On the rugged Hana coast, along the far eastern shores of the Hawaiian island of Maui, Kahanu Garden grows in splendid isolation, nestled in the one of the largest native hala (Pandanus) forests in the Islands. Plant collections from the Pacific Islands are the focus here, particularly plants of value to the Hawaiian people as well as other cultures of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Kahanu Garden is situated in the storied land of Honoma'ele and home to Pi'ilanihale Heiau, a massive lava-rock structure that is believed to be the largest ancient man made structure in Polynesia. This awe-inspiring cultural site in the garden is registered as a National Historic Landmark.
Visitors to Kahanu Garden will learn about the cultural relationships between people and these remarkable plants that were transported around the Pacific on ancient voyaging canoes. Among the different ethnobotanical collections at Kahanu Garden is the world's largest collection of breadfruit cultivars, which serves as a germplasm repository for this important South Pacific food crop.
Kahanu Garden provides a glimpse back in time. The earliest Polynesian voyagers first settled in areas such as Hāna where there was abundant rainfall and fertile soil for reliable farming.
Wander leisurely around the garden and linger at what intrigues you – plants, archaeological and cultural features. You create your own adventure. Meet the people of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia through the plants that are so integral to their culture.
Visit the thatched canoe house and imagine what it might have been like to travel great distances across open ocean not knowing what you would find. Experience the spirit (mana) of the chiefs of old and savor the serenity of this secluded place.
No reservations required.
A guided tour of Kahanu Garden will reward you with a deeper experience and sense of place. Your guide will reveal archaeological features and intriguing stories not covered in the self-guided tour, and share with you the captivating tales of a region so rooted in history.
Hear the mo'olelo (stories) of ancient Hawai'i and of Chief Pi'ilani who ruled over these lands in the 16th century. You will see firsthand some of the traditional uses of the plants brought to the islands by the first Hawaiians. Many of our guides grew up in this culturally rich region and are experts in practices and traditions passed down to them by their elders.
After years of being known for the ‘rustic charm’ of our humble and admittedly under-sized entrance kiosk, exciting changes are afoot at Kahanu Garden and Preserve where our recently completed Visitor and Education Center is now open.