Guided Tours Of Niaulani

Free Rainforest Tours

Every Monday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m, learn about rare native Hawaiian rain forests, and specifically Niaulani rain forest, in VAC's guided rain forest tour. Visitors learn about Niaulani's overall ecological importance as one of the last old-growth koa and'ōhi'a rain forests, VAC's role in its protection and restoration, the continual threats to its integrity, how Hawaiian plant and animal species have closely evolved with one another, how native species have evolved to be different from their colonizing ancestors, and ethnobotanical uses of Hawaiian flora. For more information, click here.

Custom Rainforest Tours

Learn about Niaulani and concepts within themes such as general Hawaiian rain forest ecology, ethnobotany, sustainable use, island watersheds, plant identification and more during tours any day of the week and in accordance to individual or groups' needs. The suggested donation is $5/person/45 minute tour and $7/person/1 hour. Scheduled school group tours are free. Content matter is appropriate for ages 6 and older. Group sizes larger than 20 people will be split to ensure a more comfortable tour. Maximum group size is 30 people. Wear attire that is appropriate for potentially wet weather. For more information, click here.


Cultural Rainforest Tours

Offered a few times a year, cultural practitioner Kumu Ryan McCormack offers a unique perspective on Niaulani Rainforest through a Hawaiian perspective in the medium of Hawaiian mythology and cultural practices.

Tours typically last an hour and only happen a few times a year. To keep up to date on when cultural rainforest tours are offered you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Booking a private cultural rainforest tour in advance is possible. To inquire about scheduling please contact us at

Guided Keiki (Children) Musical Rainforest Tours

Join art and nature educator Dina Kageler for a keiki focused musical rainforest tour! This offering typically lasts 45 minutes long and is suitable for all ages.

You will learn about distinctive Hawaiian native plants and environment through song. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

To inquire about booking please email us at

History Of Niaulani Rainforest

Dina Kageler Music In Niaulani
Kumu Ryan
Niaulani Being Built

VAC inherited Niaulani upon securing a 65-year lease from the State of Hawaii in 1996. It had been designated a Forest Reserve beginning in the 1920’s due to its old growth koa and ohia canopy, and part of the contractual agreement was for our organization to continue the generational legacy of stewardship set forth by state foresters. While Niaulani supported old-growth trees that had been historically harvested for various purposes elsewhere in the Kilauea Summit region, much work had to be done eliminating invasive plant and animal species on the forest floor to bolster its overall biodiversity. VAC constituents, comprised of local artisans and naturalists, began tending to the land years before educational facilities were built on the periphery of the five acre forest. For more information on the history of the Niaulani program, click here.

Tim Tunison Virtual Tour

A Free Virtual Tour Of Niaulani

In the Summer of 2023, The Volcano Art Center introduced a new series of interactive signage throughout Niaulani Rainforest. When you scan signage labeled with QR codes in Niaulani Rainforest, you can view videos featuring botanist Tim Tunison. These short videos focus on the ecology of rainforests in the Kilauea Summit region. To view these videos online please click on the links below!

The Volcano Art Center is currently working to create more videos and information on birds found in Niaulani.

Plant Identification PDF & Field Guide PDF

Tim Tunison

Written especially for Niaulani Rainforest by Tim Tunison, these documents give you an  in-depth detailed guide to identifying native plants in the Kilauea Summit region.

Digital Rainforest Buddies

Below you can download the Niaulani Trail Map, A Plant Poster, Trail Companion, The Niaulani Rainforest Crossword Puzzle, and a Niaulani Treasure Hunt.

Scroll to Top