The windward side of Oahu is home to many unique and beautiful treasures but one of the crown jewels in Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens near Kaneohe. Situated in the caldera of the ancient Ko’olau volcano, this 400 acre wonderland of flora from Hawai’i, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, the Americas and Southeast Asia is filled with hiking trails, a unique visitor center and a freshwater lake stocked with fish.
As you hike through the gardens don’t be surprised to see Hawaiian wildlife. Common animals that can be seen are the Hawaiian feral pigs, native and introduced birds - even the rare and beautiful Hawaiian Honey Creeper. You will likely also see Zebra Doves, Spotted Doves, Brazillian Cardinals, Japanese White Eye, and the melodic Shama Thrush.
The gardens have spaces available for camping and allow catch and release fishing on weekends. The lake and gardens were built initially by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control flooding in Kaneohe and opened to the public in 1982. The gardens are open 9am to 4pm every day except Christmas and New Years Day. There is a special emphasis placed on the plants of Hawai’i and Polynesia. In addition, Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens offers educational programs and private group tours. For more information, please visit the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden's website at https://www.honolulu.gov/parks/hbg.html?id=569:ho.