Although it may have a difficult name to pronounce, Hoomaluhia is far from anything difficult. (Pronounced: ho-OH-mah-loo-HEE-UH). The botanical garden on the windward side of Oahu is filled with all kinds of wonderful things in nature, easily living up to its name, which translates to “peace and tranquility.”

Hoomaluhia is a 400-acre oasis sandwiched between a residential community and the base of the Koolau mountain range. The Koolau hugs most of the windward side, but at the garden is where you’ll notice its majestic ways the most. It is the very first aspect you see upon entering the garden gates.

At the garden, however, it is more than just sight that helps you to experience its glory. Stop and listen to the ambient sounds of nature surrounding you. Inhale and take in the crisp and fresh air as it fills your lungs. Hoomaluhia puts you at peace.

The U.S. Army actually designed and built the garden to protect Kaneone from flooding. That is why you will see huge dam-type structures surrounding the premises. Although there is no flowing water, I could see how those concrete formations would protect the neighboring homes from flooding. The windward side is known for being the rainiest on the island.

The plantings come from major tropical regions around the world, including Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Melanesia, the Philippines, Polynesia and Malaysia. The plants are nicely grouped by these regions. Hoomaluhia especially focuses on preserving plants that are native to the islands and Polynesia.

In addition to enjoying the plants, there are several other activities to take part in at Hoomaluhia. These include:

– Catch-and-release bamboo pole fishing (Saturday and Sundays from 10am-2pm) – Third Thursdays – free preschool activities – Guided nature hikes (10am on Saturdays and 1pm on Sundays) – Kite flying


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