with some pretty gardens. Stop by the Macaw cage as he is fun to see. My family and I spent a very enjoyable morning here while on vacation.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank cjqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Tarrytown, New York
Level Contributor
75 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Don't go out of your way to visit, but it's free entry”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

I have driven past the zoo many times, and had heard the gardens were very nice. The main attraction, an albino tiger, died of old age earlier this year. The other animals and bird are in rather unfortunate cages that seem small or dirty or old or all three. The tropical birds are the highlight of the visit, and they're loud and beautiful. The gardens have many palms and a nice selection of vireyas (tropical rhododendrons).

If it weren't free, I would say skip it. But the gardens are not bad, even though the animals and birds are not the most interesting, and there are not many of them either!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level Contributor
142 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Pretty empty, but free!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2014

Admission is free and so is parking.

My family and I came here on a Saturday for their "petting zoo". My son had a blast petting the animals. I enjoyed taking pics of him petting the animals!
It would have been nice, though, if the petting area was larger. There were a lot of animals and people crammed into a small space.

The zoo also has a nice play area for children.

There were many nice plants to see as you walk from one exhibit to another.

In terms of animals, there weren't many. We saw birds, turtles, and monkeys. Most of the exhibits were closed (empty). Even the butterfly house had no butterflies.

It's kind of a sad zoo that clearly lacks funding. However, it is free! For a free zoo, it's good enough.

It might not be worth it to go there on a day other than Saturday.

(Saturday is the only day with the petting zoo. Petting zoo is only 1 hour long. Check their website for updated hours.)

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank jenkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Hilo Zoo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2014

This zoo is completely run by volunteers. They also rescue some birds, and some are adopted out if they can find a better situation for the animal. I really liked it. Stop by and give them some dough. They really need it and deserve to be supported.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank 365brucem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
keaau
Level Contributor
43 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Nice little Zoo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

Been here many times with the family and to kiddie parties. The kids love this place, petting zoo. I like it cause its free; admission and parking! and very relaxing with a decent amount of animals. Enjoy, if your in Hilo visiting it may be worth the time to check it out you can see the whole zoo in about an hour. No food concession but a gift shop that has ice cream. Aloha

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank food000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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