Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Playground, Hilo

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The Big Island, HI
Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo and Playground, Hilo
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Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo has absolutely gorgeous vegetation and flowers. Come here to enjoy a tropical wonderland! Many of the animals seem happy. The white tigers have a nice hilly enclosure. The cages for the amazon parrots have banana groves inside them, and the parrots are cute to watch. A peacock walks around the park freely. There are a few very unhappy animals though, namely the Capuchin monkeys that are in a tiny, hot cage, and a bird that was crying in misery constantly, sick of people looking at him. Zoos are always a bit iffy. I do love how pretty this zoo is though, and if they could help the monkeys and bird it would be worth visiting.

The zoo is hilly so it's a good workout walking around. There are cute benches with sculptures of animals, and one of a huge alligator. A large, awesome playground with a party pavilion is used often by local families.
There is some shade here and there, but lots of exposed walkways too, so wear sunscreen and come later in the day. Too bad the zoo is open during the hottest part of the day (see hours below) because it can be really hot walking around, especially in summer. 
There is a gift shop.
To prepare for your trip, read a book about animals in Hawaii and where they sleep. This is a book adored by kids and most requested by my kid's elementary school classes! It is called Go to Sleep Hide and Seek.

Continue to directions...

Even the parking lot is beautiful.

Sweet thin palm tree in the parking lot.

Amazing monkeypod trees!

White flowers.

Bench with flower sculptures.

Red palm trunks! I've never seen this before!

Orange flowers.

Tropical plants!

Sculpture bench and palms- such a beautiful place!

Brightest red flowers.

Bench by a tropical wonderland.

Flowers and shade hut.

Pink flowers and fern.

Wonderful white hibiscus with neon pink stamen.

White tiger in the shade.

The white tigers have a nice enclosure.

Shady walkway.

Lemur bench.

Sun shining through the palms.

Tropical flower.

Crocodile bench!

Picnic pavilion.

Orchid on a palm tree.

Iguana bench.

Bamboo leaves catching the light.

Picnic pavilion by the playground.

Huge playground with shade umbrellas.

What a lovely playground!

A girl enjoys the spinner.

Enclosed twisty slide.

Banana grove inside an animal cage.

Peacock strutting her stuff.


One of the nicer enclosures.

Gecko- what a cutie.


Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo is located at 800 Stainback Hwy, Hilo HI 96720. It is a thirteen minute drive south from the hotels on Banyan Drive, taking Highway 11. There is plenty of parking.
Open daily 9-4.
Entrance is free.


Click on map for interactive view


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Last Updated: Sun, 12 May 2024 01:18:22 GMT

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