The Nutridge features lush tropical rainforests, panoramic views and colorful, enduring traditions and is home to Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm; Nutridge is truly a world unto itself. Discover its stories, live its legends and experience its traditions as you Discover hidden O'ahu!

Vision and Invitation

In the spirit of Aloha and Malama Ika 'Aina Discover Hawaii Tours is honored to have the privilege of being the special caretakers for the historical Nutridge Estate located at Tantulus overlooking our beloved city of Honolulu at Pu'u Ualaka'a. Beginning January 1, 2014 we have had the opportunity to open the doors of Nutridge. We have invested a significant amount of resources to maintain the respect this property. A lot of effort has been dedicated to find out what is the best use of this historical facility with the least amount of impact to preserve this historical important location. We are proposing for the state to consider our vision to preserve Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm that gave Nutridge it's name. E Komo Mai. Come and be our guest! Experience the sweet hospitality and charm of old Hawaii that lives at the Nutridge Estate. Discover Honolulu's multi-faceted crown jewel that is Pu'u Ualaka'a.

The Concept and Development

The Nutridge Farm is one of Hawaii's most beautiful and historical properties. It is our intention to provide an environment that our visitors, local population, and community outreach groups can enjoy. Perpetuating; sustainability, Hawaiian culture and entertainment, education, awareness, activities and attractions.

The Legacy

The Nutridge Estate was established in 1922 by Ernest Van Tassel. Tassel leased 75 acres from the government to start his own and the first macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. Only 3 years later he leased another 100 acres on Big Island. By 1931 he had also opened his own processing plant in Kaka'ako, which the Nutridge produce was actually carried down by a water flume system which can still be found around the property today. Nutridge, originally known as Kakea, also introduced and developed variety 503 of macadamia which is a large commercial variety today.

Developing Agritourism

To preserve Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm, and to protect the land from invasive species and soil erosion while providing guests a living piece of Hawaiian history that is a memorable attraction.

Our Core Purpose

Public Private Partnership with The Nutridge Farm has been a first class experience from start to finish. Continuing to provide that, we want to also develop agritourism on the land with restoring 1922 established macadamia nut farm on the property.

Our Core Purpose

Public Private Partnership with The Nutridge Farm has been a first class experience from start to finish. Continuing to provide that, we want to also develop agritourism on the land with restoring 1922 established macadamia nut farm on the property.

100% Aloha

The combination of Hawaii's natural beauty; paired with the physical beauty of its people, culture, and history, is the essence of Aloha. The sharing, compassionate, and loving nature of the Kama'aina (local people) is what makes Hawaii and residents so unique. Living Aloha EVERYDAY is something each is called to do. Infusing the Aloha Spirit into each part of this project is what it's all about. An encompassing endeavor that perpetuates sharing, giving, and teaching.

Land Management

Caring for Our Land

Discover Hawaii Tours partnered with the state to lease 23 acres of land. Currently we have utilized 3 acres in the northeast portion of the property. This land was part of the original 75 acres that created Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm in 1922. It is our hope to preserve this part of Hawaiian history and open it for people to come and experience a living museum. Much of the area has become overgrown, but the macadamia trees are still spread throughout the property. Trails are already established and just need some maintenance to be safe for tourists to walk along.

Crop Diversity

History has shown that monoculture severely harms the land. Though the area would be redominantly macadamia trees, we expect to have multiple species throughout the farm. The primary role of subordinate species in the farm is for environmental control, specifically managing soil quality and erosion. For this reason we plan on leaving much of the existing canopy and also plan on planting shrubs and grasses with adventitious roots. Koa trees also will be planted to help balance soil quality. Natural balance is especially important because of pollination of macadamia trees. Bees are responsible for the pollination of many commercial crops, and macadamia trees are no exception. Keeping a diverse area and a holistic region is important to maintain the bee population in the area. Potential other future projects at the Nutridge Estate could look at beehives to sustain local populations of bees.

Enviromental Awareness


Nutridge was already a well established macadamia nut farm, and does not need much help to be sustained. We plan on taking a holistic management approach to Nutridge, making minimal changes to the area, clearing out invasive species and preserving the farm

Soil Quality

Hawaii has been blessed with fertile soils and perfect conditions for plants to grow. Maintaining this balance is important for continuing to grow and farm. The macronutrients needed are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or commonly referred to as NPK, for plants to thrive. The most difficult nutrient to come across is nitrogen. The Fabaceae family is a superb nitrogen fixer and is used to help maintain the NPK levels. Luckily koa is in this family and can be planted to maintain nutrient levels and allows us to not have to rely on non-native species or synthetic additives. Macadamia trees are slow growing and do not need high levels of nitrogen, unlike annual crops, but the product quality will increase with nitrogen fixers in the area.

The Watershed

The Ko'olaus house the Honolulu Watershed. Many unprotected areas that are being overrun with strawberry guava and ginger are not functioning as they should be. The land should be able to absorb and retain water- increasing the amount of natural cycled freshwater, and reducing flooding in lower areas. Unfortunately these plants displace much more soil than native species and make the watershed less effective. The macadamia nut farm at Nutridge would have better plants growing to retain that water and make the watershed more efficient, reducing flooding in the areas below during heavy rains.

Energy and Maintenance

The energy required for the preservation of Nutridge is minimal to none. Because the Macadamia trees are already in place, we know they can survive in this area with no additional watering, irrigation, or any additional maintenance. Nutridge will not have any processing facilities on site so there is no need for additional energy expenditures or facilities built for that aspect of the farm. The most maintenance that would be necessary would be to maintain the pathways extending throughout the farm so they are safe for tourists to walk on.

