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The Beautiful Botanical Gardens of Oahu

When anyone hears Oahu or Hawaii, most will think of stunning beaches and majestic mountains.

But wait, Oahu is also home to several exquisite botanical gardens that showcase the rich tapestry of tropical plants, flowers, and trees.

In this article, we will explore some of the most enchanting Oʻahu botanical gardens on the island to immerse yourself in the lush beauty of Hawaii’s botanical treasures.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden

Situated in Kāneʻohe, on Oʻahu’s Windwardside, the Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden is a beautiful place with tall, pointy Koʻolau Mountains and a big lake in the middle. They have plants based in places like the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tropical America, Melanesia, Africa, Hawaii, and Polynesia.

The garden was built by the U.S. Army in 1982 for flood protection in Kaneohe. It is spread over 400 acres, making it the largest botanical garden of the city. To learn more about the garden’s history, you can visit their Visitor Center.

What We Loved The Most: The place isn’t very crowded and is best for having a peaceful time. If you have kids, you can try bamboo pole fishing and spend the night at their campground.

Location: 45-680 Luluku Rd. Kāne’ohe, HI 96744

Timing: 9 AM- 4 PM (Closed on Christmas day and New year)

Entry Fee: Free

Foster Botanical Garden

Foster Botanical Garden

In the middle of the busy Honolulu, you’ll find this beautiful and oldest garden, Foster Botanical Garden. It’s a perfect place to take a break from the hectic atmosphere of the South Shore.

You can expect to enjoy a variety of live music performances here. Guided tours are available, for which you need to make prior reservations. We suggest checking out the conservatory or the outdoor butterfly garden—something unique from the rest on the list.

Foster has the biggest trees from the mid-1800s, some of which were planted by Dr. William Hillebrand, the land’s original owner. While the large ones are impressive, make sure not to overlook other unique plants like the Pitcher Plant, Cannonball, Orchids, and Sausage trees.

What We Loved The Most: The butterfly garden encompasses various colors and species of butterflies. The garden has a unique corpse flower that emits a pungent odor.

Location: 180 North Vineyard Blvd, HI 96817

Timing: 9 AM- 4 PM ( Closed on Christmas day and New year)

Entry Fee: $5 (Adults), $1 (Children 6-12), Free (<6 years)

Wahiawa Botanical Garden

Wahiawa Botanical Garden

Nestled between the Wai’anae and Ko’olau mountain ranges, Wahiawa Botanical Garden is home to many native Hawaiian ferns and is known as the “tropical jewel.”

This famous lush ground is spread across a 27-acre ravine in central Oʻahu. The climate here is perfect for tropical plants that prefer cooler upland environment, creating a tropical rainforest with a shady and humid habitat.

You might witness summer performances organized by The Department of Parks and Recreation if you are lucky enough.

What We Loved The Most: Saplings planted on both sides of the path provided cool shade during the one-hour walk.

Location: 1396 California Ave. Wahiawa, HI 96786

Timing: 9 AM- 4 PM ( Closed on Christmas day and New year)

Entry Fee: Free

Koko Crater Botanical Garden

Koko Crater Botanical Garden

This is not only our favorite but also the entire Oahu and is known to be one of Oahu’s unique and best botanical gardens!

The reason for its uniqueness is its location (because it is on a crater) and the variety plants of dryland that thrive in desert-like conditions.

This place preserves rare and endangered dryland plants, covering 60 acres of the crater from major tropical regions like Hawaii, Africa, and Madagascar.

What We Loved The Most: We spent time exploring the cactus garden and plumeria grove. Also, the 2-mile trail offers a scenic journey around the garden.

Location: 7491 Kokonani St., Honolulu, HI 96825

Timing: Sunrise-sunset ( Closed on Christmas day and New year’s day)

Entry Fee: Free

Waimea Valley Botanical Garden

Waimea Valley

Aside from hosting over 5,000 types of tropical and subtropical botanical collections, Waimea Valley Botanical Garden is also home to its very own 45-foot waterfall, making it the only one on Oahu to have one.

Located on the North Shore, across the Waimea Bay, the scenery is spread over 300-plus acres of the valley, where you can explore over 40 themed gardens, such as the vibrant Lei Garden and the fragrant Hibiscus Gardens.

