It was the afternoon when we landed in Maui. The 6 hour flight from LA with Hawaiian air was quite alright, especially with a Mai Tai in hand;)
We already saw from the air that the island looked fine, but when we landed and picked up our car, we heard it from everyone; the hurricane wasn’t that bad, and the news was sensationalizing.
We drove to our AirBnB, and found Hawaii’s national flower, the hibiscus, right outside our window!
The next morning we woke up early (there’s a 3 hour time difference with LA). We decided to have a drive to the most southern point of the island to walk the Hoapili tail. Here you can see the most recent lava flow of Maui. Even though this is hundreds of years old, it still looks barren and fresh compared to the lush jungle around it.
From the southern most point, we slowly drove back up north, stopping at some beaches to take a quick snorkel. This side of the island has the best beaches currently, as the other side still has murky water from the hurricane.
Unfortunately, we didn’t bring our GoPro, so no footage of the turtles, colourful fish, muray eel and Hawaiian sea urchins we saw;)
On day 3, we wanted to discover the northern part of the island, and drove east around the northern top of the island to end up in Lahaina. The winds were gushing here, as this was the rough part of the island, with few beaches, but an impressive and rugged coast line.
Finally, we arrived in Lahaina. Lahaina is the old capital of Hawaii, before it became Honolulu. You could walk through the old city centre. Not much is left of those days, but an old banyan tree in the old courtyard is still there. After over a hundred years, this one tree now covers the whole park!
Walking through the city, we learned of the various activities you can do here, and we booked a Luau in two days. A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, usually taking place during a wedding or an important family event. It involves lots of food, drink and traditional dancing.
On day 4, we got up at 6AM to drive to the top of Haleakala volcano to see the island from 3055 meters.
We did a small hike (nothing too intense at over 3000 meters) to end up at a nice viewpoint:
We drove further to see the view from the other side of the volcano:
We drove down again, glad to get back into the moist warmth of the lower regions, to start our “Road to Hana”.
The Road to Hana is a 50 mile (82 km) famous road, leading through lush jungle towards the 7 sacred pools. It is often a narrow road, and has lots of beautiful stops along the way. We saw waterfalls, beaches, and many weird plants. It was difficult to make a selection of all the beautiful views!
The black sand beach is not in it’s best shape after the hurricane
Impressive banyan tree at the start of the 7 Sacred pools hike
Once you reach the end of the route, you still have to drive the 2.5 hours back along the same way. As it is a nice route, we could enjoy the winding road this time without stopping everywhere and without other tourists around us.
Our final day in Maui was a beach day. We went to Naapali beach and also Slaughterhouse beach again. We saw many beautiful fish and turtles. This time, we took the GoPro! See also our headline image; this turtle was so curious:)
As the sun was setting, we went to the Luau at the Royal Lahaina resort. We were really looking forward to experiencing a Luau, and we were not disappointed!
The Luau starts with the unearthing of the kalua pig from the imu, or underground oven. Then you can feast on a lot of food, and taste the pig. It was delicious!
As the show starts with various traditional dances, you relax with some drinks and be in awe at the sights and sounds of the performances.
We really enjoyed ourselves at the Luau on our final night in Maui. We would recommend it to everyone visiting the islands!
Now, on to Big Island!