NA ‘ĀINA KAI BOTANICAL GARDENS is a backyard project that grew into what is now an amazingly diverse and carefully plotted Eden reaching across 240 acres to the sea.
The gardens refl ect more than 25 years of work that has gradually transformed land once devoted to sugar cane and cattle grazing into a young hardwood forest, a collection of gardens (including a children’s garden) and a whimsical sculpture park for exploring.
The gardens are laid out on property once owned by Ed and
PHO TO: HA W AI‘I T OURISM AS SOCIA TION (HT A) GO “SLOW SHOPPING” IN HANALEI
estate that preserves and showcases Hawai‘i’s landscapes, which range from tropical to forested to desert- like. The couple donated the land to a nonprofi t foundation that now maintains it.
Within the gardens are a stunning maze, a landscaped three- quarter-acre lagoon, palm, desert and orchid gardens, a shower tree park, a bog house, a forested canyon and SCULPTURE PARK .
The centerpiece of the CHILDREN’S GARDEN is a 16-foot bronze JACK AND THE BEANSTALK sculpture-fountain. In all, more than 90 UNUSUALLY LIFELIKE SCULPTURES can be sighted. You can tour on foot or by tram. Reservations are required. Located at 4101 Wailapa Road near Kīlauea.