The plants here are brought from distant places like Japan’s Ogasawara Islands and the Mascarene Islands of Mauritius, adding to the diversity of the garden.

It also includes a cultural exhibit that displays sites and traditional living on the Hawaiian island.

What We Loved The Most: There’s an extensive collection of flowers to explore. Apart from that, you can swim in the fall for free. Changing rooms and cafes are available in the park to relax and spend time after the trail.

Location: 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

Timing: 9 AM- 4 PM ( Closed on every Monday). You can book for guided tours starting from 12:30 PM.

Entry Fee: $20 (Adult), $16 (Senior 62+), $12 (Children between 4-12)

Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden

Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden

Spanning 7.5 acres, this cultivation is nestled alongside the Nuʻuanu Stream, offering a serene environment with peaceful running water and small waterfalls.

Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden got its name from its original owner, Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii. She generously gave her garden to the people of Honolulu to enjoy.

Although the place is small and still under development, its primary focus is dedicated on cultivating native Hawaiian plants.

What We Loved The Most: The running water to spend peaceful time.

Location: 123 N. Kuakini St. Honolulu, HI 96817

Timing: 7 AM- 5 PM ( Closed on Christmas day and New year)

Entry Fee: Free

Moanalua Gardens

Moanalua Gardens

Moanalua Gardens holds a rich historical narrative that traces back to the Hawaiian monarchy. It is adorned with magnificent umbrella-like Monkeypod tree that captivate attention. This enormous monkeypod has sprawling branches that are over a century old.

The park boasts a significant cultural aspect, featuring not only native flora but also historic structures, including Kamehameha V’s summer cottage built by Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, who later became King Kamehameha V.

What We Loved The Most: The Hitachi and Monkeypod trees are something very unique to experience once in a lifetime.

Location: 2850-A Moanalua Road, Honolulu, HI 96819

Timing: 9 AM – 5 PM

Entry Fee: $10 (Adults), $7 (Children between 6-12), Free (Children under 6). For special Kama’aina discounts, please carry your local ID proof.

Lyon Arboretum

tropical plant species

Located in Manoa Valley, the Lyon Arboretum is a stunning garden affiliated with the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The garden covers nearly 200 acres, with home to over 5,000 tropical plant species and Hawaii’s Research Unit. The place offers various themed sections and trails to check out, and different tours are available, including self-guided ones led by Arboretum Docents.

Renowned for its breathtaking mountain views and lush tropical greenery, Lyon Arboretum shares similarities with Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.

What We Loved The Most: Several events keep on happening. You can visit their website to learn more about their events in detail.

Location: 2850-A Moanalua Road, Honolulu, HI 96819

Timing: 9 AM – 3 PM (Closed on Saturday & Sunday and other State & Federal holidays)

Entry Fee: Registration can be done for free by following this link. Entry to the garden is free, but a $10 donation per person is suggested.


Can visitors bring food and have a picnic in these gardens?

Some gardens may have designated picnic areas, while others may have restrictions. Therefore, it’s recommended to check each park’s rules and regulations regarding picnics and outside food.

How much time should visitors allocate to explore these locations?

The time needed to explore each park varies based on its size and the visitor’s preferences. However, on an average, it is recommended to spend 2-3 hours in each garden.

Are these open throughout the year?

Most are open throughout the year, with regular hours of operation. However, visitors are advised to check the official websites or contact the gardens directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information on operating hours and closures.

Treat Your Eyes And Minds With The Best Botanical Gardens Oahu!

Oahu’s botanical gardens offer a captivating journey through the diverse and enchanting world of tropical flora. These botanical wonders not only showcase the breathtaking variety of plant life but also contribute to the preservation of Hawaii’s rich biodiversity. Each one on this list is sure to connect you with nature and to gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance between humanity and the environment.


  • Elizabeth L

    Aloha! I’m Elizabeth L. At LiveYourAloha, I am responsible for writing about sightseeing tours and Hawaiian culture. For the last 12 years, I’ve been working as a tour guide in Hawaii. It’s been a great way to see the world and learn about new cultures. I love nature and the outdoors, and have even climbed two of the world’s highest peaks! Making connections and showing my visitors the incredible beauty of these beautiful islands is a passion of mine. When I’m not out giving tours, you’ll likely find me on an invigorating hike or enjoying local cuisine on the beach.