Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden is 400 acres of rainforest located on the Windward (east) side of Oahu. We went camping there this weekend with a group of friends on what turned out to be a very memorable trip.
There are wonderful camping areas with large covered pavilions, clean bathrooms, and showers (but no hot water). There are electrical outlets under the pavilions but they will tell you they don't work, which is a lie. They just turn off the power to them so you don't cost them any extra money in electricity.
The view is stunning. Ho'omaluhia, which means "to make a place of peace and tranquility", is located in the foothills of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. The gardens were actually created by the US Army Corp of Engineers to provide flood protection for the town of Kaneohe. See? The Army does all kind of great things that you don't know about!
The area is divided into sections representing different geographical locations around the world. You can hike through areas with plants from the Philippines, Hawaii, Africa, Sri Lanka/India, Polynesia, Melanesia, Malaysia, and Tropical America.
There is a 32-acre lake which is good for fishing (catch and release only), but not swimming.
This is the view when you are fishing. Even if you don't catch anything, it's worth just going to sit and stare at the other side of the lake.
There were ducks and the kids enjoyed throwing bread to them. Seeing these ducks made me realize I haven't seen one single duck in the three years we've lived here. Until now.
This is a beautiful place to go for a relaxing weekend!