Are you enthralled with the natural beauty of Hawaii? Want to see more of the tropical plants and hear the rich variety of birds call out in the forests? If so, then a must-stop for your traveling party is the Garden of Eden Arboretum. Located on the northwest shores of Maui, the Garden of Eden Arboretum is a gorgeous botanical garden that sprawls across twenty-six fantastic acres and has a rich variety of trails and scenic views to enjoy.
You will find signs for the Garden of Eden Arboretum pretty easily if you are traveling along Hana Highway in North Maui. This place is located just a half-mile away from mile marker 10 and boasts several big signage urging guests to stop. In fact, we’d be surprised if you didn’t encounter any type of advertisement for the Garden of Eden Arboretum during your stay on Maui as this is perhaps the most popular of private gardens to visit. This is where the opening sequence for Jurassic Park was filmed as well as bits for other shows.
When you turn down the road to enter the Garden of Eden Arboretum, you will first encounter a food concession building and food truck on your left. You might stop here to grab some snacks before you continue down the road to the entry and visitor center. Now, this is a privately owned botanical garden and so prices are a bit steep compared to the local state parks (although keep in mind that you will find this area incredibly well-maintained and worth this steeper ‘beautification’ cost). Entrance is $20 per guest with a $5 discount for those who can show a military or student ID. There are also large group discounts and discounts for those with Hawaiian identification.
Once you’ve passed through this gate, you have a lot of options of where to explore and what to do first. Don’t be surprised if you find what you thought would be an hour or so visit turn into an entire afternoon or even a full day adventure. The Garden of Eden Arboretum is filled with incredible beauty and vistas upon which to stare out at plunging waterfalls and across the Pacific Ocean.
If you’re not sure where to go first, you might consider starting at the westernmost part of the park and slowly working your way around. This would mean checking out first the onsite art gallery in which you will find a mix of photography, glasswork, ceramics, and fine jewelry made by some of the island’s most renowned artisans. After this stop, continue on to the duck pond and bird feeding area (very popular for young children), and make a stop at the central parking lot just beyond it. This central parking lot serves as a great hub for the best hiking trails the Garden of Eden Arboretum has to offer.
The trails at this botanical garden wind through pristine lowland rainforest that is home to hundreds of species of flowers, shrubs, and ground covers that are indigenous to the islands of Hawaii. Hikers here will find themselves up close and personal with a 100-year-old mango tree, travel beneath an enchanted forest and through a banana patch, you can also stand and gaze out at the mesmerizing Keopuka Rock Overlook (that location made famous as the Jurassic Park opening sequence. There are even several waterfalls, including the Upper Puohokamoa Waterfalls, that can be sighted from the trails at Garden of Eden Arboretum.
Long story short, if you love being outside and exploring the rainforest flora and fauna of Hawaii, then make sure to add the Garden of Eden Arboretum to your upcoming Maui travel itinerary.
For some, this will feel like a bit of a tourist trap as there are several private businesses within the private business that is the botanical garden itself. This is not necessarily a false experience as you can do just a quick drive of the park, see those businesses, and feel like it wasn’t worth the time. But if you are a traveler who enjoys meandering the trails and pausing to sit and relax to take in the beauty at one of the several pavilions along the way, you will find the costs worth the experience.