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Limahuli Gardens and Preserve

Discover a fragile ecosystem and wander through a plantation-era garden in this scenic tropical garden next to the Pacific Ocean.

The Limahuli Gardens and Preserve is a picturesque coastal valley full of exotic vegetation. It has spectacular vistas of grand, forested hills, the Pacific Ocean and the impressive Makana Mountain, locally known as Bali Hai, from its appearance in the film South Pacific. Learn about the types of plants that were important to early inhabitants of the island.

Stroll through the gardens with your family and encounter the range of native species as well as plants imported from abroad. Listen to the soothing flow of the Limahuli Stream; its crystal clear water supports an array of life indigenous to the island. 

Reach the narrow beach massaged by the lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean. Capture photos of the point where the blue-green water meets the white sand, with the green, tropical forests of the mountains serving as a scenic backdrop. At the back of the gardens is the Limahuli Preserve, where scientists are attempting to protect some of the island’s native species. 

Try a self-guided tour with an informative leaflet and follow the Whale Trail to the ocean. Learn from the brochure about the impact of invasive species in this fragile ecosystem. 

Guided tours are available with docents for a greater understanding of the early inhabitants and plant life. Other tour options include the Limahuli Garden Family Tour and the Limahuli Garden Specialty Tour, which deals with specialist topics such as Hawaiian history, sustainability and the local culture. 

Note that the Hawaiian name for the gardens means Turning Hands, in reference to the early inhabitants, who cultivated crops here. The park is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from morning until late afternoon. There is an entrance fee, with discounts for students. Children can enter for free.

Find the Limahuli Gardens and Preserve on the northern coast of Kauai Island. It is in the western outskirts of Wainiha and about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Princeville. See nearby attractions, such as Ke’e Beach, Ha’ena State Park and the Maniniholo Dry Cave.


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