One of my favorite photographers took a photo of a rainbow looking tree years ago and I couldn’t believe it! I thought Peter Lik photoshopped it! Then… many years later I went on a hunt to see for myself. Now I am in love and want to share with you how fascinating these rainbow eucalyptus trees really are!
I have witnessed these beauties in several places around Hawaii and I am here to share with you PROOF that these are real, how they get their color and exactly where to find them. That way you’re not on a wild goose chase trying to find them yourselves like I was!
The first place I ever saw them was when I traveld to Kauai in 2011 to visit my friend who was a travel nurse. I remember Peter Lik shot the photo in Hawaii but I did’nt know where! We called botanical gardens and asked several locals if they know where these colorful rainbow trees were and if they were in Kauai at all. They had no idea what I was talking about! After a while a woman described an area where there were a few dozen of them. There was no, “put in GPS and hit GO,” we wrote down directions and followed them the best we could! After a few hours of wrong turns we found the place!
We drove over a stream to get to the parking lot.It was a DREAM! We got out of the car and frolicked for a few hours in awe.
There were several differnt shades of color. Some were more orange/tan while others had a faint purple tint to them with various colors throughout.
How do they get their color? Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray. Fascinating right?!
How do you get here? Now that I know this is an acutal place in Kauai, I found the exact directions for you. All you have to do is click here and press go! It’s called the Keahua Arboretum. It’s in Wailua, on the east side of the island. Not only does it have a few dozen rainbow eucalyptus trees aka (eucalyptus deglupta ) there are picnic tables, swimming hole, and the Kuilau Ridge Trail (I haven’t done).
We drove though here on our recent trip to Kauai to get to the Blue Hole hike which I will update later. It was an INTENSE off roading, stream crossing adventure to find!They most colorful trees on the planet and can only grow in frost free zones. If you know of more places to find them, I would love to know where!
They can reach approximately 100-125ft tall!
Where is the second place you found them? We rented a condo in Princeville on the North side of the island. They have a beautiful 2.1 mile paved path from St. Regis to the Princeville Shopping Center. Part of it was under construction while we were there. Ron and I went for a run and saw about six un-damaged rainbow eucalyptus trees along the path next to Makai Golf Course.
There were also beautiful hibiscus flowers in bloom…
And a giant banyan tree I walked by on another day. Can you tell I love TREES?!
Where was the third place you found rainbow eucalyptus trees? Ron and I decided to get away for a week to celebrate his 32nd Birthday and an early one-year wedding anniversary in 2016. Neither of us have ever been to Maui and we have heard nothing but great things! I heard it was a mix of all the islands into one. Now that I have been there I have to say that I agree. It’s not as built up as Oahu, desolate as The Big Island, or quiet/small as Kauai. It really is a perfect mix! Now to ask me which of the islands I love most, that is tuff and I can’t say!
We did SO much in just a week! I made a complete itinerary of, “The Top 10 Things You MUST Do in Maui” be sure to check it out I put A LOT of love into that post!
One of those top things to do is the famous, “Road to Hana.” This is where we found more rainbow trees!
Since there were so many places to stop along the Road to Hana I did a lot of research on what we couldn’t miss. After passing by these trees a few times, being bad at following directions (no surpise here, lol) we finally found them and stopped along the side of the road.
As much as I talk most stuff up, I was disapointed seeing these ones. Everyone of them was damaged by people carving their names into the bark leaving the trees with many scars. The colors were not as bright as the others either. However, if your driving along the Road to Hana and you’ve never seen a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree before, take five minutes and stop. You can find the exact mile marker and directions here.
There you have it! Three places to witness and explore these beautiful rainbow eucalyptus trees without having to try and find directions yourself!
Have you seen them in person before? If so where? I would love to hear from you! Comment below, Pin, share and subscribe to stay up to date on my latest adventures!
WHERE TO FIND RAINBOW EUCALYPTUS TREES
FIRST DESTINATION: Keahua Arboretum Kauai Hawaii
DIRECTIONS: Keahua Arboretum, Kapaa, HI 96746
WHAT TO EXPECT: FREE, Drive over stream to parking lot, has a couple dozen rainbow eucalyptus trees with a walking path, picnic tables, swimming hole, good for mt. biking, hiking and Kuilau Ridge Trail.
SECOND DESTINATION: Priceville, Kauai Hawaii
WHAT TO EXPECT: I reccomend walk, biking, running this path. We stayed in condo along the way and walked/ran nearly everyday. You will come across about six rainbow eucalyptus trees, beautiful views, flowers and a giant banyan tree as seen above.
THIRD DESTINATION: Maui, Hawaii
DIRECTIONS: Along the Road to Hana just before mile marker #7
WHAT TO EXPECT: I made a complete itinerary on everything you CAN NOT miss on the Road to Hana + exactly how to get to the rainbow trees. CLICK HERE for details.