We stayed off the beaten path in Punaluu and wanted to experience Oahu from a localized perspective. Through our passion for conservation, we found Waimea Valley on Google Maps, which was only about 30 minutes up the road from us. We were excited to find out about their conservation program and how they’re restoring native ecosystems within the ahupua’a (land division) of Waimea Valley.
Over 16,000 native plants have been planted and walking through the trails it was simply breathtaking. We didn’t see any, but the endangered Alae ‘Ula, Hawaiian Moorhen has found a safe haven inside Waimea Valley. There are only 500 of these birds left in Hawaii, and 15 currently reside in the park. In the Waimea Valley’s mountain region, they’ve planted nearly 20,000 native plants in the restoration sites. Volunteers are even cutting down invasive weeds to help native plants prosper.
As we kept walking through the park back to the falls, you will see different areas where Hawaiian polytheistic religion comes into play. Polytheistic, meaning many gods, we saw the four main areas that are dedicated to their gods – Kāne, Kū – Kū, Kanaloa, and Lono. For the full history of Waimea Valley click here.
Waimea Valley also offers over your 300 acres of lush terrain for filming. Some of the films I’ve recognized were:
- Joe Versus the Volcano
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
- George of the Jungle
- Hawaii Five-O
If you’re traveling through the North Shore, we highly recommend visiting this amazing place.