Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Hilo

3.9
#5 of 6 in Zoos & Aquariums in Hawaii
Visit Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, a zoo actually located in a rain forest. With only 4.9 hectares (12 acres) of land, it's easy to explore the entire park and meet its inhabitants in a day. Take a walk through the rain forest and gardens, view 80 species of animals and 40 species of plant life, and interact with wildlife at the park's petting zoo. Though the park no longer has its famous white Bengal tiger, it is still home to a number of fascinating creatures, including the endangered nene, the Hawaii state bird. For travelers who use our online itinerary creator, Hilo holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
Create an itinerary including Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens
map
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
406 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Don’t let the ‘free’ part throw you off. This was a nice surprise in a place where everything seems expensive. This was a great little zoo with a surprising variety of animals. The best part was the t...  more »
  • My wife and I are in our 60s and were very pleasantly surprised at this little zoo run by the county, admission was free (donations requested). It took about an hour to stroll the grounds and we were ...  more »
  • Since my family were in the local vincinty on vacation we decided to go. The place is beautiful and well manage. I could not believe this place is free I would personally recommend.  more »
Google
  • Parking is free and the entrance fee is by donation with a cool coin drop. A gift shop is located by the entrance with snacks and buggy rentals. The walking paths are nicely maintained with several benches throughout (many in shaded areas). There is a great playground area for younger and older children with bathrooms and picnic tables nearby. There is a nice assortment of animals to see throughout the zoo but as a smaller zoo, there is not a huge range of animals to see. Nonetheless, this is a really great relaxing place for visitors of all ages any day of the week.
  • Small and fun zoo. We happened to visit when it was pouring, but made the trek through the park anyway. The tigers were on patrol and got some great photos. Admission is free, parking is free. Has a small gift shop with knowledgeable staff who were able to direct us to some cheaper food in the area.
  • This place is awesome. The petting zoo is open on Saturdays from 1:30-2:30. It is right next to the playground so the littles can be social afterwards. The staff is always really friendly. Bathrooms are always clean. But best of all, it's free!
  • What an amazing little zoo! Honestly can't believe they don't charge an entry fee! Make sure you leave a donation when you walk in. So well maintained, all the animals homes are lovely and clean. One of the best zoos I've been to. Favourite has to be the Phoenix (golden pheasant)
  • Wonderful little zoo with playground. Admission is donation based. All animals looked well cared for. They close early, so plan accordingly.

Plan your trip to Hilo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Hilo

A convenient starting point for any exploration of the eastern portion of the Island of Hawaii, Hilo features many air-conditioned hostels, ideally priced for backpackers and other travelers not intending to spend a great deal of time indoors. For additional amenities and more privacy, book a room at a private bed and breakfast or small hotel near the town's best beaches. To stay closer to the hub of tourist action, consider a mid-range inn located in one of the old buildings in Hilo's historic downtown area.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Hilo by other users

36 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA April, culture, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Hilo BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Waimea & Hilo BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Island of Hawaii BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, teens, popular PREFERENCES: October, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Island of Hawaii BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, teens, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in South Pacific & United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Island of Hawaii BY A USER FROM SWEDEN April, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: April, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 46 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Island of Hawaii BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Island of Hawaii BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, relaxing, romantic, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, relaxing, romantic, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans