This little-known windward campground outside Kaneohe is a real treasure. It’s hard to believe that it’s just half an hour from downtown Honolulu. The name Hoomaluhia, or “peace and tranquillity,” accurately describes this 400-acre botanical garden at the foot of the jagged Koolau Range. In this lush setting, gardens are devoted to plants specific to tropical America, native Hawaii, Polynesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. A 32-acre lake sits in the middle of the scenic park (no swimming or boating allowed), and there are numerous hiking trails. The visitor center offers free guided walks Saturday at 10am and Sunday at 1pm (call the number below to register).
Facilities for this tent-camp area include restrooms, cold showers, dishwashing stations, picnic tables, and water. Shopping and gas are available in Kaneohe, 2 miles away. To get here from Waikiki, take H-1 to the Pali Highway (Hwy. 61); turn left on Kamehameha Highway (Hwy. 83); and at the fourth light, turn left on Luluku Road.