Big Island Botanical Bliss

Less than 10 miles north of Hilo on Highway 19  is a discreet turn-off onto a lush four mile scenic drive along the Hamakua Coast. The Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens is 40-acres in a valley of heart-stopping coastal beauty, tropical plants and forest, waterfalls, and secret coves. Just down the road from the Umauma Falls and Ziplining Experience, on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hilo Side, lies the Onomea Valley and the  17-acre  botanical garden is a non-negotiable stop on any visit to Hawaii.

Onomea Valley was discovered in 1977 by Dan and Pauline Lutkenhouse while vacationing.  Over an 8-year period, the Lutkenhouses labored to clear and shape the overgrown land, crafting trails and landscapes, with the intent of sharing the idyllic gardens with eveyone.

Amid the tropical forest and flowers are hidden ponds full of koi, the trail opens up on two secret coves and an endless blue expanse of Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by dramatic rocky cliffs, and edged by the garden, the cove offers a sublime opportunity for serene contemplation of the glorious earth on which we live.

All photographs are the personal property of Diane Mawr, copyrighted 2013, and may not be used without written permission.

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4 thoughts on “Big Island Botanical Bliss

  1. After living on the Big Island for 38 years, I have just moved to Maui. Today was my first day. And, though Maui is beautiful in its own way, I will miss the beauty of Hawai’i Island. The photos captured the essence of the Big Island so wonderfully well. I do see Maui as a new adventure in life and will embrace this island as my own, but I will never let go of those special feelings I’ve always had for the Big Island.

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