Located at the eastern edge of the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve, Keahua Arboretum serves as the perfect place to take a nature retreat. Rainbow Eucalyptus trees serve as the star of the show, although there are endless native and introduced plant species all across the park. Largely established by the University of Hawaii, all the trees, shrubs, and flowers perfectly complement each other to create an idyllic landscape full of wonders.
You can soak in the sights by taking a slow stroll through the park or while having a picnic at one of the many tables scattered across Keahua Arboretum. Although the tables are largely in various states of disrepair, they work just fine for a leisurely lunch. If you’re concerned about their cleanliness, layout a cloth over the surface, and then roll out your picnic spread. If you cannot find any tables open, you can put the cloth straight on the ground instead and enjoy your lunch in any spot you’d like.
If you’d like to take your Keahua Arboretum experience to the next level, you can take a dip in the river during your visit. The fresh spring water feels absolutely wonderful year-round, although it’s especially nice as warm sunshine beams down on you. There are no lifeguards on site, of course, so you’ll have to be careful in the water. There are usually other people onsite splashing around, but if they have to call for someone to help you, it’ll likely be a long wait until they’re able to get there.
The road to the Keahua Arboretum is often rather rough going, after all, leaving most visitors moving down the path at a crawl. All along the way, you have to watch out for huge potholes, especially during rainy weather. The ruts and holes often turn into big mud pits that wreak havoc on suspension parts and overwhelm tire tread.
Even in 4×4 vehicles, there’s a pretty good chance of getting stuck if you take the wrong route around the obstructions. Thankfully, you can often find parking further down the road and then walk up along the shoulder. Just be sure to watch for cars in case anyone else tries to brave the rough roads.
As with all natural areas on the island, always plan to pack out what you bring with you. Although there are garbage cans by the restroom at Keahua Arboretum, they are not emptied nearly enough, leaving items strewed about by wildlife. So, if you can bring a garbage bag and pack out your trash, your efforts will go a long way toward helping preserve the landscape. You can even go above and beyond by grabbing any extra trash you see on the ground and packing it out as well.
-Before you go, buy local bug spray and apply it as directed. Otherwise, you’re likely to get swarmed by mosquitos and more.
-Need a bathroom visit? Just go right up the hill and to the left of the bridge. This outhouse-style restroom does not get nearly enough attention throughout the year, so its cleanliness level leaves much to be desired.
-Never carve into the trees or otherwise disturb the natural landscape.