Driving alongside the coast and looking at the beautiful Koolau Ranges is a sight to behold. If you watched TV series "Lost" or movie "Jurassic Park", these are the locations where they were filmed. Razor sharp edges of the ranges are a very distinctive feature. We stayed at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens for two nights. There are several camp sites in the garden but you have to book in advance online, print the receipt and display it on you dashboard. You also need to show this document at the gates to the Botanical Gardens which close at 4pm for general public but re-opens between 5.30pm and 6.30pm for the campers to get in. The gates are closed over night so you can't get out till morning at 9am when the gates re-open again. The whole process is not user friendly but the botanical grounds are huge and you can freely wonder around. In the evening we were looking for a good location for sunrise to take photos of the beautiful ranges.
Sunrise was quite impressive, especially the first few minutes when the first rays of light touched the ranges. The beautiful soft glow of the sun highlighting sharp edges of the ranges with their tops still basking in the morning clouds provided beautiful vistas.
Only a short drive from the Botanical Gardens is the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Byodo-In temple is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan. The Temple grounds are nestled in a cleft of the pali and are home to wild peacocks and hundreds of Japanese koi carp. There is a 3USD entry fee to the Temple.