This 27-acre city park between the Waianae and Koolau Mountains in central Oahu features hiking trails and more than 60 types of old trees as well as a distinguished fern collection. The park is one of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. Set on a plateau at an elevation of nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, the garden receives about 65 inches of rain each year. The cool and humid climate supports a lush growth of tropical flora from taro to Hawaiian ferns. Wahiawa Garden is particularly noted for its collections of Hawaiian palms as well as the aroid garden, Hawaiian tree ferns, and epiphytic plants.
The park was founded in the 1920s by the Hawaii Sugar Planters’ Association which used the area as an experimental arboretum. Wahiawa, which means “place of noise,” opened as a botanical garden in 1957. The garden is open from 9 to 4 daily except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Volunteer docents will conduct guided tours by appointment. Call (808) 621-7321.
Wahiawa Botanical Garden is located at 1396 California Avenue in Wahiawa about one mile east of Kamehameha Highway (Hwy. 80). From Waikiki take highway H-1 west to the H-2, then take the H-2 north to Exit #5 (Wahiawa). When you see California Avenue follow the signs to Wahiawa Botanical Garden.