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Hawaii Bucket List 101: Top 6 Things To Do In Hakalau

a waterfall in a forest

Taking a trip to Hawaii’s Big Island for the first time and not sure where to head? Don’t miss Hakalau, an area along the stunning Hamakua Coast, for the adventure of a lifetime! Winding scenic roads, jungle cliffsides, and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean all await travelers. Here are the six of the best things to do in Hakalau:

1. Explore a Giant Hedge Maze

Have you ever imagined starring in your own nature adventure film? Make that dream a reality by going on self-guided tours across lush gardens and through rainforest trails! These tours remove the pressure of rushing between landmarks in a short period of time because you can pace yourself and appreciate the individual locations for their unique beauty. Conduct miniature photoshoots with your friends or enjoy your favorite Spotify playlist while strolling through paradise.

Take the experience up a notch by bringing your ‘ohana for a fun time at the giant hedge maze. Botanical World Adventures offers a world-class maze within their extensive garden property. Children (or keiki in Hawaiian) will have a blast trying to find the correct path among a myriad of wrong turns. Race your loved ones to the exit!

2. Zipline Through Rainforests

Hakalau is located within a magnificent tropical rainforest that spans 32,733 acres of abundant vegetation and diverse plant and animal species. What more rewarding way to behold such a spectacle than via zipline? This activity will allow you to fly amongst the trees and over the rivers below.

Zipline tours are an excellent way of enjoying Hawaii’s beauty without exhausting yourself. Ziplining releases endorphins and adrenaline to clear your mind of stress from daily life back home. Expect an unforgettable experience when you zipline through Mother Nature’s most beautiful sceneries!

3. Go On A Segway Tour

If you want to make the most out of your short visit to the Big Island of Hawaii, a Segway tour is the way to go. Segway® Personal Transporters cover more ground than conventional walking tours without sacrificing the experience of seeing monumental sights and cultural locations up close – unlike when riding a tour bus or passenger vehicle. These tours are environmentally friendly since the Segway runs on batteries and does not emit fumes. No need to worry about polluting Hawaii’s untouched forests.

Riding a Segway might take some getting used to, but the principles are straightforward. Lean forward or backward to move the Personal Transporter to those directions, and slant the handlebars to the left or right to turn. Botanical World Adventures’ Segway tours accommodate ages 14 and above with weights between 70 to 270 pounds. Learn more about our tours here.

4. Ride A Bike Adventure

Are you looking for a more active adventure? Biking through Hakalau is a terrific way of enjoying Hawaii Island while working up a sweat! Cycling enhances your metabolism, strengthens the immune system, and reinvigorates mental health. When you go on a bicycle adventure through the lush landscapes of Hakalau, you multiply these perks with the benefits of detoxifying from urban pollution and relaxing from day-to-day stressors.

A two-hour bike ride in Hakalau can take you through a century’s worth of Hawaiian culture! You will pass through a portion of the Hamakua Coast – where Hawaii’s sugar industry once thrived – and explore a length of the Old Mamalahoa Highway by traversing over old bridges, through plantation villages, and along backroads. What’s the best part? This bike adventure gives you a perfect view of the variety of ecosystems located at different elevations along with Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world! Mauna Kea, one of six volcanoes that have formed the island of Hawaii, is the tallest mountain on Earth at 9,966 meters (32,696 feet, 6.2 miles).

5. See the Beauty of Kamaeʻe Waterfall

Arriving at the Kamae’e Falls overlook, you can view the stream as it tumbles over small waterfalls and winds its way through sunlit pools before cascading nearly 100 feet down a sheer rock cliff covered with ferns and other native vegetation to a crystal clear pool below. Look for blooming gingers and hibiscus clinging to the steep slopes above the waterfall.

Walk to the right and you can follow a trail to the stream right at the top of the waterfall just before it plunges over the cliff. Looking downstream, you can watch the stream meander through the rainforest valley amongst giant boulders that were washed over the waterfall during floods. Look past the verdant valley and you can see the Pacific Ocean and even a humpback whale or two in the winter.

Most waterfalls on the Big Island are fueled by runoff from the area’s heavy rainfall. But the stream which feeds Kamae’e Falls descends from a lava tube that drains water that has percolated for years through the volcanic soils of Mauna Kea. As a result, Kamae’e Falls always has a steady stream of water, even in dry months. Although its flow increases substantially after heavy rains, the water remains among the cleanest in the area. The stream feeding Kamae’e Falls is also home to the o’opualamo’o. The fish, a member of the Hawaiian gobie family, can climb waterfalls by using its fins.

6. Learn about Hawaii’s Rich Culture

Hawaiian culture is characterized by close harmony with the powerful cycles of nature. In Hakalau, you can learn more about the culture that shapes Hawaii’s past and present. Did you know? Hakalau is the place where King Kamehameha I fought his cousin for dominance of the Big Island! Read the story from this excerpt of the historical website Images of Old Hawaii.

The Hawai‘i Island Warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu and Kamehameha’s Hunalele and Huelokū Warriors Defeat the Maui and O‘ahu Warriors of Kahekili and Kahahana in Hakalau.

Who: The Hawai‘i Island warriors of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, including Kamehameha’s Hunalele and Huelokū warriors vs. the Maui and O‘ahu warriors of Kahekili and Kahahana.

Where: Hakalau in the Hilo district of Hawai‘i Island.

Why: Kalaniʻōpuʻu seeks to avenge the slaughter of his Pi‘ipi‘i and ‘Ālapa warriors at Wailuku.

Result: Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s Hawai‘i Island warriors are victorious. Kaihe is killed by Kekūhaupiʻo, and the Maui and O‘ahu warriors flee the battlefield.

The beautiful waterfall at Botanical World Adventures, Waterfall Puuwai o’ Kamaʻeʻe, is the subject of ancient Hawaiian chants. Look for the Moʻo (dragon-like creature) that was slain by Pele’s sister in the astounding Kamaeʻe gorge. Fly over this Jurassic creation of nature on the epic journey that is the Zip Isle Zipline Adventure at Botanical World!

Botanical World’s Botanical Gardens are continually adding new plants as Botanical World Adventures is adding new attractions to share the gardens in exciting ways with our guests.

Whatever your journey, make sure to come experience the adventure at Botanical World in Hakalau. We hope you will come soon, stay long and come back often! Mahalo and A Hui Hou!

At Botanical World Adventures, we can customize your tour lengths and sizes to fit your needs! Whether you are looking for a zipline adventure, a Segway tour, a bike ride, or all of the above – we can make your trip to Hawaii the most memorable vacation you have ever had! Book your adventure today!

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