Best Things to do on Maui: Visit the Kula Botanical Garden

Established in 1968 by Warren and Helen McCord as a display garden for Warren's landscape architecture business, the Kula Botanical Garden has grown into a popular tourist destination that draws thousands of visitors every year.

The Kula Botanical Garden encompasses 8 acres of unique native Hawaiian and imported plants, rock formations, a covered bridge, meandering stream, waterfalls, koi pond, aviary and a carved Tiki exhibit. Plants are labeled and a map is available for self-guided tours in the Garden’s gift shop. There are snacks for sale, restrooms, and a comfortable deck with a beautiful view.

The Garden was designed with a botanical focus that continues to govern the plant selection and placement. Many plants are selected for their educational potential or to preserve native specimens.

The Garden rests at 3,300 feet elevation on the slopes of the mighty Haleakala, the dormant volcano responsible for the formation of East Maui.  The dry, temperate climate and rich volcanic soil is a perfect location for growing protea flowers. Originally from Australia and South Africa, protea flowers are now grown in Kula and exported all over the country.  Most protea flowers bloom here from December through April.

Another prominent feature of the garden is a gentle stream that meanders through the valley. There is fragrant White Ginger, a grove of Painted and Lemon Eucalyptus trees with Monstera huddled beneath them, an Orchid house which blooms from February through April, Fuscia House which blooms in summer, a Bromeliad House, and a nine-acre Christmas tree farm.

Children will enjoy the Jackson Chameleon Exhibit, fish ponds, a Bird Sanctuary featuring endangered native Nēnē Geese, and the Aviary’s Doves and Lovebirds.

Annual passes, self-guided tours, guided group tours, and school tours are available. The Kula Botanical Garden is open to the public seven days a week from 9am to 4pm. A self-guided visit will take 45 minutes or longer. The Garden is designed to display the plants in a natural setting with many resting areas located along the paths. Picnic tables and chairs are available if you chose to enjoy a packed-lunch on the lanai before or after your walk.