Toa Lua at Waimea Botanical Garden
Explore Waimea Valley, swim under a waterfall, and then enjoy a small intimate luau full of fun cultural activities, good food, live music, and a Polynesian show with an impressive fire-knife performance. Toa Luau is the perfect way to spend a day on the North Shore!
- Unique location on Hawaii’s North shore, set inside a beautiful botanical garden
- Small in size and family run, has a friendly, intimate, and authentic feel
- Full luau line-up: cultural activities with an imu cooking demonstration, luau feast, live music with a Polynesian show and a fire-knife performance
- Arrive early to explore the Waimea Valley and swim under a waterfall!
Toa Luau is an unique experience in many ways, but there are four main features that set it apart from the other luaus on Oahu.
- The first is its unique location. Waimea Valley is a destination in and of itself. It’s located on Hawaii’s famed North Shore, across the street from the beach, set on the grounds of a beautiful botanical garden, on land that has been considered sacred to native Hawaiians for generations.
- The second thing that distinguishes Toa Luau is that it is a small, family owned and operated business and the luau itself is small (usually under 200 guests). You will feel more like a guest than a customer, without having to sacrifice on quality when it comes to the food, entertainment, or service.
- Third, Toa is the only luau that offers a daytime seating option at 12:30 pm. This is perfect timing for families with small children or who don’t want to drive back to Waikiki late at night. It also allows for more flexibility when coordinating transportation or other North shore activities.
- Finally, with a reservation at Toa Luau guests also gain admission to the privately owned Waimea Valley. You can spend as much or as little time as you would like exploring the grounds, botanical gardens, and even swim beneath a waterfall!
In the early 2000’s, the area was slated to become an enormous housing development. Fortunately, these plans were halted after a massive community outcry and protests. The area was eventually turned over to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to be “preserved in perpetuity.” Today Waimea Valley is owned and managed by a local non-profit, whose mission is to preserve and protect the natural spaces and its historic and cultural remnants. They maintain and oversee the gardens and the waterfall, while providing free educational programs to the public. They also lease out some of the pre-existing commercially developed areas to local Hawaiian businesses, including Toa Luau.
Waimea Falls and Botanical Garden:
A full day pass to the Waimea Valley is included with the luau reservation, which alone would cost $25 per adult ticket. The main trail to the waterfall is paved and a relatively easy 3/4 mile walk which weaves through the botanical gardens. Visitors can also get shuttled to the waterfall and back via a golf cart for an extra fee. The waterfall is about 45 feet tall, so modest by Hawaii standards, but it is easy to access, safe, and has all the conveniences of changing rooms and lockers nearby. Guests are required to wear life preservers (provided free of charge) if they intend to swim, and water shoes are recommended as the entry/exit to the swimming basin is rocky and muddy. (Note: The Valley and Botanical Garden are closed on Mondays – except during the summer months. Also, the waterfall may not be open for swimming if the water levels are considered too low or unsafe for any reason).
The gates to the Waimea Valley are open from 9 am until 4 pm. Plan to spend at least two hours before your scheduled luau if you would like to check out the waterfall, and longer if you are interested in learning more about the history of the area or spending more time in the botanical garden. There is a free guided botanical tour at 12:30 pm and a self-guided cultural tour that is available as well. There are a few kiosks on site where you can buy snacks or have lunch, and changing rooms and restrooms for you to freshen up before your luau.You are also free to leave the area and come back later for your luau.
Check-in for the evening luau begins at 4:50 pm, and it kicks off with an imu cooking demonstration and other cultural activities on the lawn. There are usually around five or six different activities to participate in or observe, such as weaving headbands, poi ball twirling, or husking coconuts. (Tip: Choose the 2-3 activities that interest you most as there won’t be enough time to do them all). There is also an onsite bar, offering a limited selection of tropical cocktails, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Admission includes one to three adult drinks, depending on which package you choose.
As the activity hour draws to a close, a traditional Hawaiian kava ceremony signals that it is time to feast.
