The shriek of the Honolulu Zoo’s population of endangered white-handed gibbons is a familiar morning sound to Waikiki’s regular surfing contingent; the zoo is just across the street from some of the most popular beginner surf breaks toward the far end of Waikiki near Diamond Head crater. In addition to the monkeys, the sprawling 42-acre open-air zoo is home to more than 900 tropical animals including elephants, black rhino, giraffe, Sumatran tiger, aardvark, meerkat, orangutan, birds, reptiles and more. The zoo also houses animals only found in Hawaii, including the state bird, the nēnē, as well as a number of endemic plants in and around the enclosures.
The zoo’s entrance is just off a large parking lot on the corner of Kapahulu Avenue and Waikiki’s main oceanfront drag, Kalakaua Avenue. There is a $1/hour cash-only charge for on-site parking. Several TheBus routes as well as the popular Waikiki hop on/hop off trolley also pass near the zoo.
The Honolulu Zoo is open daily (except Dec. 25) from 9 a.m. til 4:30. p.m. General admission tickets are $14 for adults and $6 for children with discounts for Hawaii residents and military with ID. Allot at least an hour and a half to explore the zoo.