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“An old place of gathering that needs help”

Lili'uokalani Botanical Garden
Ranked #204 of 324 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.
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“An old place of gathering that needs help”
Reviewed 11 July 2012

You have to imagine when going to the place that once little Hawaiian children played in the beautiful waterfall. The park is located right in downtown honolulu ... downtown. You will always come across things you don't want to see at parks downtown. This park ends up being trashed by ignorant people and left trashed by even more ignorant people. If you don't like trash being in a beautiful location why not pick up the trash? Im not pointing any fingers at anyone but I wish people would take more initiative in picking up trash left by others. This is all our world and we need to keep it clean. This is how I feel when i visit this park. Look around and find some beautiful parakeets flying high in the monkey pod trees. There are some not so cool people doing some not so cool things at this park and probably should be reported but well just leave that up to the next guy.

Visited July 2012
3 Thank OahuPhotoTour S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Trashy and homeless debris all over”
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.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank Keoki96744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“The reality: A pretty park with ugly problems.”
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.

Visited May 2012
8 Thank catnewman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
90 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Waikahaulu Falls”
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.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank bonefish2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anderson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful gardens and a pond beneath a waterfall that you can swim in.”
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.

Visited November 2011
3 Thank 01patsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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