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