Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

Phone (808) 828-0525
5 stars from 1 reviews
Address 4101 Wailapa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Na 'Aina Kai (“Lands by the Sea”) Botanical Gardens, Sculpture Park and Hardwood Plantation.

Features
• General: Cost: Paid • General: Kid Activities
• Tours: Farm / Garden • Tours: Guided

Beth Anderson's Take
Na Aina Kai which means "Lands by the Sea" offers guests a look at a variety of rare tropical flora as well as more than 150 bronze sculptures. Tours are require to see the gardens and occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Make reservations in advance.
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Beth Anderson
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Justine H
Joined: Jun 2016
Reviews: 14
Likes Received: 6
What an amazing place! The brochure we picked up at the airport and anything we've read in guide books about this place just don't do it justice! Originally a private home and garden, the story goes that the curiosity of neighbors prompted the owners to make this a not-for-profit organization and open it up to the public. Of course, that meant they could no longer live on the property and the original home is now reserved for private functions such as weddings.

The grounds are absolutely beautiful! 240 acres full of rare and common specimen plants, trees and foliage lovingly collected as a personal collection over many years. They now employ at least 15 full time gardeners, who keep this place in tip-top shape! Highlights include a lake/pond, Japanese tea house and dozens of bronze statues scattered throughout the gardens and "Under the rainbow" children's garden, playground, and wading pool. Tours are by appointment only and not all tours are offered on every day so definitely call ahead or check the website.

We took a family tour with our 4 year old and 7 year old. On that day, there ended up being only one other family in our group. Bug spray was recommended and provided complimentary at the beginning of the tour. Our tour guide was a young woman (sorry, don't remember her name) transplanted from the mainland. She was just lovely! Personable, knowledgeable, great with the kids! All the kids were given little brown paper bags and instructed not to pick flowers and plants, but were allowed to collect anything already on the ground, and they all looked at it as a bit of a scavenger hunt, which I thought was a great way to engage them and make them feel involved. They all got into it and really enjoyed it. We spent some time leisurely walking the paths, learning about the plants and flowers, learning about the statues and the property and enjoying the gorgeous locale. When we got to the lake/pond, the kids were all given food to feed the koi, which was a thrill for them.

When we got to the children's garden, we were all amazed! Honestly, it's like it's own little world! The stuff that inspires imaginations, the stuff you think you only read about in books! Behind a fanciful, mosaic tiled-door with a rainbow arch, lies a fantasy world of labyrinths, wading pool complete with a Jack and the Beanstalk bronze statue in the middle, tot lot with a log cabin slide, pretend train, "secret" walled garden with a chalk wall surrounding it, wooden play structures with rope bridges, lookout points, swings, monkey bars and rings, a western mountain landscape with a covered wagon, caves to explore, pretend mountain goats, teepee and campfire setting. It truly is a one of a kind place! The kids were blown away! They had a fabulous time exploring.

Everything was well maintained, charming and the oohs and the aahs were genuine. They were able to burn off some energy as they had the whole place practically to themselves and it was so serene and wonderful! Needless to say, everything exceeded our expectations. There were bathroom/changing room facilities right on site and they were spotless and nicely decorated. No food for sale but outside food was allowed and we had packed snacks and drinks. Our tour guide did offer some great suggestions for nearby restaurants in Kilauea for lunch.

All in all, this was an unexpected gem of a find for us! We thoroughly enjoyed our morning here and easily could have spent much longer if allowed. If you are visiting Kauai with young kids, this should definitely be a MUST DO!
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