If you’re planning a day on Oahu’s North Shore and looking for a good activity that the whole group can enjoy, Waimea Valley is a great place to go. There is a wide variety of things to do in the valley, ranging from and depending on the day of your visit. You can explore the 1,875 acres of sacred land on foot, or for a few dollars you can take a guided tour on a golf cart.
The trails are very well maintained, you can push a stroller and easily walk with small children or elderly on a paved path. I’d suggest to wear some bug repellent and bring a bottle of water, maybe even your swimsuit too, since you can swim when you reach the Waihi waterfall. The stroll to the waterfall is 3/4 of a mile one way, or 1.5 miles round trip. In case you’re wondering, the waterfall is approx. 45 feet tall.
You pay admissions at the ticket booth and journey through the world-class botanical gardens. Fun tip: pick up the pamphlet of birds and see how many you can find on the list. Some birds are native or endangered, so please remember we are visiting their natural habitat, be kind. Also, every 3rd Sunday is Kama’aina discount day.
Waimea is known as ‘The Valley Of The Priests’, gaining that title when Oahu’s ruler awarded the land to Kahuna nui, where descendants of the high priests lived and cared for the valley until 1886. Highlights and activities are spread throughout the valley. Explore Ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites – religious sites and shrines, house sites, agricultural sites, and fish ponds (which do contain all 5 species of o’opu, a native freshwater fish and they can be also seen in Kamananui stream).
Journey through 150 acres of botanical gardens containing more than 5,000 different kinds of tropical and sub-tropical plants, highlighting native and endangered Hawaiian plants. Enjoy the wildlife too! Participate in some free cultural activities, (free with your paid admission of course).
- Hula demonstrations
- Hawaiian games and crafts
- Music and storytelling from the Kupuna
Don’t forget to pick up some keepsakes from the retail store, showcasing locally made products and work from North Shore artists. Work up an appetite? Grab a meal from the on site concession, which uses locally grown or made-in-Hawaii ingredients. Truly some of the best local dining on island.
Hawaii Ranked One of the Most Eco-Friendly States
During your visit you’ll surely notice the windmills atop the ridge in the back of the valley, and maybe you’d be happy to know that Hawai’i is ranked 10th eco-friendliest state overall, by WalletHubs’ Study 2015: Most & Least Eco-Friendly States.
In addition to the study, Hawaii was also ranked:
- 5th in eco-friendly behavior
- 18th in environmental quality
- 5th again in highest water quality
- 2nd on the list for the highest number of “green” buildings per capita
- 2nd when it came to the lowest gasoline consumption
- Proudly, here in Haleiwa, there is the first house in Hawai’i to ever attain the Platinum LEED certification, a.k.a. an award for the highest honor in the world of green building – pretty cool!
I’m no crazy environmentalist, but I am lucky enough to live in a community that makes it easy to learn, adapt, and make healthier choices. So, since I live on a decent size piece of land here on the North Shore, we are slowly becoming a little more sustainable.
We have an orchard with many different fruit bearing trees (lychee, mango, avocado, oranges, surinam cherries, bananas, papaya, starfruit, guava and more), we have a full herb garden, almost enough greens to feed our family daily, and 7 chicks to raise as lay hens – definitely looking forward to having free-range organic eggs in a few months.
Most of all it’s a great time to teach children and friends how to be kinder to the island we live on. Also feeding/cleaning the chicken coop and helping in the garden are a few good ways to earn those new toys or allowance!
Are You Ready For Your Own Eco-Friendly North Shore Oasis?
If you are looking for your own eco-friendly home, I have a few in mind, like one on a rare, level 1.077-acre lot in Pupukea with a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house.
59-729 Kawoa Way (MLS# 201502382) Price: $1,295,000
Let’s not forget, this property comes with 2 already functioning greenhouses, more than 90 tropical fruit trees and exotic flowers, also a lot of space to add your own personal touches.
Feel free to contact me to aid you in finding your own “green” property or eco-friendly Oahu home!