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“Trashy and homeless debris all over”

Lili'uokalani Botanical Garden
Ranked #213 of 335 things to do in Honolulu
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located along a stream and waterfalls, this garden exhibits many native Hawaiian plants.
Reviewed 10 July 2012

It's nice but small parking lot homeless trash and strangers hanging out. You get chicken skin going here!! Stay away if tourist.

3  Thank Keoki96744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 15 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2012

My husband and I were already in the area, having toured the Foster’s Botanical Garden. After seeing pictures of the beautiful Waikahalulu Waterfall and Nu’uanu Stream, we decided to take a walk in this free, public park with the lovely shade trees and picnic tables.

Even before entering the grounds, the first sign of trouble was literately a permanent looking sign that indicated there were no bathrooms in the park. Indeed, the two structures, containing the lavatories at each end of the gardens, were boarded up. Later, a parks department employee explained the bathrooms' closures were due to plumbing problems and public vandalism.

On a pleasant sunny day, we enjoyed strolling in the park, listening to the babbling brook and seeing the small fish contained within, viewing the magnificent natural scenery, looking at an occasional Hawaiian plant and taking pictures. The highlight of the gardens is an easily accessible waterfall that forms from a wide pond and cascades down three to five feet over rocks into a stream. The grassy area is well maintained and the PART of the grounds under the jurisdiction of Parks and Recreation is very clean.

Unfortunately, the freeway sliced through the side of the park and there is a homeless encampment at the underpass. This area is unkempt and features a discarded mattress and garbage from food and drink. According to a recreation department representative the State of Hawaii controls this area of land connected to the park.

Additionally, a fence cannot be used to deter damages from the public or the encampment because it would have to be attached to the state side of the property, which is out of the parks department's jurisdiction. In other words, the park is unable to properly close because anyone can come in, at any time, by stepping over a two foot guard rail, by the open sidewalk, on a busy boulevard through the underpass and onto the grounds. Sadly, an easy solution is thwarted by a complicated governmental system.

At the Queen Lili’uokalani Botanical Gardens, in Honolulu, there are NO peacocks, NO lifeguards, NO cabana swim suit changing stations and the waterfall is located in the middle of the park, not at the end. The pond is murky with industrial waste, at best. Readers who want nice amenities can pay to go to Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens, on the other side of the island. Some of the reviews rated “very good” are based on nostalgic memories of what the park once was and not the reality of today.

Although there is a decent neighborhood surrounding the gardens, the grounds were almost empty, except for two amorous teenagers, making out on the grass. While this is still a good place for photo opportunities, walking and jogging, I would not recommend coming here alone or staying a long time. All of the problems ruined the tranquility of this area and our enjoyment of the park.

8  Thank catnewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Kid time we use to spend each summer day at the falls, a favorite swimming hole. I don't think you can now swim there though for fear of getting ill due to the polluted water. But don't let this scare you for here is a pristine garden in the heart of Downtown Honolulu.

1  Thank bonefish2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2011

This attraction is so beautiful. I had not walked far when I came upon a friendly peacock who did not mind having his picture taken. The gardens are a perfect stroll with the trees and fauna labeled in case you are interested. The best part is the waterfall at the end of the road that has a pond you can swim in. That was so much fun. I felt like a kid again. There are lifeguards on duty and a cabana where you can change. Don't just stand there and look or sit on the benches. Take the opportunity to do something that you have not been done before.

3  Thank 01patsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 June 2006

We had our wedding here, and it was beautiful. I was surprised how quiet and secluded it was even though in the middle of the city! It's like a secret little world in there.

5  Thank Carlie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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