Thursday, 9 February 2012

Beach Aventures: West Maui

One lane road - 2 way traffic
Before I suggested this adventure, I think it is important to include this disclaimer: Remember to be respectful of Hawaii, of the people who call these places home, and of the unpredictable mother of all, NATURE.  Use common sense and proceed with caution as some of these places are as dangerous as they are beautiful.

If you're up for some self guided exploring, why not check out West Maui.  It is a BEAUTIFUL drive (though at times scary, so I advise that if you go on this adventure, it is at your own discretion and I recommend careful driving).  Take the Honopi'ilani Highway past Kapalua, and check out the following places (these are written in order of where they are along the drive):

Honolua Bay
1. Honolua Bay:  This is a great spot for snorkling.  Tour places in Lahaina offer chartered boat trips that will take you there....or you can go yourself for free by driving there!  Keep in mind, there is no again, use your own common sense.  If you aren't into snorkeling, there is a small look-out point (Lipoa Point) above the bay that you can stop, get fresh pineapple from a pineapple truck and check out the spectacular view of the bay from above.

2. Nakalele Blow Hole:  This is one of the most incredible things I've ever seen.  Continue along the highway until you see several large boulders on the left side of the road (west) and a small parking lot.  Trust me - you'll know these boulders when you see them (if you aren't sure - then it's not them!).  You will need to hike down some pretty steep lava rock, so I recommend a decent pair of shoes.  Also - use your common sense and don't get too close to the blowhole itself.  Admire it from a distance.  The power of the ocean is incredible and I am sad to say someone recently lost their life here due to getting too close.  While you are down there, there is also an adorable heart shaped hole in some rocks.  Romantic photo opportunity!

Kahakuloa Church
3.  Village of Kahakuloa:  From a very narrow section of the road, you will see in a valley below an old green church.  This is Kahakuloa.  You will not find a gas station or any shops here, but there are a few great food trucks you can stop at, including one that offers some amazing banana bread!  Great stop for a midday snack.

4. Iao Needle/Iao State Park:  To get here...I recommend you pull out the GPS as we had to do quite a big of navigating and guessing!  Continue along the very twisty, narrow Kahekili Highway for about 20km.  Just past the town of Waihee, you are going to start heading away from the ocean and inland, towards a town called Wailuku.  Iao is west of there.  I don't know how to explain it further than that, except to say that if we found it, you can find it!  Once you are there, it is a beautiful park surrounded by amazing mountains and hills that you only see in Hawaii, a beautiful stream and just the peace and calm of Hawaii....ah.

This adventure will take you about half a day, or less, depending on how much time you spend at each sight.  I recommend going from the Iao needle in Wailea, stop and enjoy happy hour at one of the famous and gorgeous golf course club houses and rest your happy feet.
At Nakalele 

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