Take a trip to O‘ahu’s North Shore to discover a sacred ahupua‘a (a land division that usually extends from the mountains to the sea) that just so happens to have a world-class botanical garden in the middle of it!
WAIMEA VALLEY , located across from Waimea Bay, is a 1,875-acre, privately owned nonprofi t property fi lled with more than 5,000 diff erent documented plant species and native fl ora — many of which can be found nowhere else in the world.
A rich and culturally signifi cant wahi pana (storied place), the valley has been home to and ruled by a long line of ali‘i nui (kings), ali‘i (chiefs) and kāhuna nui (high priests), the last of whom, Hewahewa, was a high priest from the island of Hawai‘i.
Waimea Valley has gone through many changes over the years, but the mana (life force) of those who once ruled here remains. Evidence of this early existence can be found in the many cultural and archaeological sites located throughout the valley, such as HALE O LONO HEIAU (a temple dedicated to the god Lono), kauhale kāhiko (traditional living site) and lo‘i (agricultural terraced walls) believed to be hundreds of years old.
Waimea Valley is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (summer schedule), and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (fall schedule, beginning Sept. 7). It’s closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and there is an admission fee. WAIMEA VALLEY 808-638-7766