The garden is located in a scenic valley opening out to Onomea Bay, and features streams, waterfalls and a boardwalk along the ocean. It was created by Dan J. Lutkenhouse, who purchased the property in 1977 and began to develop it as a botanical garden. It opened to the public in 1984, and was donated by the Lutkenhouses to a nonprofit trust in 1995.
Today the garden contains over 2,000 plant species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera, with good collections of palms (nearly 200 species), heliconias (more than 80 species), and bromeliads (more than 80 species). Some of the garden's mango and coconut palm trees are over 100 years old.
The garden combines water and flora: A three-tiered waterfall (Onomea Falls) provides one of several water views which include Boulder Creek and the lava tubes on Onomea Bay.
View from the Bamboo Waterfall
Panorama of the Lilypad Lake
Typical scene at the Tropical Botanical Gardens
View of Onomea Bay from the lower Gardens
Hawaiian Red Ginger
Water Lily at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Beautiful flower at the gardens