Environmental Protection

Tropical zones, especially areas on intense slopes like Nutridge are prone to soil erosion. With heavy rains and not many grasses to retain the dirt like it presently is, the ground could easily become unstable. Though there was somewhat of a terrace system integrated with the área back in the 1920's when the estate was a fully functional macadamia nut farm, there are still areas potentially threatened with soil erosion. With preserving the farm aspect of Nutridge, we would be able to monitor and control at risk areas as well as have preventative measures.


Synthetic pesticides have shown to be detrimental to the environment and sometimes not even too effective against the target species. Among other reasons of negative side effects of pesticides, we do not plan on having any pesticides in use at Nutridge. The estate is also found inside of Honolulu Watershed, and the amount of runoff would be detrimental if pesticides were used. Biological pest control is an option, but given Hawaii's history with imported biological control, we are hesitant to pursue that route. In regards to controlling other organisms, we are open to suggestions the state has if we need control.

Preservation of the Macadamia Nut Farm

Preserving the Macadamia Farm

Our plan for developing Nutridge as a macadamia nut farm includes agritourism as the primary model. Agritourism is closely linked with sustainability, because agritourism focuses on responsible engagement into touristic activities, and unlike mass tourism, it has a high componente of environmental and social awareness and learning. This leads to a cleaner, greener way to promote tourism to our island. Nutridge would be a successful agritourism sight because of the relatively low competition, the new experience that is different from traditional travel routes, and provides some of the best views of the island. Nutridge would also provide a learning and awareness and thus can also be considered as an educational process with an important social role of bringing tourism to sustainable farming. Nutridge Estate was Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm; we plan on providing an area to see the history of this part of Oahu, pictures of the transformation, founder, and even providing the experience to see how a macadamia nut journeys from the tree to your mouth.

Processing and Productivity

Nutridge plans on selling the macadamia crop to other companies to be processed and sold as a finished product. Ideally we would like to partner with a local producer such as Tropical Farms out of Kaneohe, or even partner with another producer in Hawaii. With the preservation of Nutridge as a macadamia nut farm, local businesses could prosper from having an increased supply of macadamia nuts. Average yields for macadamia nut farms in Hawaii in the 2012-13 growing season were 2,930 per acre. If 15 of the remaining 20 acres of land that Discover Hawaii Tours is caring for is preserved, Nutridge should average nearly 44,000 pounds of macadamia nuts. Based on the 2012-13 price per pound, Nutridge would gross over $35,000 in crop sales.

Our Mission

Our Hopes

Discover Hawaii Tours would also take advantage of the agritourism opportunity that Nutridge has. Preserving the macadamia nut farm would open more tour possibilities that provides an environmentally friendly avenue for tourism here in Hawaii.

Our Community

Nutridge Estate and Discover Hawaii Tours value community gatherings, local movements, and malama 'aina. We want to encourage people to continue to care for our land by helping support local clean ups on Tantalus, community service opportunities, field trips, or other outings for schools, organizations, and groups. Education is important and we want to provide a platform for that. Preserving the macadamia nut farm also allows us to have an área dedicated to the history of Tantalus, as well as the areas of Honolulu it over looks. Sustainable agricultural models could also be taught and promoted as we share the process of macadamia nuts from the trees to the store.

Our Plans

Nutridge already has all the trees in place, the space dedicated to it, and now the force behind it to preserve it. We want to manage the remaining area of the Nutridge Estate into a historical farm. Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm can once again be functional, and help maintaining the Honolulu Watershed. The potential for Nutridge to bring together community, better the surrounding the environment, educate people of the area’s history and promote sustainable agritourism is there. The future possibilities with this area are endless.


If Nutridge Estate is allowed to return to becoming a macadamia farm once again, the state would expect to receive over $75,000 annually from Discover Hawaii Tours from a combination of macadamia nut sales (approx. $2,800 annually received from nut sales) and agritourism (approx. $73,382 annually received from ticket sales.) With the expected Big Kahuna Luau sales percentage of $546,000 the state receives from Discover Hawaii Tours, Nutridge would be supplementing the state with over an estimated $620,000 annually.

Macadamia nut sales: $35,000 x.08 = $2,800

Luau: $6,825,000 x.08 = $546,000

Agritourism: $917,280 x.08 = $73,382

Annual Total: $622,182


The biggest limitation that we face with the Nutridge Estate is the lack of parking. For our tours this is solved by providing our minibuses to shuttle people from Waikiki, the airport, or other parts of Honolulu. The difficulty of parking comes mainly from a need of staff needing a place for their vehicles, this includes performers, entertainers, servers, and other staff. Our other difficulty with parking is it severely limits the kama’aina market, as they are forced to be picked up in Waikiki instead of driving straight from home. This has also affected sales in the wedding market as well as people wanting to use Nutridge as a private venue. We have found people want the independence of parking themselves and not having to rely on our shuttle service.

What We Need

To move forward with the Nutridge Estate, there are a few things that Discover Hawaii Tours needs:

Parking: Tantalus State Park already has a large enough parking lot, we just need permission to use it for staff and performers.

Development Permission: Preserve Historical Nutridge Macadamia Nut Farm with allowing Discover Hawaii Tours to manage and maintain the remaining 20 acres of land that is apart of Nutridge Estate.

Restrooms: The plumbing is already in place, we need permission to build proper facilities to accommodate our guests and employees.

Extended Contract: Discover Hawaii Tours is limited for booking by the short contract we currently have. We need an extended contract past the end of 2015 to fully utilize these investments.

Download the complete Future Plan