Imagine gazing over electric-coloured tropical blooms in a peaceful garden with the imposing Haleakalā volcano dominating the skyline in the background. This tranquil setting, typical of the Hawaiian islands, awaits you at the Kula Botanical Garden on Maui. Get in touch with nature as you unwind amid the spectacular flora.
The eruptions of the great Haleakalā volcano, now dormant, formed East Maui. Today, this dry hillside provides the perfect ambience for Kula Botanical Garden. Located on the Haleakalā Highway, just 5 kilometres after the entrance to the National Park, the garden is a sanctuary for birds and travellers in search of natural beauty.
The McCord family opened the garden to display Warren McCord’s landscape architecture prowess, which shows in the well-planned placement of the plants. The vibrant colours of protea flowers pop in formations reminiscent of contemporary art exhibits amid the greenery. Several houses are dedicated to specific plants: orchids and fuchsia bloom at different times, and the bromeliads climb and float in seemingly impossible constructions.
The 8 acres offer plenty of opportunities to soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings. Follow the flow of the stream to a covered bridge, waterfalls and a koi pond. Benches, picnic tables and a deck are strategically placed for optimal enjoyment. Education-lovers will appreciate the care taken in labelling each plant with its name and origin.
Don’t forget to stop off at the aviary for photos of the African Crane, with its intense headdress, and the endangered Nene, also known as the Hawaiian Goose. The carved tiki exhibit also makes for fun photos for the kids. The garden is open seven days a week from 9am to 4pm. Admission for adults is $10; $3 for children aged six to 12; free for children under six. On your way out, take a piece of the peace and tranquillity away with you with a botanical-themed purchase from the gift shop.