On our last full day on Oahu we headed north out of Honolulu on 99 and then 83 to the Waimea valley. This 1800 acre site is a repository of Hawaiian culture, plants and wildlife. It’s also a place where plants from through out the Pacific islands are on display.
The wet leaves of plants all have a different sheen when wet. Some leaves had trapped water in their leaves.
In some cases what looked like a flower was actually colored leaves. When they had a flower coming out of the colored leaves the effect was dramatic.
The bottom of the valley gets much more rainfall than the mountains above. This makes for some dramatic changes in plants from the valley floor to the rim of the valley.
As you go further Ma Uka (towards the mountains) you reach the Waihi, the Waimea Falls.
The distance from the entry to the falls is about three quarters of a mile on a paved path. At the falls there is a changing house and a life guard so that you can swim in the pond at the bottom of the falls. Many come just for the swimming area.
There are many walking paths off of the main path that are not as easy to walk, but they are well worth the effort. Signs near many of the plants help you understand where they came from, and if they were hybrids produced by man.
Check out the Waimea Grill and the book store. The grill has an interesting menu that is better than many of the smaller restaurants on the coast.
Although it is a ways from the main tourist areas at Honolulu this is a must see sight. The wonderful flowers and wildlife make this an area of interest for many. Make a point to visit the Waimea Valley when you are on Oahu.
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