hosts more than 750,000
visitors a year in its 42-acre setting! This
Honolulu attraction is part of the
Kapiolani Park and is said
to be the largest zoo within a 2,300 mile radius (Um, of course,
right? Because how many zoos can be erected on the ocean,
unless you count the underwater sea life…nevermind, I digress).
It is also unique in that it is the only zoo in the entire United States to have come from a king’s grant – the Hawaiian “Merrie Monarch” himself, King Kalakaua.
Today, the Honolulu Zoo has several permanent exhibits to delight anyone looking for a brief respite from the sun and sand, and would like to visit some beautiful animals. The exhibits include a Bird Sanctuary, Tropical Forest, African Savanna, Pacific Islands exhibit, and the Keiki (Children’s) Zoo.
Sometimes referred to as the Waikiki Zoo, you’ll be coming face to face with are giraffes, snakes, lions, elephants, cheetahs, vultures, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, tree frogs, gazelles, komodo dragons (hope this one doesn't get out of its cage), the elusive Hawaiian nene bird, and much, much more.
The warm island weather that stays pleasant throughout the
night, long after the sun goes down, affords this Waikiki zoo some
really great night time
that you probably will not encounter
in other zoos you will visit -- at least not with such pleasant weather
Join the Honolulu Zoo in the summer evenings with live local music, fun keiki coloring and trivia activates, ono plate lunch, and winning prizes, including a drawing for an ukulele! Raiatea Helm kicks off the summer concert series on June 8th. Alcohol is not permitted, but plate lunches and snacks will be available for purchase.
Cost is only $3 to enter. Doors open at 4:35 PM and the show begins at 6 PM.
Line up starts on June 8th with Raiatea Helm, followed with
Manoa DNA on June 15th, and Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki & June
29th Hoko Zuttermeister.
Line up for July: Rolando Sanchez and Salsa Hawaii on July 6th, Willie K on July 13th, Ohta San with Nando Suan on July 20th, and Kapena on July 27th
Line up for August: Jimmy Borges and his Jazz all Stars on Aug 3rd, and Special Guest for the final concert on Aug 10th
This fun program allows zoo guests to camp overnight at the zoo
and participate in organized activities such as storytelling, walking night
tours, and campfire songs. Guests have a choice
of sleeping under the
stars or setting up tents on the back lawn.
How exciting! How often do you get to camp out at the zoo under the stars, and along the Pacific ocean at that. The rhythmic crashing of the waves will lull you to sleep under the stars, while wild animal sounds lead you to believe you are along the outskirts of a tropical jungle. Once you close your eyes, you will forget that you are at one end of Waikiki!
This might very well become the biggest hit with your keikis (kids) during your Oahu vacation.
FYI, Out of all the places to visit and things to do in Oahu, President Obama and his family set aside some family time to tour the zoo amongst other popular Honolulu attractions, while visiting in Oahu in 2009. You could take that as a good sign!
Don’t get too excited, this does not involve Edward, Bella, or Jacob of the famous Twilight saga, but it’s close to being the next best thing ("nice try say the Robert Pattinson fans)! It is a guided tour that takes place after sunset, which gives visitors a chance to see what the animals do, and how they live after sundown.
Nocturnal animal activities are sometimes more exciting than during the daytime hours, so this could be quite an adventure to the uninitiated!
The zoo is located at the southern
most end of Waikiki at the
beginning of Kapiolani Park towards Diamond Head. It is at
Kalakaua Avenue and Kapahulu Avenue. The exact address is 151
Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI.
$1 per hour. Entrance is on Kapahulu Avenue. There is free parking across the street on Monsarrat Avenue at the Waikiki Shell parking lot.
9 am – 4:30 pm Daily (Closed only on Christmas Day)
(808) 971-7171 (24 hours)
General Admission for 13 yrs and older - $12
Kama’aina Fee for 13 yrs and older with local resident ID required - $6
Children 3yrs old and under accompanied by adult - FREE
Children 4-12 yrs old accompanied by adult 18 yrs or older - $3
Group reservations can also be made ahead of time if you have a large group.
Now it's time to see the animals below the sea! A small walk across Kapiolani Park towards Diamond Head, and you'll discover the Waikiki Aquarium!
Look up when you're at the Honolulu Zoo, and you'll see Diamond Head in clear view site...including hikers who made their way up to the top!
You could begin the hike up Diamond Head from the zoo, that will add a few miles each way to your treck, or take a short drive around the other side of the mountain, and start from inside the crater.
What's on the otherside of Diamond Head? How about a long beautiful local beach! Diamond Head Beach is home to some wealth beach home owners, weekend warrior surfers, and quiet sun bathers looking to escape busy Waikiki!
Give yourself some time stroll Diamond Head Beach, gawk at the beach houses, and explore the many tide pools.
This beach front Waikiki Restaurant is located in the New Otani Hotel at the base of Diamond Head, and next door to the Waikiki Aquarium. They are open for breakfast and dinner only, so take advantage of the opportunity if happen to be in the area!
On the back side of the zoo, something special happens each
Sunday. Each weekend artist display their artwork on the
end zoo's fence, which is directly across from Kapiolani
Explore different artworks from local artist. Art on the
talkes place each Sunday on Monsarrat Ave from 9am to 4pm.
Aloha & Enjoy!!