Hawaii boasts a galore of wonderful locations for photography across the entire state. The most typical question we receive from visitors is “where is this?” Many tourists visit these places to “get the shot” and leave. It’s great to appreciate the aina (land), capture it and share the beautiful scenery with the world but with a popular spot can now become problematic thanks to social media.
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Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden has recently become one of these famous “social media” photo spots. Within the past year, they placed signs at the entrance stating: it’s dangerous to be standing in the middle of the road where cars are passing by, no photography allowed. As a responsible website and a reader of this blog we hope you to be a responsible visitor to the garden and respect these signs, even if it creates mixed feelings in us locals as well. Crowds begin to form at nearly any famous spot which then becomes a public safety issue.
other things to do at the botanical garden
Besides the famous photo spot at the entrance, Ho’omaluhia offers a plethora of beautiful scenery and foliage. This botanical garden is filled with different types of plants and flowers and you’re even allowed to go fishing (catch and release) and camping here (with a proper camping permit)! There’s also a space for a party that can be rented for the day – more info about it at the Visitor Center located inside the botanical garden.
Our recommendation for your visit: Prior to driving in, roll down your windows, turn off the radio, and take it all in. Listen to the sound of nature as the beautiful Ko’olau Mountains lined with cascading waterfalls parade the cliffs. Drive to the end before getting out. Take pictures coming out and stop at any of the other parking lots after you drive to the end. At the very end of the drive, there is a beautiful mountain landscape view with seats overlooking the mountain range.
While Hawaii gets busier year after year, our treasured and unique photo spots are becoming overcrowded and at some times, dangerous. The resulting factor is the state, communities, or private owners barring visitors from seeing these places which in turn, affects locals too. We aren’t too happy about the “no photography” signs but also respect the safety which now must be forced thanks to ignorant and disrespectful tourists. In the end, enjoy Hawaii for what it is! Respect the aina, the culture and enjoy the view!
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
45-680 Luluku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744