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Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens, Hilo

3.9
#5 of 6 in Zoos & Aquariums in Hawaii
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
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. Plan your visit to Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Hilo travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
383 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • the zoo is free and seems to be a location for locals to take their kids which seems to be catering to the young families. lots of birds and different animals throughout the small park. several enclos...  more »
  • We read about the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo (Also called Hilio Zoo) on a blog for family activities on the Big Island, and decided to stop on our way to Volcanoes National park to break up the drive a bi...  more »
  • A neat place to visit, excellent value (donations gladly accepted, I'm sure they put it to good use). Well kept grounds and gardens. Animals are well cared for, and being a small zoo are remarkably ea...  more »
Google
  • Free rainforest zoo, my daughter and I love it and on Saturdays they have a petting zoo open. There's plenty to do and see and a playground as well. If anyone was to give this place anything other than 5 stars they should be ashamed of themselves because you can't beat all this for free when you have kids these days.
  • Super budget friendly place, It's FREE! With a wonderful playground and the petting zoo on Saturday, bathrooms and pavilions this is the perfect place for a birthday party!
  • This zoo is free! If you love animals this has plenty of unique animals. Stroller's available and a snack shop. The Tigers were my favorite 😁
  • The tigers are the star attraction. They are worth going to see. Admission is free.
  • This was a quiet retreat with the kids to explore, see some animals and enjoy the sun. The play area was great and we enjoyed the covered areas for play out of the direct sun. The tigers and monkeys were a hit. It's a free park but donations were welcome.

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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.
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