Monday, June 30, 2014

The Big Island ~ Pua Mau Place Botanical Gardens

Exploring the Kona or "dry" side of the island has always been a fun thing for our family to do. One of the places we have discovered is the Pau Mau Place Botanical Gardens. This year was amazing since we made a discovery that we had never seen before. A new flower that grabbed our hearts. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Pua Mau Place Botanical Gardens is right off of the main highway on the Kona side of the island. You wind a bit on the little road leading up to it but when you arrive there is plenty of parking and a guest cottage where you can buy local art, something to drink (highly recommend doing so when it's so hot) or chat to the person behind the counter. 
 In front of you when you park are the lovely bougainvillea, a little fountain and a glimpse at what there is to explore here.

 But, oddly enough, that wasn't the most fascinating thing in the parking lot. This is a palm tree trunk. I swear it looks like concrete but it's a real tree! I had to go touch it and everything to convince myself. Too cool! 

 Search out the Purple Crowns in the front as well. Very interesting flower and one I had never seen before.
 At this time they were doing some renovating so we parked in the upper parking lot which started us out at the top of the gardens. Wear good shoes because this is built on a hillside and what you walk down you will, eventually, walk back up again. But at the top is this lovely patio where you can unpack your goodies from the store and enjoy a picnic lunch. See the giant dragonfly statue? There are about a dozen similar animal or insect sculptures all over the park! 

 There are many different types of Plumeria. I know that most people love hibiscus, and they are very beautiful flowers indeed, but it's the plumeria that has my vote. I love making lei's from them and the smell is just intoxicating.
 There are a few different colors but they are all basically the same idea. Five petals that are slightly curved around a darker center. There are white with yellow centers like the first photograph, white with yellow and pink centers like these.
There are also white with pink on them. These are much smaller than the ones pictured above this photograph and almost all pink with white edges. They are just gorgeous.
 The new flower that just stole our heart is actually a tree! The Rainbow Shower Tree to be exact. It only blooms in September and since this was our very first trip at that time of the year we had never noticed them before. 
The trees are just loaded down with these clusters of flowers. And the smell is simply divine! We spent quite a lot of time under this tree in the middle of the patio just sipping our water and enjoying the breeze, the flowers and the scent. Lovely.
There is a house a the top of the hill that gives you a beautiful view down to the ocean. There are chairs here to relax upon and enjoy the view, a restroom that you really should use before you head down again and it's right on the other side of that lovely patio.
If you look down from that lanai you will see another area tucked into the trees. I decided to hike down to see what else was in that little area other than this brightly painted picnic table.
Along the way I found a few more sculptures including this leopard!
And while standing very still to photograph the leopard a wild turkey walked right past me! There are several types of birds who live here including peacocks. In fact, there is an entire peacock enclosure where you can go see them.
But down in that area I had seen from the house above was a whole bunch of fun waiting for me! These are bells that you can bang on to make lots of noise or even music. I'm not musically inclined so I'm sure it just sounded like a whole lotta noise but it sure is fun to do!
There are also benches there and on this very hot and humid day this was just a lovely place to sit, enjoy the view, cool off in the breeze and enjoy the sculptures.
 Walking back to the car we went through the upper gardens and this is where there are several types of hibiscus plants. The flowers are just so beautiful. Yes, I took over a dozen photos of different flowers but I'm just going to share a couple with you.
This one is my absolute favorite. The ultra bright colors remind me of Hawaii every single time I see this photo.
 But I also learned to love another type of flower. A Spider Lily. There were two types there that I found to be very beautiful. This one with it's white and green coloring was so very unusual to me. 
 But this one, the Queen Anne, was just so absolutely beautiful that we looked like paparazzi crowding around to take it's photo!
After 2 hours of hiking around the gardens we stopped back into the shop to pick up more drinks, enjoy the flowers by the fountain for a few moments more and then head back out again. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. If you find yourself on The Big Island and looking for something wonderful to go do then you should look up the Pau Mau Place Botanical Gardens and spend some time surrounded by beauty.

Next week I'm going to take you to a hidden treasure on the Kona side of the island as well as a trip up to Hawi for lunch! See you Monday!


1 comment:

  1. The place is looking quite exciting. It is full of nature beauty. You shared amazing photos of this place. Thank for posting!
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