There are six main Hawaiian Islands – the most developed one being O’ahu Island where the city of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach are both located along with all the big name hotels and resorts. The other main islands are Kaua’I, Moloka’i, Lana’I, Maui and Hawai’i Island- and each island is special.
Maui Island – is 77 kilometres long and 42 kilometres with the smaller Kahoolawe Island just off-shore, so it is almost the same size island to O’ahu Island and a short flight away from Honolulu to Kahului Airport on Maui.
On Maui there are around 80 beaches – with each beach distinctive to the others, with even changing sand colors – from pure white sand to reds, golden greys and black sand. Maui certainly has great beaches and the Hana Highway leads down the east coast from Kahului crossing over more than 50 one lane bridges as it winds its way down along the coastline hugging both the mountain side and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a number of waterfalls along the way. If you can take a look at the Red Sea beach at Hana – a small isolated town of about 1000 people. The Kahanu Gardens are also worth seeing at 1926 Hana Highway.
Maui is famous for its diving, snorkelling and surfing beaches as well as whale watching between December and April, when whale watching tours depart from Lahaina on the west coast.
Places and things to see on Maui include –
- Haleakala Crater – climb the highest volcano crater in Hawaii in the Haleakala National Park – a 2 ½ hour climb to the top.
- Downhill biking – where the bikes get taken to the top of a mountain (including Haleakala) and you get to ride downhill as slow or fast as you want to.
- Lahanina Village – see lots of art galleries and discover the interesting history of the village.
- Maui Ocean Center – 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku – a marine park spread out over 3 acres of ground with underwater observatory to see all the sea life that exists in Hawaii.
- Seven Sacred Pools – Pools of Ohe’o, are a combination of waterfalls and pools located in the Haleakala National Park, off the Hana Highway in the south end of Maui.
- Diving and snorkelling in a Marine Park Reserve inside an island which is the rim of a extinct volcano – this being Molokini Island which is also a bird sanctuary. You can also find places to snorkel all along the resort beaches on the west and south coast.
- Windsurf – if you are experienced off Ho’okipa Beach.
- Deep Sea fishing – see bestmauifishing.com, www.hawaiideepseafishing.com, www.extremefishingmaui.com, www.sportfishingcharters.com and there are many others.
- Big wave surfing – head to Pe’ahi , sometimes called ‘Jaws’ where surfers are towed out to the big waves on jet-skiis.
- Smaller waves – head to the west coast and south.
- See Iao Needle – a 686 metre high stone pillar – which served as an altar. This is located on the Iao Valley Rd (Highway 32) 3 miles from Wailuko.
- Zipline across the top of a Horse ranch and forest at Pi’iholo Ranch – 799 Piiholo Road (on the way to Haleakala Crater). It is ½ a mile long and a great way to see the world from above. (see piiolozipline.com ) . This is in ‘Upcountry Maui’ quite a contrast to the coast.
- Hawaiian Vodka tour and distillery – 4051 Omaopio Rd, Kula. This is where Ocean Vodka is distilled on the farm property surrounded by sugar cane fields. (See oceanvodka.com ).
- Tedeschi Winery – is near Ulupalakua in the center of the Maui Island – and this is a beautiful part of the island away from the coastal resorts. To find the winery and also Ulupalakua Ranch established in 1845 – see mauiwine.com
- Surfing Goat Dairy – 3651 Omaopio Rd, Kula – has herds of goats and makes goat cheese (See surfinggoatdairy.com )
- Alii Kula Lavender Farm – 1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula – where you can see and learn all about Lavender and all the products made using it.
A large number of the big hotels and resorts are located in Lahaina and Wailea.
Lahaina is the original capital city of Hawaii before it moved to Honolulu. In the 1840’s Laihaina developed as a whaling harbor with many ships and sailors based here. The American writer Herman Melville (1819-1891) spent time in Lahaina as a whaler, with the book “Moby Dick” published in 1851, based on his whaling adventures. Much of the old town has been kept and there are many Heritage buildings in and around Front Street that you can see. Look for the Visitor Center in the old Courthouse building, the Buddhist Hohoji Shingon Mission and Wo Hing Temple as well as many other buildings. Also on Front Street is the Maui Theater which has seating for up to 680 people and has different shows happening, including the Ulalena Hawaiian show which has been running for more than 14 years. (See www.mauitheater.com ).
Most of the big hotels, spas and resorts are close to the Kaanapali Beach, most with large swimming pools, restaurants and other attractions. Laihaina itself has a population of around 11,000 people, so has all the amenities of a large tourist town including shopping malls.
Wailea – has a population of around 6000 people and is very much a resort town with lots of big hotels and resorts here. There are a number of beaches – including Keawakapu, Maluaka, Wailea, Ulua and others up and down the coast – with the tropical palm trees, sandy beaches, and resorts all great places to stay and enjoy a beachside holiday. There is also lots of fashion and food to enjoy with the main shopping area along Wailea Alanui Drive, which is also where the big hotels are also located.
FERRIES – also head from Lahaina Harbor to the other Hawaiian Islands of Moloka’I and Lana’i .
Maui is certainly a special island to visit – and just being here to experience the sun, the weather, the scenery and all the fantastic hotels, resorts and food also will make your time spent here a memorable holiday.