One of the most prominent nature preserves, Haleakala National Park was established to protect the unique craggy wilderness of Maui in the year 1961. Home to a virtually never-ending variety of natural wonders, the national park's uneven 33,265 acre-lands (13,462 hectares) shelter intricate networks of craters that pass through the mystical Kipahulu Valley, much of which is closed to tourists. The Kipahulu region is one of the park's most ecologically-rich areas that are home to more than 31 different species of Tardigrade colonies that populate most of Haleakala's eastern shores. The Haleakala Observatory offers the best views of the park's serene surroundings through a 12.04-feet (3.67-meter) advanced electro-optical lens.
Art critics call this the best cultural art gallery in the islands. It features furniture made out of extinct wood that has been helicoptered out of Haleakala Crater and paintings by artists who have not exhibited in any gallery for 25 years or more. Visitors will also find feather art composed of 10,000 feathers that were gathered from captive birds as they molted, then hand-washed, dyed and strung one by one on a framework.
Let it be known up front: these caverns are not an ancient burial ground, contrary to previous beliefs. If this revelation does not disappoint you too much, then perhaps this is the spelunking experience for you. Excursions range from a quick 50-minute lava tube tour to a six-hour adventure that is advertised as a journey to the center of the earth. You will view some breathtaking sights, including ancient stalactites, ledges and the stunning Dancing Sunbeam Skylight. Two different excursions are available. Call for prices and more information.
Located just past Mile Marker 10 on the road to Hana (Highway 36) are the verdant tropical gardens where the opening sequence of "Jurassic Park" was filmed. The 26-acre (10.52 hectare) park, designed by Alan Bradbury with the aim of restoring the area's natural ecosystem, contains 500+ trees, plants and flowers native to the Pacific islands. Stroll along Maui's best nature trails and enjoy a leisurely lunch in a lush picnic area. This is a great activity for nature lovers and families with children.
While one could not say that all roads lead to this museum, it could certainly seem that way to Maui drivers. Located at one of the largest intersections on Maui, it is adjacent to Maui's main sugar factory. The pungent aroma of sugar cane permeates the air for miles. The museum provides visitors with extensive information on the history of the sugar industry, as well as details about its cultivation and production. Many exhibits are interactive, making use of modern effects. There is a gift shop on-site if you wish to buy few things for your loved ones.
The first sight of Ho'okipa is likely to make a visitor pull the car over and stare. From the vantage point of the highway or the parking lot, one can appreciate the spectacle: a seemingly endless expanse of deep blue water, white rock and crashing waves. This beach has been called the windsurfing capital of the world and is popular with daredevil surfers as well. However, it is not recommended that you swim here; the surf is as perilous as it is beautiful, and sharp coral reefs lurk below the waves.
Guide Randy shares a wealth of natural history, geological and botanical lore, and island folklore while leading hikers through Maui's magnificent wilderness. Several half-day and full-day hikes are offered, many to areas not usually visited by tourists. The "easy" three-mile Haleakala Waterfall Hike is appropriate for children. Several treks in the West Maui Mountains explore more remote, rugged, rainforest terrain. Snacks and minimal gear is included in tour prices. Discounts are available; check out the website for more information.
This gallery-studio is owned by and features the work of two glassblowers with distinctive styles—Chris Lowry and Christopher Richards. Items available here include vases, sea-forms and platters. Though the duo exhibits their wares in other studios as well, their latest creations can be easily procured here. Some of the work is truly incredible—check the website for samples.
The Hāli‘imaile Community Garden is an initiative taken by the local community to usher in a new phase in the community's food production. Encouraging participation from the community members, the garden allots plots of land to each member, and guides them on how to raise their own food, organically. In an age when pesticides and fertilizers are ubiquitous and are being used foolishly, this initiative is a welcome relief, and will greatly benefit the environment in the bigger picture. There are strict rules and regulations that are to be followed for visiting or owning a patch of land here, so do see the website before planning your visit.
This gallery is located in the Haleakala foothills, within a former theater. It is owned by a cooperative of more than twenty local artists. The members, of course, showcase their talents here, and there is a grand sale annually, where you can buy the artworks at low prices. The exhibits include sketches and paintings on paper and canvas, sculptures and jewelry.