One of the attractions along the famed Road to Hana attractions, in between Mile Marker 10 and 11, is the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The sprawling 26-acre property filled with lush greenery was developed by Maui’s first ISA-certified arborist Alan Bradbury. His goal was to restore the natural ecosystem and promote Hawaii’s native flora.
Of course, this beautification project was successful, and this place is now a popular site visited by both tourists and locals alike. And while the beauty of the arboretum is enough reason to make a stop, there are other things you can do in Garden of Eden on Maui. Here are some highlights.
The Garden of Eden is indeed such a fitting name for the place. The place has over 700 labeled specimens, both native to Hawaii and some brought in from other parts of the world. It also houses one of the largest collections of Ti plants on Maui. Fun fact, George Harrison of the Beatles has even donated some plants to the garden. He was a North Shore neighbor and quite the plant enthusiast, according to Bradbury.
Alan has given the utmost care in maintaining the garden, with no pesticides and almost entirely herbicide-free. The park even received recognition from the State of Hawaii for its conservation efforts.
Keopuka Rock Overlook
Perhaps what draws tourists into the place, aside from the lush garden, is the Keopuka Rock Overlook. If you’re a movie buff or a fan of movies about dinosaurs, you might recognize this place. The Keopuka Rock Overlook was actually featured in the 1993 classic Jurassic Park!
The overlook made its film debut in the helicopter entrance scene of the movie. The scene was filmed on the north shore of Maui, near the Garden of Eden. As a result, the Keopuka Rock has earned the affectionate nickname the Jurassic Rock.
It wouldn’t be a Maui experience without getting to see the place up close and personal by hiking! The Garden of Eden features 2.5 miles of hiking trails, where you can explore the rest of the arboretum. And don’t worry if you’re not an experienced hiker because the trails are friendly enough, even for beginners.
You can make your way on foot to the enchanted forest and the anthurium garden. You might even come across their 100-year old mango tree on your walk. In addition, there are scenic overlooks with ocean views and picnic spots for stopping and taking breaks in between walking.
The Lower Puohokamoa Waterfalls are among the first waterfalls you can encounter if you’re going on a Road to Hana tour. It can be easy to miss when you’re only going through the famed highway, though. However, you can catch a spectacular view of the Upper and Lower Puohokamoa Falls from inside the Garden of Eden. And if you’re looking for a thrill, you can get close to the falls via a rappelling adventure!
If you prefer a quieter adventure or if you want to slow down and unwind, you can stop by the local art gallery. The gallery nestles deep in the arboretum’s rainforest and features beautiful works of art.
The works in the gallery include photography, glasswork, ceramics, and paintings and most of them are for sale. You can also buy gifts and baubles like jewelry and Island Essence products! So if you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, you can find them here.
If you’re going on a Road to Hana adventure for the first or the hundredth time, make sure to stop by the Garden of Eden on Maui and soak up the magic of this lush botanical garden!