Camping at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gargden

Situated against the majestic Ko’olau Range, Ho’omaluhia, one of the five Honolulu Botanical Gardens, is located on the windward side of O’ahu in Kane’ohe. A plant-lovers delight, this 400 acre garden is planted with rainforest trees and shrubs from the tropics of the world, including Polynesia, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, India, Africa, and Tropic America. Network of trails leads through gardens, and a 32 acre lake adds a serene beauty to the walk. 

Meaning to “make a place of peace and tranquility,” this beautiful garden is a wonderful setting for nature activities and enjoyment. The visitor center facilities include picnic areas, walking paths, weekend campsites, meeting rooms and an art gallery.

Visitors should come prepared with walking shoes, insect repellent and rain gear. Rain showers are frequent throughout the year at Ho’omaluhia.

Hours

The Garden is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Camping is available from 9:00 am Friday through 4:00 pm Monday. A printed permit is required to camp along with a non-refundable fee of $30.oo.  Catch-and-release fishing is open weekends from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Access

45-680 Luluku Road

Kane’ohe, Hawai’i 96744

Transportation

TheBus: No. 55 (Kane’ohe) and No. 56 (Kailuha-Kane’ohe) both serve Windward City Shopping Center. * Visitor center is 2 miles from Bus Stop.

Camping

Camping in O’ahu is a little different from camping on the mainland. For starters, you don’t have to worry about bears or snakes, and instead of sleeping bags you can opt for a warm blanket. I’d say the biggest pests are mosquitos and mongoose that lurk around waiting for scraps.

The scenery here was breathtaking and just a relaxing place to be.  It rained quite frequently, but it was calming to sleep to at night. The campsite offers bathroom facilities with showers, toilets, and sinks which makes the camping experience a little more tolerable. I will mention that it will be a cold shower even though there are hot and cold knobs. There are outside sinks that provide a place to wash pots and pans and many water facets placed throughout the campsite.

We didn’t bring any sleeping bags and were quite comfortable with a down comforter and a queen air mattress. There are electrical sockets in the bathrooms which we used to pump up our air mattress and power any electrical devices that we brought along. You can go for the whole camp experience and cook your own food, or you can drive into town which takes about ten minutes and pick up food. Just be aware of gate hours.

When the garden was closed to visitors for the evening, we felt like we had the entire garden to ourselves. It felt so surreal! We took advantage of this time to really enjoy, and take in the garden. We took several walks down to the lake to feed the fish and ducks and just admired the plant life surrounding us.

If you want to experience a truly unique camping experience I highly recommend this campsite! And with easy access to amenities, it makes camping with friends and family a little easier.

Mahalo! and please feel free to comment and leave any suggestions for fellow campers!

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