Botanical Garden in a Volcano Crater?

Koko Crater Botanical Garden

Aloha Folks! 

Nestled on the southeastern coast of Oahu, Hawaii, the Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a hidden oasis of natural beauty and biodiversity. This enchanting garden, set within the crater of an extinct volcano, offers a unique opportunity to explore a wide variety of tropical plants, enjoy scenic vistas, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Hawaiian flora. Let's embark on a journey to discover the captivating Koko Crater Botanical Garden.

The Garden's Origins

The Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a testament to both nature's resilience and human creativity. It occupies the slopes and floor of the Koko Crater, which was once a military training ground during World War II. Today, it's a lush paradise brimming with vibrant plant life from across the Pacific region.

A Scenic Journey

The adventure begins with a picturesque tram ride that takes you into the heart of the garden. As you ascend the slopes of the crater, you'll be treated to sweeping views of the rugged coastline and the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The tram provides easy access for visitors of all ages and mobility levels, making it a family-friendly attraction.

Diverse Flora from the Pacific Region

Once inside the garden, you'll be surrounded by an incredible diversity of plants, including rare and endangered species. The Koko Crater Botanical Garden specializes in showcasing flora from tropical regions across the Pacific, such as Hawaii, Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. You'll encounter towering palm trees, colorful orchids, fragrant plumeria, and a rich tapestry of exotic flowers and trees.

The Sensory Garden

One of the highlights of the garden is the sensory garden, where visitors are encouraged to touch, smell, and interact with the plants. This immersive experience allows you to engage all your senses as you explore the natural world. Stroll along the tactile paths and breathe in the fragrant aromas of tropical blooms.

A Photographer's Paradise

The Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a dream come true for photographers. Every corner offers a new opportunity to capture the vibrant colors and unique shapes of the plant life. Whether you're an amateur with a smartphone or a professional with high-end equipment, you'll find endless inspiration in this living canvas of botanical wonders.

Conservation and Education

Beyond its beauty, the garden plays a crucial role in conservation and education. It serves as a living laboratory for researchers and a place of learning for visitors of all ages. The dedicated staff and volunteers work tirelessly to protect and preserve Hawaii's native and endangered plants, making it a place where nature thrives.

Tips for Your Visit

  • Start your visit early in the day to avoid the midday heat.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.
  • Bring a camera to capture the garden's stunning beauty.
  • Stay on designated paths to protect the delicate flora.

Final Thoughts

The Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a hidden gem in Honolulu, Oahu, offering a unique opportunity to explore the diverse and captivating world of Pacific flora. It's a place where nature's beauty, conservation efforts, and education come together to create a memorable and meaningful experience. Whether you're a botany enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this garden has something to offer everyone.

As you explore the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, you'll come to appreciate the rich tapestry of life that thrives in the heart of this volcanic crater. It's a testament to the beauty and resilience of nature, and a reminder of the importance of preserving our planet's natural treasures.

So, plan your visit to this living paradise and let the wonders of the Koko Crater Botanical Garden inspire you to connect with nature and protect the planet we call home.

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

The garden was easy to find with ample parking near the entrance & a map of the 200-acre crater. There's a colorful placard in the front & free brochures too.

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Walking shoes will keep you comfy as you stroll, hike or meander through weathered dirt paths with your camera on continuous shutter mode.  Check out these beautiful bougainvillea blooms & vivid red hibiscus.

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Take your time, enjoy the floral scenery & relax at the many picnic tables dotted throughout the garden. Depending on the time of the year, different flowers open and show off their colorful blooms.  

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Yes, there's even a cactus garden in the Americas section. 

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Have you ever seen these flowers before? These stunning flowers are native to Hawaii and are called Wiliwili, a type of Coral Tree. Aren't they breath-taking? 

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

The biggest show of all are the plumeria trees... Blooming in May, the garden filled with its light fragrance, perfuming & showing off their large wondrous blooms. We have to say, these plumerias are definitely our favorite of the day!

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?

Botanical Garden In a Volcano Crater?


If you enjoy gardens & love the outdoors, cruise on over to Koko Crater. We're sure you'll have as much fun as we did. We can't wait to go back in fall to witness the trees that blossom then!



  • Stay hydrated - bring water
  • Dusty flat trail with rock inclines here & there.
  • Two-mile loop
  • 1 1/2 hours round-trip
  • Park your car outside entrance of garden.
  • Restroom? Just a porta potty
  • Admission: Free
  • Koko Crater Crater Website


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