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Waimea Valley is an area of historic cultural significance on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The valley, being an important place in Hawaiian religion, includes several historical structures including stone terraces and walls constructed during the time of the Hawaiian monarchy. Much of the garden floor was once cultivated for taro, sweet potato, and bananas, with new crops and orchards introduced by Europeans after their arrival.
Historical nature park
Formerly known as the Waimea Valley Audubon Center and the Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Waimea Valley is a historical nature park including botanical gardens. It is located at 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii and is open daily except for Christmas and New Year's Day; an admission fee is charged.
The garden was managed until 2003 by the City and County of Honolulu, when management was assumed by the National Audubon Society. In 2008, management was handed over to Hi'ipaka LLC, a non-profit company created by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The garden now contains 35 distinct collections, representing some 5,000 taxa from around the world. It contains one of the finest collections of Polynesian plants in existence, as well as excellent collections of very rare Hawaiian plants, rare and endangered species native to Lord Howe Island, and individual gardens dedicated to plants from Guam, Madagascar, the Mascarene Islands, the Ogasawara Islands, and the Seychelles.
The garden valley is approximate 0.75 miles in length, with a small waterfall and swimming hole at the valley's high end.
Prior to its current status, it was known as Waimea Falls Park and was privately operated, although it was heavily eco-friendly even then. The differences are that, at least as far back as 1983, the Falls were the site of cliff divers, even though the dive heights were less than 50 feet. They did exhibitions hourly and customers were allowed to swim in the area when divers were not performing. In addition, Hula dancing lessons were available and Hula performances were done several times daily. My knowledge from 1983 is based on personal experience and my reference as to the various aspects of the place come from Stephen Birnbaum's Hawaii 1983, PAge 170 and Fodor's 1989 Hawaii. Page 128. I was also there in 1989 and, as before, rode the mini-bus to the Falls, then walked back to the entrance, marvewling at the beauty of the flowers and other exotic plants and trees.