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Manuka State Wayside

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General Information

Description - Manuka provides a place for visitors to stop, relax and picnic amongst a variety of native and introduced tree species.

Attractions - This site features an eight-acre arboretum with native and introduced plants. The flora of the park was planted in the mid-nineteenth century. Many plants are labeled for identification. The park is surrounded by the South Kona Forest Reserve and access to the trails of the reserve can be obtained from the wayside. A small lean to is available for camping, with a permit, but is not an ideal site. Picnic tables and restrooms are available here, but drinking water is not.

A camping permit must be obtained through the Hawai'i District of Hawai'i State Parks: P.O. Box 936, (75 Aupuni Street, #204), Hilo, HI 96721 (808) 974-6200. The permit serves as your campsite reservation.

Recreation - This site provides opportunities for hiking, camping, picnicking and plant identification.

Climate - The island of Hawaii, like the others in the chain, has a windward and leeward climate. The windward (eastern) side of the island receives a lot of moisture. Hilo's monthly averages are above 8 inches. Winter and spring months receive the most moisture, but count on rain if you're traveling in this region. The leeward side can be almost desert like. The mountains are so large on Hawaii, that they trap the moisture on the windward side. Most of the days are sunny on the western coast of Hawaii and hence the tourists flock to this region.

Temperatures on the island of Hawaii are moderate with year round averages near 74 degrees F. The temperatures differ more with elevation than the seasons. Winter clothing such as gloves, hats and layered clothing is necessary if camping in any of the high elevation campgrounds on the island.

Location - Manuka State Wayside lies in the sparsely populated Pau district on the Big Island, along the Mamalahoa Highway, approximately 19 miles west of Na'alehu.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Alan McNarie (Volcano, HI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Manuka State Forest Reserve was badly damaged by draught during the 1990s. It's now recovering, but the native plants are locked in a struggle with a horde of invasive species that have taken advantage of the forest's weakened condition. The nature trail above the park offers a vivid example of the Darwinian struggle. Among the invaders, unfortunately, are hordes of mosquitoes, who are only mildly deterred by repellents. If you're going to camp, the pavilion provides a roof over your head, but a tent or mosquito net is still highly desirable.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping One camping shelter available. Permit required.
ICON Viewing Interpretive Signs Arboretum with labeled plants.
ICON Picnicking Picnic facilities available.

More Information

Contact Information:
Hawai'i District, Hawai'i State Parks, P.O. Box 936, 75 Aupuni Street, 204 , Hilo, HI, 96721-0936, Phone: 808-974-6200

Additional Information:
Big Island (Hawaii) - This island is known as 'The Big Island', due to its size, which is nearly double that of the others in the archipelago combined. Hawaii has a plethora of natural areas including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Big Island State Parks - The Big Island contains 14 state-administered park sites. The sites pervade the island and protect properties of natural, historical and cultural significance.
Hawaii State Parks - Hawai'i's State Park System is comprised of 52 state parks encompassing nearly 25,000 acres on the 5 major islands.


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