Oahu’s unlikely Eden: Wahiawa Botanical Garden
You could spend a month or more touring Hawaii’s tropical gardens, which include four National Tropical Botanical Gardens, and still be impressed by this 27-acre offering hiding in the middle of Oahu. Wahiawa Botanical Gardens, just a little off the main drag that is an appendage of Schofield Barracks, is far superior to the amped-up tourist trap of Dole Plantation, just a few miles down the road on the main way to get from Waikiki to the North Shore.
Walkways and staircases weave about a stream valley. The gardens were planted in the 1920s, as an experimental arboretum for sugar growers.
Wahiawa is overgrown and profuse, a place to wander without getting lost. Admission is free, and during the weekdays you will have the place pretty much to yourself.
The upper portion of Wahiawa is stately and parklike. As with any botanical garden, try to stay still awhile and notice how long it takes to see the details emerge.
Kaukonahua Stream, the longest watershed in Oahu, really rips after big rains—exciting to view from the garden’s suspension bridge. Oahu Trailblazer
has more details on the rest of the island’s county-run gardens, as well other private offerings.
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