Big Island Must See
World Botanical Gardens
Near mile marker 16 turn mauka onto Leopolino Road, there will be a large sign marking the World Botanical Gardens. In a few more years this will be a truly spectacular garden, but now it is still too young to offer the same variety of mature plants that other gardens have to offer.
General admission is around $15 for an adult, $7 for teenagers (13-17), $3 for children (5-12), and Free for children 4 and under. Entry into the gardens includes an exclusive view of the triple-tiered Uma Uma Falls. The drive to the falls begins across the street from the ticket booth and is a bit bumpy as it passes through marked native trees. You will reach a small parking lot and the lookout for Uma Uma Falls. The three levels which Uma Uma Falls flows down resemble great lava stone steps with recesses that create tranquil little pools surrounded by tropical plants and trees.
Once you leave the parking lot for Uma Uma, the road is paved and terminates near another parking lot. Across the road from the parking lot is an asphalt walkway with curves through flowering torch ginger and bird of paradise. (Make sure to dab a little bug spray on, mosquitoes can frequent this area). Once you are done, return to the ticket booth and explore some more walkways and a corn maze for the little ones. You can visit the garden's website and print coupons for free tropical fruit and juices as well as flowers with paid admission www.worldbotanicalgardens.com. They are open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m daily.