About 1.5 miles down Onomea Scenic Drive the parking lot for the gardens will be on the mauka side of the road. Admission is a bit steep ($15 for adults, $5 for children) but it is money well spent for the vast natural beauty of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
This garden was a gift to the people of the world from Dan J. Lutkenhouse, a businessman from San Francisco. Currently, over 2,000 species of plants, including a large variety of orchids, heliconia, gingers, bromeliads, and palms, spread throughout the garden mixed with several natural waterfalls and a view of Onomea Bay. With the aid of the map provided by the garden, you will easily spend several hours ambling through the various sections of the garden. Every twist and turn leads to a new plant or tree.
There is also a Bird Aviary which features parrots, macaws, and other tropical birds. Take the time to complete the loop out to the Bay Vista Point. The garden has provided several inviting benches with spectacular views of Onomea Bay. Visit them online for more information at their website: http://www.htbg.com/ The garden is located off of Highway 19 on the lush Hamakua Coast, 8 1/2 miles north of Hilo.