Gardens and Waterfalls on The Big Island


The windward coast of The Big Island is a tropical paradise. The abundant rainfall produces lush gardens filled with exotic flowers, and rainforests harbor colorful birds and cascading waterfalls. You can explore the beauty of this coast on your own, or hire one of these providers to show you the sights.

Fire and Falls Helicopter Tours

Get taken away on an unforgettable helicopter tour! Enjoy sweeping views as you fly high above Kilauea Volcano's fiery heart, or witness nature's beauty on the Big Island of Hawaii as you take off on a exhilarating helicopter tour to a remote rainforest where you will then embark on an unforgettable hiking adventure!

Waipio and Waterfalls Helicopter Tours

Let expert pilots take you on an unforgettable Big Island air tour and witness the beauty of the northwest side of the island from the unique perspective of a helicopter!

Waipio Valley Tour

Take a mule-drawn wagon or ride a horse throuth Waipio Valley's majestic waterfalls, taro patches, lush tropical foliage and wild horses.

Hawaii Hiking Tour

Take a historic trail to reach places where you can view the ocean and the valley floor well over 1,000 feet below. Get up close and personal with the world’s most active volcano. Have the adventure you will write home about.

Zipline Canopy Adventure

Embark on a unique Zipline adventure that will take you over a magical botanical garden filled with flowers, trees, plants and waterfalls.


A Tropical Paradise

On-Your-Own (map)

  1. Kipuka Puaulu is a small island of foliage amid a sea of lava and a relaxing place where you can hear the songs of native birds without interruption from the real world. The park is on Mauna Loa Road about  a mile west of the entrance to Hawai‛i Volcanoes National Park. Free.

  1. Hilo Orchid Farm is located on Highway 11 about half way between Hilo and Volcanoes National Park. The location has the perfect combination of altitude and rainfall to nurture a dizzying array of orchids. Worth a stop. Free.

  1. Lili`Uokalani Park is a 34 acre ornamental Japanese garden in the heart of Hilo. You'll find bridges, fishponds, a lovely gazebo and beautiful statues.  This is a pleasant place to stroll or picnic. Free.

  1. Rainbow Falls is off Hwy 200 two miles west of Hilo. Rainbow Falls is part of the Wailuku River, the longest in the state Hawaii. Just above Rainbow Falls are Boiling Pots and Pe'epe'e Falls. Free.

  1. The Panaewa Zoo (Hilo Zoo) is set in a rainforest just south of Hilo. It is beautifully landscaped with orchids, tropical flowers, and ferns. Free.

  1. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens
    12,000 species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera, are found in this one-of-a-kind garden laced with streams and waterfalls. Entrance fee.

  1. Akaka Falls is perhaps the most visited falls on The Big Island. There are actually two waterfalls along the 0.4-mile uphill hike that will take you through a lush rainforest. Entrance fee.

  1. Kalopa State Recreation Area features  a nearly 1 mile loop trail takes you through a native 'ohi'a forest at a 2000-foot elevation. The trail passes through the beginnings of an arboretum of the Island's native plants. Bring an umbrella and insect repellent. Free.

  1. Waipio Valley Overlook takes in a valley that is a mile wide at its mouth and almost six miles deep.  The view from the overlook is memorable. Look for waterfalls lacing the far hillside. Free.

  1. Click here to buy: Flowers and Plants of Hawai`i: Pocket Guide Series [Paperback).

  1. Lastly, the weather on The Big Island is changeable. Consider carrying a lightweight waterproof jacket in your lightweight day-pack.

Click here to purchase vintage Hawaiian posters
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