Kaua’i is home of the National Tropical Botanical Garden with McBryde Garden as its flagship. On the south shore of the island, McBryde Garden has the largest collection of native Hawaiian flora.
McBryde Garden and the adjacent Allerton Garden were important to Hawaiians before Western contact. The valley with its stream and high cliffs has been owned by James Young Kaneoha, Queen Emma, Duncan McBryde, and the Allertons before the 1970s.
When you arrive at the South Shore Visitors Center of the garden, you can sign up for various tours. For McBryde Garden, you will need to catch a tram to the upper part of the valley. The visitors center has a wonderful gift shop featuring local artisans. There is also food available.
There are several trails available from the tram stop near the tropical fruit orchard. Biodiversity, palms, spice of life, native plants, and canoe plants trails are all fairly short and well-marked and labeled.
Next time I hope to take the Sunset tour to see the Allerton gardens, visit the Allerton house, and enjoy the light supper on the lanai! The house location is beautifully featured in the John Ford film Donovan’s Reef.
McBryde Garden map
If you are coming from Lihue, Kapa’a, or Hanalei, take Route 56 to Route 50 Kaumualii Highway. Turn on 520 Maluhia Road, towards Old Koloa town. From Hanapepe or Waimea, take Route 50 to Route 530, Koloa Road. From Koloa, take Poipu Road to Lawai Road. The entrance to the botanical gardens is on the right, across from Spouting Horn park.
- National Tropical Botanical Garden includes 3 gardens on Kaua’i, one in Mau’i, and one in Florida.
- Learn about tropical plants from National Tropical Botanical Garden
- History and tours at McBryde Garden
- Kaua’i, The Garden Island from Go Hawaii
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