Mar 03

World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls – Big Island

Kenny and Karen waterfallsA long time ago, in a life that gets farther away each year, I worked at a plant nursery during the summer months when I was in college. The pay was very good and overall it was a pretty decent job, but by the time I was out of college I never wanted to own a yard or look at garden plants ever again.  Then I met Karen and got married now she wants to have the best yard on the block and she likes to go to botanical gardens. 

Now, I will usually drag my feet about going, but by the end I am usually happy that we went.  The World Botanical Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii was one of the two gardens that we visited while we were there.  We also visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and really enjoyed our time there.  While the gardens were better at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden what made the World Botanical Gardens worth going to were the waterfalls, but more on that a little bit later in the post.
Yellow Tropical Flower

When we visited the gardens we had a whole day planned full of activities so we did not get to spend as much time as we wanted.  One of the things that we cut out was the children’s maze.  So the only thing I can say about that is what I have read in my research of this post which is that their children’s maze is the world’s second largest permanently planted maze.  While we did not see the maze we did take the short but beautiful stroll through their Rainbow Walk garden.  There were a variety of colorful plants that covered a multitude of tropical plant species.  Karen and I also walked the Rainforest Trail which is good representation to the native plants found in Hawaii.   
Super King Ixora

Karen and I both agree that the greenest most vibrant gardens we have ever been to have been in the Hawaiian Islands, which should not surprise anyone considering the year round temperatures and amount of rainfall makes it a tropical paradise. 

On our trip we had previously visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens and were a little leery of visiting another garden when the beaches and other attractions on the Big Island were calling us.  We decided to go to the World Botanical Garden because of the two waterfalls that we would be able to see on their grounds.  The first one we went to was the 100-foot waterfall called Kamaee Falls.  Since the time we were on vacation there they have put in a trail that leads to the cusp of the waterfall.  The second waterfall and the main reason that we went was to look at the Umauma Falls which is a three tiered waterfall that we saw from a distance. 
Kamae'e Falls

Since we have been there the World Botanical Gardens have added a zip line and a segway tour.  They have also put in an improved trail along the Hanapueo Stream that leads to several small waterfalls.  Unfortunately, Umauma Falls can no longer be viewed from the World Botanical Gardens, a zip line company called Umauma Experience owns that view of the Umauma Falls. 
Umauma Falls from the overlook

If you are going to visit a botanical garden on the Big Island of Hawaii the better bang for your buck is at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.  If you have some extra time and cash to spend and would like to see waterfalls with your flowers then the World Botanical Gardens is worth a stop.  No matter which one you go to make sure you bring plenty of bug spray because the mosquitoes are mighty fierce.    
Purple Tropical Flower

World Botanical Gardens
Located at Highway 19 & Leopolino Road aka 31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway in Hakalau at the 16 mile marker on Highway 18 about 15 miles north of Hilo
Hours of Operation- 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 365 days a year
Cost as of 2012 Adults $13.00 children 13-17 $6.00 children 5-12 $3.00
For more information visit their website at  http://www.worldbotanicalgardens.com/
Umauma Falls close up

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1 comment

  1. Brooke

    I always love visiting Botanical Gardens wherever I happen to be! There’s so many gorgeous plants and flowers to experience, and I definitely saw that in your photos. I’ll have to keep this garden in mind if I return to Hawaii.

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