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Limahuli Garden and Preserve


Limahuli Garden and Preserve

Limahuli Garden at the foot of Makana Mountain also known as Bali Hai, part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii

Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com

Part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Ha'ena, Kauai:

The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) is a not-for-profit institution, dedicated to discovering, saving, and studying the world's tropical plants and to sharing what is learned. Since its founding in 1964, the NTBG has grown to encompass nearly 2,000 acres of gardens and preserves. NTBG consists of a network of diverse gardens and preserves, each with significant biological, cultural, and historical resources.

National Tropical Botanical Garden Locations:

Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden - the Lawa`i Valley, South shore of Kauai
Limahuli Garden and Preserve - North shore of Kauai
Kahanu Garden - Hana Coast of Maui
The Kampong - on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Florida

Limahuli Garden and Preserve:

Limahuli Garden
5-8291 Kuhio Hwy.
Ha'ena, Kaua'i, Hawaii
(808) 826-1053

Limahuli Garden and Preserve is set in the Lawa`i Valley on the north shore of Kauai. The Garden is backdropped by the majestic Makana Mountain and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. In Hawaiian, the name Limahuli means "turning hands," which recognizes the ancient Hawaiians who built agricultural terraces out of lava rock and planted cultivars of kalo (taro), an important cultural food crop.

Mrs. Julet Rice Wichman acquired this property in 1967 and along with her grandson and his wife began the restoration of the site.

The 7-acre garden portion closest to the ocean was gifted by Mrs. Wichman to the non-profit NTBG in 1976. In 1994 her grandson Charles "Chipper" and his wife Hau'oli gave the remaining 985 acres of the valley to the NTBG, creating the Limahuli Preserve.

In 1997, the American Horticultural Society awarded Limahuli Garden its "Best Natural Botanical Garden" designation for demonstrating "best sound environmental practices of water, soil, and rare native plant conservation in an overall garden design."

Plant Collections:

The plant collections at Limahuli Garden focus on the beauty of plants that are native to Hawaii and/or culturally significant to Hawaiians. They include endemic Hawaiian species, plants introduced by the early Polynesian voyagers, as well as culturally important plants that were introduced during the plantation era starting in the mid-1800s. The collections in Limahuli Garden are used for the purposes of conservation, cultural perpetuation, and education.

Getting There::

Limahuli Garden is located approximately 36 miles and 1-1/4 hours north of Lihue Airport and approximately 11 miles or 30 minutes from Princeville.

Visitors should travel north on Highway 56 (Kuhio Highway) past Wailua, Kappa, Anahola, Kilauea and Princeville. Just past Princeville Highway 56 changes to Highway 560 (still Kuhio Highway).

Mile markers begin counting again at 0. At this point, you are approx. 9.4 miles from Limahuli Garden. The highway descends into the Hanalei Valley and passes through the town of Hanalei. The highway then becomes curvy and crosses over a number of one-lane bridges. Continue through Wainiha and past Ha'ena Beach.

Look for the entrance sign to the garden on your left. Park at the Visitors Center.

Hours and Tour Options:

The garden is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can tour the garden on your own along a 3/4 mile marked path with some steep areas. You can also take a guided tour which is offered daily at 10:00 a.m. Reservations are required for the guided tour. Allow a minimum of 1-1/2 hours for a self-guided tour and 2-1/2 hours for a guided tour.


Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, long pants and/or mosquito repellent, hat for shade, and bottled water. Umbrellas and walking sticks are provided. Be sure to pick up a copy of the excellent 50+ page Visitor's Guide.


Self-guided: Adults $15; children 12 yrs. and under free.
Guided: Adults $30; 10-12 yrs. $15; Children 10 yrs. and above only on tour.


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