Mauka Meadows is a true gem and just lies several miles mauka (“up the mountain”) of Kona. It is actually a coffee farm but most know it locally as a Botanical Garden. The gardens are filled with many and numerous types of vegetation, flowers and landscaping that the Japanese are famous for around the world.
You begin by parking at the top of the hill and you will need directions to get there (see below). After you park you will see a small structure and inside is where you can place your $5 donation for the farm visit. It’s totally on the honor system and is unmanned. Walk a little further and you will begin the descent down. Immediately you will begin to see rows of lowers.
As you continue down you will go past coffee plants, fruit and even a macadamia nut grove. Halfway down is a lookout area and even a tunnel of vegetation.
The view at the bottom of the hill is fantastic. That is the picture above that was taken with a cell phone. It looks like an ocean but is actually an infinity pool. Gorgeous. They have a small covered area with tables and free coffee samples. If you like their coffee they are more than eager to sell it to you.
After you’ve sipped your hot coffee watching divine views of the Kona coast, you can walk up or they will take you back up the hill in a golf cart.
(We suggest the latter if you are not in shape.)
This little piece of island paradise is not heavily visited but it’s large enough, you can see beautiful gardens and coffee farms. It’s a worthy visit if you are in the Kona area.
There are several ways you can get to Mamalahoa Highway but the main way for someone unfamiliar with Kona is to go up Palani Rd on 190 and then take a right on 180. You will go several miles (passing great fruit stands) until you get to Mauka Meadows. TAKE NOTE!!! Their sign is very small and it isn’t obvious at all. Use your GPS on your phone as this one you can fly right by. If you get to the town of Holualoa, you’ve gone too far. Although that’s not all a bad thing because Holualoa is a great little artist town. 🙂
Parking: Yes. At the top of the hill right when you come in the gate.
Restrooms: Yes. At the bottom of the hill.
BBQ Grills: No
Picnic Tables: No
Extra: Free coffee samples and coffee for purchase. Free ride back up.
It’s a moderately steep grade down but as long as you’re not in a wheelchair or disabled, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The road is good but the incline is what makes it difficult. If you keep driving straight instead of going to the parking lot at the top, there’s a road that branches off left. From there you can use the restrooms, wait for those walking, sip coffee samples and enjoy the view you see in the picture above. But to take the trail…it depends on mobility status.