For those who love animals, there’s no better place to visit than the Honolulu Zoo, located in the heart of Waikiki, Hawaii. This world-renowned zoo is home to over 900 animals from around the world and boasts a wide variety of educational programs and exhibits.

In this article, learn everything you need to know about the Honolulu Zoo from admission prices, hours of operation, animal exhibits, conservation efforts, and more.

Highlights

Honolulu Zoo Sign
  • Visit more than 900 different types of animals
  • Explore the zoo after the gates close with Twilight Tours
  • Take your visit a step further with a guided tour to learn about the history and conservation issues
  • Great activity to enjoy with the whole family
  • Tickets can be purchased at the front gate upon arrival
  • Easily accessible by car or bus

History

Elephant at Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo has been part of the Hawaiian experience for over a century. Starting in 1914 with Ben Hollinger as the Administrator of Parks and Recreation, he had the brilliant idea to add various animals, such as lion cubs, sun bears, monkeys, and an elephant named Daisy to Kapi’olani Park.

Despite experiencing financial hardship during The Great Depression, which almost shut down their operations, the zoo managed to grow and acquire additional animals throughout the decades.

In 1974 animals like deer, elephants, chimpanzees, and camels were gifts added to the zoo’s collection. By 1990, the overall look of the zoo had been revamped for a more stimulating experience with its lucky visitors! The Honolulu Zoo has since grown into a beautiful showcase of some truly unique creatures as well as an ever-expanding variety of special exhibits.

Tips when Visiting

Giraffe at Honolulu Zoo

Before heading out to the zoo, there are a few tips you’ll want to remember while visiting, including:

Plan Ahead

Visiting the zoo can be an overwhelming experience if you don’t plan ahead. Before you go, take some time to research what animals will be there and familiarize yourself with the layout of the park. Planning ahead also includes bringing enough snacks and water for everyone in your party, wearing comfortable shoes, and packing sunscreen and hats if needed. 

Take Your Time

The Honolulu Zoo is home to a variety of fascinating creatures that you won’t find anywhere else in Hawaii. While it may be tempting to try to race through each section of the zoo in an attempt to see everything as quickly as possible, that isn’t always feasible—or enjoyable! Taking your time allows you to get up close with some of the animals and really appreciate their beauty and uniqueness. You never know what surprises await when you slow down and savor every moment at the zoo! 

Bring Binoculars

If you want to get a better view of some of the animals without disturbing them too much, binoculars are a great way to do so! Not only will they help you get a better look at some of the more distant creatures, but they can also add another layer of fun for kids (and adults!) who like looking for hidden details in each exhibit. 

Get There Early

The Honolulu Zoo is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, so getting there early can help you avoid crowds. Plus, it gives you more time to explore before the sun sets or gets too hot in the afternoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission is $19 for adults and $11 for children ages 3-12. Infants under two years old are free. Prices may vary depending on special events or promotions, so it’s always wise to check

It typically takes 2-3 hours to explore the entire zoo. However, this can vary depending on how much time you spend at each exhibit or how many stops you make for snacks and drinks. Some people will also opt to take a tram ride around the entire zoo, which cuts down on walking time.

The Honolulu Zoo is located in the heart of Waikiki and is home to more than 900 animals, some of which are incredibly rare. The zoo also features several educational exhibits that are designed to teach visitors about the conservation of endangered species and other important topics related to animal welfare.

While the Honolulu Zoo boasts a wide variety of animals from all over the globe, it does not have any pandas. However, you can find many other incredible creatures like monkeys, birds, reptiles, and amphibians that are sure to provide plenty of entertainment!

Yes, you can reach the zoo by taking the Waikiki Trolley Green Line to stop 4. This is the closest stop to the zoo, and from there, you can easily walk.

How to Get to Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is located at 151 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815. The easiest way to get there from Waikiki is to take Kapahulu Ave to the zoo. There is also bus transportation (Bus #2 or 8)  available from Waikiki for those who don’t want to drive. The closest airport is Honolulu International Airport, 18 minutes away by car.

The Zoo parking lot charges $1.50 per hour and can be found on Kapahulu Avenue. The Shell parking lot can be used as free parking if you’re comfortable with walking and don’t want to pay for parking.

Individuals with disability parking passes (red or blue placards) or license plates would need to pay for metered parking unless they were approved for the Disability Paid Parking Exemption Permit (green placard only).

Wrapping it Up

Whether you’re visiting Honolulu or a local looking for something to do, the Honolulu Zoo is a great place to explore. With hundreds of animals, educational exhibits, and plenty of activities for all ages, everyone can make memories that will last a lifetime.