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“Still worth the time”

Senator Fong's Plantation and Gardens
Ranked #18 of 42 things to do in Kaneohe
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This garden has five main areas on a 725 acre property.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Still worth the time”
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

The other reviews are right, this place is past it's prime as a tourist attraction, but that's mainly because the family makes money off the things they grow rather than depend on tourism. It's still a nice walk in the jungle with a lot of different varieties of fruits and flowers, depending on what's in season. The best time to go is from April to June, and you can sample fresh mountain apples, lychee, strawberry guava, and pick a wide variety of fragrant flowers. Our guide was the daughter in law of the Senator, and she was very friendly and you could tell the passion and love she had for the area. There is no longer a sign on the highway telling you where to turn, and apparently they like it that way. We were the only ones there, but they were very accommodating. The tours start at 10:30, and are $12.50 for locals. $14.50 for tourists. Kids 5 and under are free. There are no concessions, but there are restrooms.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
126 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Past it's Prime”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

we like to photograph flowers so stopped to visit the gardens. Seemed deserted. We were the only visitors. Took a few minutes to find someone to take our $$, but then we got a private guided tour. Not a lot of flowers, but good descriptions of many plants by an enthusiastic guide. Spent two hours and it was pleasant, but seem the the garden had seen better days. I would not repeat.
In contrast Allerton gardens in Kauai are worth yearly visits.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Wotsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful Garden, very friendly staff :-)”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We very much enjoyed the garden, and the view of the ocean from one area of the garden. We learned much about different trees. For the first time in our lives we saw coco (chocolate) tree, macadamian nuts trees, and several other trees.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank jkwill720
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Summer 2012 visit”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Low key, nice walk, some up hill, which if your healthy shouldn't be a problem. Sneakers are a better option just for comfort. Spray down with bug spray which they provide before your walk. Bring a little shopping bad to collect fruit samples which they allowed as an example to each group. Do not expect massive "flowers" here, there are some plants, but this is a plantation, not a botanical garden. Nice staff and worth the small fee. AND if you're traveling there on your own, there is no sign on the main road so plan your trip and have a copilot for watching for the street. We loved it.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Beth K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“See the scenic, preserved, historic land similar to the experience of early Polynesians.”
Reviewed July 17, 2012

The plantation and gardens guided nature walk is now given in an eco-tour style with emphasis on touching and smelling the bushes, nuts, fruits, trees and flowers along the way. Our tour guide, Joan, was very knowledgeable, showing our small group of four the flora, their names, medicinal purposes, and interesting facts. For example, the Traveler’s Tree stems' casings hold rainwater providing an emergency drinking supply. Also, its’ fan shaped leaves grow in an east-west line which travelers can use as a compass. There are so many different species of plants that I thank Patsy Fong for helping to identify them in our photographs.

The flourishing gardens are lovely and reminded me of an enchanted forest. With all of the surrounding natural beauty it is easy to understand why people have special events on the grounds. We had numerous photo opportunities, particularly on a plateau overlooking the ocean. The orchards were well maintained and our guide picked fresh, delicious lychees for us to eat during the tour.

I would have liked to have bought some lychees, postcards and a souvenir, but the fruit stands, drink concessions and gift shop are permanently closed. Tours are no longer offered on Saturday. Cash is the ONLY form of payment accepted for the nature walks and lei making instruction.

Lei making class is still offered every day, except Christmas and New Years. There is plenty of free parking in front of the open-air visitor’s center and bathrooms are located inside.

We felt the price of $14.50, per adult, was well spent considering the money goes to perpetuate this once royal, still pristine land as part of Hawaiian history and heritage. Inspired by the dazzling gardens and plantation during an easy, 90 minute hike of one mile, we had a great time.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank catnewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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