Why visit Maui? There are so many reasons I could list about why Maui should be on your bucket list but here are my top 5 things to see when you do go!
The Hana Highway
The Hana Highway was definitely one of my most memorable experiences from Maui. It’s a 64.4 mile long stretch of coastal roads which connect Kahului with the town of Hana. So why is it so special? Along this magnificent stretch of highway there are so many stops where you can just pull over and feel like you are in paradise. We hired car during our stay in Maui so drove ourselves along the Hana Highway at our own pace; I can highly recommend doing this.
Although there are tours available, I was pleased we weren’t rushed through any stops and we stopped at every stop we wanted. We sat and looked at all the available sites to stop at the weeks before we visited and made a loose plan of the places we were really keen to visit and spend some time at. We then allowed ourselves the chance to stop at other destinations as we drove along.
Some of our favourite spots along the way included the multiple waterfalls (including Twin Falls, Upper Waikani Falls, Hanawi Falls). These are seriously stunning and peaceful and you could even take a plunge in them to cool off if you wanted. This was something we did several times along the way; sometimes we were able to enjoy the whole area to ourselves.
The Waikamoi Ridge Trail
This is another spectacular walk along the Hana Highway. You can choose between the 10 minute or the 30 minute circuit and really get to explore nature close up.
If you like banana bread, you MUST stop at the Halfway to Hana Stand. They make the most delicious banana bread I’ve ever eaten and makes a perfect treat to keep you energised along your journey, especially as we set off so early.
The Hana Lava Tubes, although slightly more touristy than the rest, was still a great stop along the way. The tour takes just over half an hour. It formed approximately 960 years ago as a result of spewing lava forcing its way up and flowing towards the ocean.
Our final stop along the way was at Haleakala National Park where you can walk to Waimoku falls. It’s a simply beautiful and idyllic 2 mile hike with so much to explore. We didn’t realise just how difficult some of the terrain would be and forgot our water in the car. This was definitely an error but the end result was worth it.
The Haleakala Sunrise
Why visit Maui? Another truly breath-taking experience. Waking up around 3am to ascend 10,023 foot to the summit of Haleakala National Park (30 miles) wasn’t originally at the top of my list of things to do but we ended up doing this twice! The first time we drove there, the cloud didn’t clear and we couldn’t see the sunrise at all. It was so cold and wet that we left feeling really disappointed. We were given free tickets to return within the following two days though and my goodness, I’m so glad we did. The sunrise was magnificent and the views are like nothing I’ve seen before.
Snorkelling at Honolua Bay
You can’t visit Maui and not go snorkelling. There are many places you can don a snorkel and enjoy the ocean in Hawaii but Honolua Bay was a particular highlight. Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District on the north western end of Maui. Surrounded by high rocks and cliffs, it is secluded and sheltered from the wind making it a perfect destination for snorkelling. The beach is made up of rocks and boulders and is simply striking. If you walk out along the rocks to the north side of the shore, most of the coral will be accessible from here. We saw plenty of marine life and got to swim with turtles too.
Zip Wire Across Ka’anapali
For the thrill seeker, you could also soar above Ka’anapali’s coastline and experience the breath-taking views. There are 8 zip wire lines to travel down and it will take around 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours to complete. Stopping for lunch half way down, you get to enjoy the scenic views. We had two very funny tour guides who really made the experience while sharing their expertise of the island too.
Another must when you visit Maui – One of the day trips we knew we wanted to do was Pearl Harbour. With such historical significance, we knew it was a must and we decided that a day trip would be plenty for us. While there we could visit the Pearl Harbour Centre, the USS Arizona Memorial, Bowfin Submarine and Missouri Battleship and more. We originally wanted to visit Honolulu beach too but didn’t have the time. Although an exhausting day, our flight left at 5am and we arrived back at around 8:30pm, it was a day I will never forget.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, why not check out some of my other travel posts here.