Toa’s luau menu includes some traditional Hawaiian luau foods, such as slow roasted Kalua pork and Haupia (coconut pudding) plus other regional Hawaiian favorites like macaroni salad and Shoyu barbecue chicken. Unlike most luaus, Toa does not have a self-service buffet. You will be served banquet-style at your table and given a bit of everything to try, and your server will happily bring you seconds of anything that you would like.
Both the dinner and show are held in a covered, open-air pavilion that is protected from the elements. Seating is at large banquet tables of ten so you will likely share a table with other guests, and your proximity to the stage is dependent on the package that you choose.
After dinner there is a traditional Polynesian show featuring live music and signature performances that represent the various islands of Polynesia, including Hawaiian hula, Tahitian rhythmic dancing, and a fiery Samoan fire-knife performance for the grand finale.
Toa Luau does not offer transportation so guests must make their own arrangements. Renting a car is the best option for reaching this location. Waimea Valley is an hour’s drive from Waikiki, though the drive can take much longer if traffic is heavy. Free parking is available on site, though it can fill up during busy periods. Additional parking is available at the beach lot across the street for a fee.
Rideshares and taxis are generally not recommended if traveling from Waikiki, as they will be expensive and it will be hard to find a ride back to Waikiki at night. However, if you are going to the early luau you may have better luck finding a ride back at 4 pm or even be able to coordinate transportation through public transit.
- Toa Luau is located inside Waimea Valley at 59-864 Kamehameha Hwy Haleiwa, HI 96712.
- Right across from Waimea beach on the north-shore of Oahu.
- Allow yourself at least 2 hours before the luau starts to explore the valley and Waimea Falls.
- Flower lei
- Cultural activities
- Imu cooking demonstration
- Kava ceremony
- Silver seating area
- Luau Feast
- Polynesian show
- Adult Only: 1 drink ticket
- Admission to Waimea Valley- cultural site, botanical garden, and Waimea Falls
- Silver Package plus
- One additional drink ticket (2 total)
- Gold level seating (closer to the stage)
- Gold Package plus
- One additional drink ticket (3 total)
- VIP level seating (closest to the stage)
- Pupukea Green Salad
- Island Mac Salad
- Tropical cocktails, beer, wine, soft drinks, ice tea, and water
- Kalua Pork
- Grilled Shoyu BBQ Chicken
- Lomi Tomato
- White Rice with Furikake
- Fresh Fruit
- Haupia (Coconut pudding)
- White cake with coconut frosting
- Dress Code is casual and/or aloha wear; swimsuits are not allowed. Lockers, restrooms and changing rooms are available if you want to swim before your luau.
- Guests 21 and over must present a picture ID to order or consume alcoholic beverages.
- If you would like to request the 12:30 pm seating, please use the contact form or reach out using the chat function
Toa Lua operates four days a week: Monday*, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The afternoon luau is from 12:30-3:30pm, and the evening luau is from 5:00-8:00 pm. The afternoon luau follows the same schedule/format as the evening luau, which is listed below.
4:50 pm – Check-in
5:00 pm – Food Prep and Lawn Activities
5:45 pm – Kava Ceremony
6:00 pm – Luau Supper
6:45 pm – Polynesian Show with a Fire-Knife finale
8:00 pm – Aloha and Farewell
*Waimea Falls and the Botanical Gardens are closed on Monday (except during the summer months).
- Waimea Falls is dependent on rainfall. If visiting during a dry period it may not be flowing strongly and water levels in the basin below may be too low for swimming. Lifeguards determine if the area is safe for swimming each morning by 9 am. Life vests are required for swimming and are handed out at the entrance free of charge.
- Menu items may be subject to change without prior notice.
Cancellation Policy: For bookings of 1-15 people, cancellation must be made 24-hours prior to luau date to qualify for a full refund. For group bookings of 15-30 people, cancellation must be made 1 week prior to the luau date to qualify for a full refund. For group bookings 30+, cancellations must be made 1 month prior to the luau date to qualify for a full refund. Cancellations made outside of the above parameters and No Shows are non refundable. Cancellations made by Toa Luau will receive a full refund.