Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, an stunning garden to visit on the east side of Oahu (updated 2023)

Many visitors know about Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden as that insta famous garden in Oahu lined with palm trees and the iconic Ko’olau mountains in the background. They see this version of paradise that they want to replicate without knowing that much about this particular botanical garden.

Ho’omaluhia translates from Hawaiian as “a peaceful refute and rightfully so, it is tranquil, lush and a beautiful refuge. This is one of my favorite gardens in Oahu for the lushness and scale of the gardens to explore and photograph and I share all the details in this guide below.

Check out the highlights below to visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden and some of the lush beauty of the eastern side of the island.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden an iconic garden in Oahu

A little background to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Opened in 1982 in the Kane’ohe area, the garden is over 400 acres of lush and mature gardens representing the many tropical regions of the world that are grouped by geography.

These garden geography’s include botanical collections from Malaysia, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka, Polynesia, Africa and the tropical regions of the Americas.

Designed and then built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially to provide for flood protection to the area of Kane’ohe, The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden was envisioned by Paul R. Weissich, who was the first director and visionary efforts and skills help to create this lush and vibrant garden.

An educational center was dedicated in his honor and is used for ongoing exhibits and courses open for the public to participate in.

Where is the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden located?

The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is located in Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii, United States. The garden is approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Honolulu and Waikiki, which is about a 30 to 40-minute drive, depending on traffic conditions.

A little background to Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden FAQ

Do you need a reservation for Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden?

No, the garden is open daily for visitors to just drop in and explore this lush and mature garden. No reservations are required but this may change soon.

What is the admission to visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden?

Entrance is free to visit the garden and hike around the many trails

How much time do you need at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden?

This depends on your interest in tropical gardens and maybe doing some of the hikes in the area. We recommend visiting the visitors center to check out the highlights and pick up a map and just go with it.

Is Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden walkable?

Yes most of the garden is walkable with some hiking trails through the area. Go to the visitors center for an orientation and maps to visiting.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden FAQ

Exploring the gardens

The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is open for all visitors to come and explore this lush tropical botanical garden. Drop by the visitors center first for a map and talk story about what to see and do around the garden area.

There are six different garden areas to explore and the lake reservoir. Each garden area has a different theme with a walking path that leads to through the different gardens.

There is a parking lot with visitors center and restrooms you can visit before you head out to explore the garden areas.

** Please note that there is no stopping on the main road leading to the gardens, which is the road that most visitors want to take a picture of with the Ko’olau mountains in the background.

Drawing & Painting sessions

Held every Tuesdays: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Come paint and draw the wonderful plant life and scenery of our largest botanical garden with others in this self directed opportunity! Plants, flowers and seeds are provided from this rainforest garden. You’ll enjoy working plein air with other artists coming for this fun day of inspiration and doing art in the gardens.

No fee required. Call 808-233-7323 for more information. 

Exploring the gardens

Check out these photo highlights of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Check out these photo highlights of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Details to visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Details to visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Camping is allowed at the property and available on the park grounds check out and Find and Reserve a Campsite

Visiting hours

9:00 am Monday through 4:00 pm Sunday

Address; 45-680 Luluku Road Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744

Phone number 808-233-7323

Check out their website here for more details and information to visiting.

Take a look at this nice video tour of Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden below

Other places to visit in East or Windward Oahu

After you visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, check out all these other spectacular places to visit and explore on the windward side of the island.

Nu'uanu Pali Looking out point

Nu’uanu Pali Looking out point

This historic viewpoint to the eastern or windward side of the island is gorgeous and has a historic battle that Kamehameha the great won and forced Oahu’s army to the edge of the pali lookout and jump to their eventual death. This marked the eventual unification of the islands under its first king of Hawaii.

Check out more to visiting the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout point here for more information and details.

Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples is one of those serene, green and lush areas of the windward side that calls out to those looking for peace, meditation and a beautiful place to visit. The main attraction here is the Byodo In Temple, a replica of a Unesco temple from Kyoto, but this one is located at the base of the Ko’olau mountains and has such a strong and beautiful presence in the area.

Check out more to visiting the Valley of the Temples here for more information and images

Kailua town

Kailua town

The fun and trendy side of the windward Kailua town is the place to enjoy the many shops, galleries, eateries and hang out spots in town. You can also enjoy a lot of fun outdoor activities, visit Kailua Beach area and do more exploring in this cool area with a variety of attractions to explore in Kailua town.

Check out more to visiting the Kailua town here for more information and images

Lanikai Beach oahu

Lanikai Beach

One of the most popular neighborhood beach areas on the east side of the island, Lanikai is everyone’s favorite beach to enjoy a beach day here on the windward side. You can reach Lanikai from Kailua and just park along the streets and walk through the alleyways to get to the beach. With super soft sand, gorgeous aqua colored waters and the Mokes a short kayak ride away, you can do as much or just relax on this beautiful beach area.

Check out more to visiting Lanikai beach here for more information and images

Conclusion on visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Weather and best time to visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is a beautiful and tranquil oasis located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It’s known for its lush and diverse plant collections, serene landscapes, and recreational opportunities. The best time to visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden depends on your preferences for weather and activities. Here’s an overview of the garden’s weather and the ideal times to plan your visit:

Weather Overview:

  • Year-Round Tropical Climate: Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden enjoys a tropical climate, characterized by warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The weather is generally pleasant, but it’s essential to consider rainfall and temperature variations when planning your visit.
  • Summer (June to August): Summers in Ho’omaluhia tend to be warm, with daytime temperatures ranging from 80°F to 88°F (27°C to 31°C). These months are relatively dry, making it an excellent time to explore the garden and participate in outdoor activities.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall brings warm and comfortable temperatures, with highs between 80°F and 87°F (27°C to 31°C). While there may be occasional rain showers, the garden remains lush and green. This is a great time for a visit, as crowds are typically smaller than in summer.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters in Ho’omaluhia are mild, with temperatures ranging from 76°F to 81°F (24°C to 27°C). These months are the wettest of the year, with more frequent rainfall. However, the rain contributes to the garden’s vibrant beauty. Bring rain gear and be prepared for occasional showers.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring weather is similar to fall, with pleasant temperatures between 76°F and 84°F (24°C to 29°C). Rainfall begins to decrease, and the garden’s plants are in full bloom. Spring is an excellent time to visit, as the weather is comfortable, and the landscape is lush.

Best Times to Visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden:

  • Fall (September to November) and Spring (March to May): These transitional seasons offer the best weather for visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden. The temperatures are pleasant, and the garden is at its most vibrant.

  • Summer (June to August): Summer is also a good time to visit, especially if you prefer drier weather. However, be prepared for warmer temperatures.

  • Winter (December to February): While winters can be wetter, the garden remains open and beautiful. If you don’t mind occasional rain, you can still enjoy your visit during this time.

Additional Tips:

  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden offers various activities, including hiking, picnicking, and fishing. Check the garden’s website for information on guided tours and special events.

  • The garden is known for its breathtaking views of the Ko’olau Mountains. Consider visiting during the morning or late afternoon for the best lighting and fewer crowds.

  • Regardless of the season, it’s a good idea to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle for your visit.

Check out these other topics and places to visit around East Hawaii, Oahu

Lanikai Pillbox hike

Exploring the North Shore of Oahu

Things to do in Hawaii Kai

Virtual tours of Oahu

Free or cheap things to do in Oahu

A Diamond Head Hike in Honolulu

Family friendly beaches in Oahu

Top things to do in Honolulu

Conclusion on visiting Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Enjoyed your visit here or any other tips to share? Please share on the comments below.

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.