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“Truly Amazing”

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Papaikou
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) Scientific and Educational non-profit, whose mission is to serve as a nature preserve and sanctuary, a living seed bank, and a study center for trees and plants of the tropical world. The Garden is dedicated to the collection and display of the world's tropical plants,and to the education of both children and adults about the plight of the world's rainforests. At a time when rainforest plants are disappearing at an alarming rate, the Garden is working to preserve as many species as possible for the benefit of future generations.
Aliso Viejo, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Truly Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2014

I've been to several botanical gardens, but this has to be the best I've ever been to. LOVED this place. The story of how it came to be is great - check it out on the internet.

LOTS of walking, mild hills - highly recommend wearing tennis shoes. It's hot and humid too, so dress accordingly.

Make your way through the gardens to see beautiful trees, flowers, waterfalls, creeks. Everything is labeled so you know what you're looking at. Also a giant bird sanctuary with several beautiful, colorful parrots. There is also a place - Monkeypod Trail - where you see the ocean and can sit & enjoy it.

Only bummer is the golf carts. Seems like a lot of people can't walk the entire way, so golf carts take them up & down part of the trail. I'm hardly the epitome of health, and I was able to walk the entire place - over about 3 hours - up hills, down hills, everything. So it was annoying as a walker to have to accommodate the carts.

Photographer heaven. If you love photography and nature, this is a must see.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank califtravelgirl26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
98 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Best gardens!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

These gardens are just stunning. I can't really say enough great things about it.
Just a warning though, the boardwalk going down into the gardens is very steep, and you have to come out that way too. Wear some good walking shoes for the climb back out.
Also, don't stand under any of the mango trees for very long -- they fall at will.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank hunnyjar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
79 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“HAWAII TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDENS-MUST SEE ON BIG ISLAND”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

We drove back to Waikoloa from Hilo and on the way visited Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. It is located on the northeast side of the island of Hawaii at Onomea Bay, just 13.7 km (8 1/2 miles) north of Hilo. This beautiful botanical garden is privately owned as a non-profit enterprise. In addition to the beautiful gardens, filled with Hawaiian flowers (heliconia, ginger, etc) and gorgeous orchids, there are beautiful waterfalls and views of the ocean with crashing waves. We spent about 2 hours in the gardens but you could spend a lot more time there if you want to sit and relax. The paths wind throughout the garden and it is an easy walk, with benches to rest along the way if needed.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank JBE12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
289 reviews
273 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 410 helpful votes
“Stunning Garden on the Island of Volcanoes”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2014

We drove about 2 hours from Kailua-Kona to this beautiful Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. It is located on the northeast side of the island of Hawaii at Onomea Bay, just 13.7 km (8 1/2 miles) north of Hilo. This beautiful botanical garden is privately owned as a non-profit enterprise. Mr. Lutkenhouse purchased this 68,797 m2 (17 acre) paradise after a 1977 vacation with his wife and decided to preserve this beauty for generations to come. The Garden was opened to the public in 1984.

We couldn’t believe that just the previous day we were in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with almost no trees, and then the next day we were in a rain forest on the same lava ground. The owner must have spent lots of money and time to transform the jungle into the current botanical garden with lots of macaws in a birdhouse and exotic, beautiful plants. There are over 2,000 different plants in the Garden. Starting with the entrance gate, ahead of us was the 152 m (500 ft) long steep downhill sloped boardwalk. First we saw different types of palm trees, and then we met the fabulous three-tiered waterfall - Onomea Falls. We really felt comfortable and peaceful here. On the Heliconia Trail, we noticed many colorful heliconias that we have not seen anywhere else before. Continuing on the trail, we ended up at the Orchid Garden. Those orchids were my favorite, and I stayed a little longer to take photos. After visited those colorful macaws in the Founders' Birdhouse and Lily Lake, we reached the seaside of the Pacific Ocean. The Oceanfront Trail starts with the legend Twin Rocks Overlook. Because of the lava geology, we discovered similar coast landscapes in the Big Island coastline. We enjoyed the garden, and it extended to the oceanfront. The breeze that came from the ocean really cooled us down, and we could sit down on the bench for a short rest before we headed back to the gate.

The Garden is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day, and the last admission is at 4 pm. The admission fee is US$15, but it is worth every penny. You need to spare 2 hours in the garden. Comfortable clothes and shoes, a bottle of water, and, most importantly, bug repellent are necessary because you are entering a hot and humid jungle. If you are just like me and love to take photos of flowers, then this is the place for you, and you might need to plan additional time in the garden. You can also include the nearby Akaka Falls in your trip to the area and make it a perfect day trip.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jameshuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't Miss It”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2014

The Botanical Gardens were fantastic - our favorite "attraction" in Hawaii. The flowers are beautiful, the plants and trees are amazing and the grounds are impeccable. The variety of plants is astounding. The story of the founders is really neat. Spend time reading about the gardens online (http://www.htbg.com/) before visiting to truly appreciate the experience.

We arrived around 10am mid-week and there were hardly any other guests.

There is a gift shop with lots of souvenirs. They also ship flowers.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jay E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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