A year ago I was coming back from a trip to New Zealand and glad to get back before Covid 19 closed down the flights between Hawaii and Pacific countries. I certainly did not expect that there would be no more trips for me in the next twelve months but here I still sit. Younger ones in the family are making trips to the mainland US but I am cautious enough that I am waiting for the vaccinations before I step on a plane. Meanwhile, I have had a few small local adventures to keep the rock fever away. (I am sure you have heard of cabin fever. On an island we get rock fever!)
A few weeks ago I went with one of my sons to Waimea Valley. It is one of my favorite places on this island so I like to go there at least once a year. My son had been there as a child but was seeing it again with adult eyes. I was able to show him all my favorite side trails that most visitors bypass.
Waimea Valley is up behind the famous surf beach of Waimea Bay on Oahu's north shore. There is a lovely short drive up the valley to the actual park which is a paid entrance place. It was established as a botanical park in the 1970's and has gone through various owners and identities since. These days the valley is a protected place watched over by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Because of this there is now more emphasis on the Hawaiian history of the valley and on Hawaiian culture. Despite that, most visitors come for one thing; to go swimming up at the waterfall. They buzz up the main 3/4 mile path through the gardens to the big pool in the river formed by the waterfall. You can always see the visitors who are plant lovers. They are the ones taking time to explore the plant collections up the side trails and stopping to read the plant labels.
Covid 19 has hit the valley financially, as it has all tourist related places. At least now the valley is up and running again. If you are a local, it is a good easy outing for you with lots to explore. The valley park also needs volunteers so if you are stuck in an apartment or condo and miss gardening, they could use your help. The park holds plant sales on Saturday mornings at their nursery behind the upper parking lot. A good time to stop by as you take a drive around the island.
|Main path up the valley to the waterfall. The river is down below on the left.|
If you are a visitor on Oahu, I heartedly recommend you take a few hours to enjoy the peace and beauty of Waimea Valley. I have put up a few photos of the park taken on my recent visit. If you want to learn more about Waimea Valley you can visit their website at waimeavalley.net.
|On a side trail|
|On another side trail up to ancient Hawaiian sites.|
|Swimming at the waterfall.|
|On the upper path looking down to the main path.|