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“Worth the Time and Money”

Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
Ranked #4 of 32 things to do in Kilauea
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 17, 2008

This was my second time on this tour and I was just as pleased as the first time. We selected the tram tour since a member of my party had mobility issues. Both times the tour guide has been gracious, well versed, and entertaining. The interaction between the guide and visitors keeps the tour interesting and time flies by quickly. You don't need to be an avid gardner to find this useful - the gardens are an incredible site to behold and the sculpture is really great. We enjoyed the gift shop, the plans for growth and the contribution the garden is making to sustainable industry. It's a great value for both time and money. Check it out!

4  Thank linda4140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bronze sculptures"
in 23 reviews
"children's garden"
in 21 reviews
"family tour"
in 14 reviews
"garden tour"
in 18 reviews
"hour tour"
in 21 reviews
"walk tour"
in 6 reviews
"tea house"
in 5 reviews
"sculpture park"
in 5 reviews
"hedge maze"
in 4 reviews
"different areas"
in 4 reviews
"own pace"
in 5 reviews
"self guided tours"
in 3 reviews
"excellent garden"
in 3 reviews
"nesting albatross"
in 3 reviews
"wedding venue"
in 3 reviews
"labor of love"
in 3 reviews
"gift shop"
in 15 reviews
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250 - 253 of 253 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2008

We visited Na Aina Kai in July '07 and chose a kid friendly tour for our 3 boys ages: 4, 6, & 9. The volunteer who led our tour provided our children with paper bags for "treasures" (leaves, seeds, flowers) that they would be allowed to collect along the way. They loved this. She let them feed some beautiful fish in the pond, right from their fingers. The maze was fun as well. The ultimate highlight was an enclosed garden for children. It was fantastic! We have traveled extensively but never have seen such a wonderful (and beautiful) play area for children. Unfortunately, after walking through gardens for a couple of hours, the kids only had a half hour to enjoy this little paradise. We were very unhappy with how this tour had been structured. The volunteer tour guide was very nice but spent too much time talking about wedding locations as she gave us our tour. We loved the gardens and the gift shop was fantastic. I would recommend at least 45 minutes to an hour in this garden. It is a worthwhile attraction.

3  Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2008

This beautiful botanic garden may be visited only by booking a tour, which can be done at their website: www.naainakai.com. Frommers' gives this attraction 3 stars and the rating is well deserved.
We booked the full 5 hour tour and were not disappointed, however shorter tours are available.. Each tour is led by a docent - or two for the 5 hr tour - and ours, Frank & Laura, were lovely and very knowledgeable. The pace is easy, the scenery (ours included the beach) spectacular and we came away with a true appreciation for the special beauty that is Hawaii.

4  Thank MichiganCookies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2007

My husband and I are active hikers. We've explored some of the most beautiful parts of the island on foot, thanks in no small part to "The Insider's Guide to Kauai." We weren't sure if this garden would offer much to see, but this hidden gem offers something here for everyone.

It is off the beaten path, and so far from being a commercial venture... we were glad to donate our entrance fee to the preservation effort this garden is making on the island. The garden was a new one for us, and I found it here on Trip Advisor. It ended up being one of the most enjoyable days on the island!

We contacted the garden via the website. There are beautiful pictures of the many formal gardens online. They don't begin to do the place justice! A variety of tours exists for children, adults, and those who do not want to do much walking. The staff I spoke with were extremely helpful in matching us up with a tour to match our preferences.

In our case, we opted for the 5 hour Wildside Trek lunch hike to take in as much of the property as we could. We were joined on the tour by 2 other couples, both avid gardeners. Our tour was led by a middle-aged gentleman, who was kind, funny, and full of insight into the plants and the local landscape. I was unsure about spending an entire day of our vacation in the company of strangers, but it was enjoyable from start to finish!

The gardens themselves are amazing. We started our hike early in the morning, ordering lunch at the main house. They were even able to accomodate my vegetarian preferences. Bug spray was also provided, as the big bugs in the woods there will lunch off YOU if you're not careful.

We hiked through groves of teak and rosewood trees, tasted the fruit of both peanut butter and jelly trees, and enjoyed the sculpture and plants of the upper gardens. We emerged from the woods to a beautiful view out over the water, with a refreshing breeze and a cooler filled with our lunches delivered to the spot. Sandwiches, chips, and what else? Macadamia nut cookies, freshly baked. Yum! Nothing makes you more in the mood for cookies than a morning of strolling through the woods!

After lunch, we wound our way down through the gardens to the waterline. We emerged onto the beach, admired the view, and began the trek back uphill. None of us were sorry to climb onto the motorized cart to get to the last sculpture garden. I have never in my life seen so many kinds and colors of orchids! I was so inspired by what we saw, that I ended up buying orchids to bring home at the end of our trip.

(The orchids were purchased from the Kauai Landscaping and Garden Center. They have an agriculturally approved inspection sticker and will wrap any plants for carry-on airline travel back to the mainland. Highly recommend this option. We checked the package and all of our plants arrived intact on the luggage belt back home. Outstanding selection of plants and wrapping and inspection services)

This garden was started by the ex-wife of cartoonist Charles Schulz. She has done an amazing job! The garden is amazing, as was our tour guide, who is a volunteer, who was so funny and full of info... we really enjoyed the day! Turns out, here he was volunteering at the garden on his birthday! I hope he's had a great year since then.

We tasted interesting plants, admired more species of plants than I knew were in Hawaii, and finished the day just awed by the beauty of this tucked-away gem of a property. Wow!

Can't say enough good things about the tour.

There are options for people who want to be active, and for those with small children. The children's garden is adorable. Water sprays from fountains around the garden and I can see spending a few hours with the kids just enjoying the weather. For adults who do not want to do much walking, motorized tours bring you from one part of the garden to the other, allowing you to get out at various spots, and enjoy the orchids and sculpture from the convenient benches.

This place is off the general path. They are populated so far mostly by people who hear of it through word of mouth. A great experience for anyone!

19  Thank SallyLyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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