I work hard on the Big Island helping other people accomplish their dreams to move to Hawaii. It is rewarding work and I enjoy it, but it is important to get out and see the beautiful Island we live on from time to time as well. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and it is literally minutes to places people travel the world to see. One of my very favorite places is Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden just outside of Hilo, Hawaii, on the East side of the Big Island.
We have several botanical gardens, but it is hard to beat Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. It was originally a dump area where people discarded cars and tires and things they didn’t want around. It was purchased and over several years, the new owner worked at making a stunning setting with waterfalls and trails and plants and trees you have never seen. As you view them, you will see things that will remind you of some of the crazy sci-fi scenes from your favorite movies, but they are real and living at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden in Hilo, Hawaii.
As you leave Hilo to the North, there is a scenic highway that turns off to the right near a large school. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is about 9 miles from Hilo. It is a beautiful area that offers a variety of spectacular flora and fauna in a lush rainforest setting. This garden has over 2,000 species of plants all of which are stunningly beautiful, unique, and colorful. You will be amazed at this garden! Paths range from a long boardwalk as you enter to various paths to waterfalls and a Koi pond and even a bird area. A special area is set aside with more types of orchids than you can count. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is spacious and borders the ocean with a stunning view of the Pacific.
The entrance to the botanical garden is a bit steep, so I would suggest good walking shoes with traction. There are handrails and several stopping points for resting if the descent or ascent is too strenuous. (The staff at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden drive a golf cart up and down for those who want to enjoy the beauty but aren’t able to make the hike.) Once you are at the bottom, the rest of the walk is very manageable. Also, be sure to bring an umbrella and mosquito repellant just in case. There is a picnic area at the bottom with beautiful views of the ocean in a stunning tropical setting.
I’m not normally one for gift shops, but the gift shop at the gardens has quite a few lovely items for gifts or souvenirs that represent the beautiful flowers seen there. Also, don’t pass up the small, but interesting museum within the gift shop. It has some fascinating pictures of the area 170 years ago and what once stood there. The cost to enter Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is $20 per adult and is well worth the experience. There are also discount plans and yearly passes and discounts if you have a Hawaii State license. I personally buy the annual pass with 4 additional passes for about $100, but there are several options to fit your needs.
Plan on spending at least a couple of hours at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden so you can take time to explore every path and have time for picture taking. Look closely in the streams to see Tahitian Prawns. Look closely at the various plants that hold water to see frogs and geckos. If you are lucky, the mongoose like to hide in the thick and peek out as you walk by. You won’t be disappointed. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden changes with the seasons and each visit is exciting and new. Be sure to check it out for yourself.