Makena State Park – Pu’u Olai

Pu'u Olai as seen from Charley Young Beach

Pu’u Olai as seen from Charley Young Beach

Pu’u Olai is a 360 foot tall cinder cone in the middle of Makena State Park. A dominant feature on the southwest coast of Maui, Pu’u Olai is visible from almost everywhere in west Maui and as far north as Olowalu on the road to Lahaina. If you want to get to Makena, just drive toward Pu’u Olai.

Big Beach is on the south side of Pu’u Olai; Little Beach on the west side, and Black Sand Beach is to the north.

Numerous trails lead to the summit of Pu’u Olai. It’s a short, but sometimes steep, hike. We took a trail that starts from the road to Black Sand Beach, maybe 50 yards from the parking lot at the end of the road. Most of the trail is entirely exposed, so go in the morning before it gets hot. Take water and enjoy the view. Hiking shoes, tennis shoes, or (at minimum) strap on sandals are recommended. Parts of the trail are composed of loose gravel – not a problem going up, but potentially hazardous coming down.

On a clear day you can see Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island, the uninhabited island of Koho’olawe, Molokini (where the snorkel boats go), Lanai, Molokai, and, of course, Mt Haleakala, the West Maui Mountains, and most of Maui.

Big Beach as seen from Pu'u Olai

Big Beach as seen from Pu’u Olai

View toward Wailea from Pu'u Olai

View toward Wailea from Pu’u Olai

Wailea Coastal Walk – Ulua Beach to Polo Beach

Wailea Coastal Walk revisedIt’s an easy mile and a half stroll on a paved path from Ulua Beach to Polo Beach. Of course, unless you take two cars, it’s a mile and a half back. At a leisurely pace, it takes about 35 minutes each way without stops.

On the other hand, you probably will stop. The views are beautiful. You’ll see turtles bobbing near the shore. The beaches have great snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding, and sunning. Wear your swimsuit, take a backpack chair, bring snorkel gear. Make a morning or afternoon of it. Bring water and sunscreen.

The walk starts at Ulua Beach on the pathway in front of the exclusive gated community, Wailea Elua Village. As you walk, you’ll pass most of the major Wailea resorts and several condominium complexes.

Start at Ulua Beach

Beginning of paved walkway

2 Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach (great snorkeling)

3a Approaching the Mariott

Approaching the Mariott

4 Approaching Wailea Beach

Approaching Wailea Beach

5 Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach

6 Wailea Point

Wailea Point

7 Approaching the Fairmont

Approaching the Fairmont Kea Lani

8 Polo Beach

Polo Beach

There are public restrooms and outdoor showers at Ulua Beach. Polo Beach has restrooms, showers, and picnic tables at the public access point.

Dale Zarrella – the Eye of an Artist

Dale Zarrella’s next project is a statue of Mother (now Saint) Marianne of Molokai. Mother Marianne arrived at Kalaupapa (the leper colony) on Molokai in 1888 after Father Damien contracted leprosy. She tended the dying Father Damien then took over his work for the remainder of her long life. The statue of Marianne will join Dale’s life-size statue of Saint Damien in the Father Damien Museum in Honolulu.

On the left is the Monkey Pod tree trunk that will become Dale's next statute. The image on the right  shows Dale's plaster study for Marianne superimposed over the tree trunk. The half-size plaster study is enlarged here to give an idea of what will emerge from the wood.

On the left is the Monkey Pod tree trunk that will become Dale’s next statue. The image on the right shows Dale’s plaster study for Saint Marianne superimposed over the tree trunk. The half-size plaster study is enlarged here to give an idea of what will emerge from the wood.

Click here, here, here, and here, to see other examples of Dale’s work.

South Kihei Beach Walk

South Kihei Beach Walk MapSouth Kihei has some great beaches where you can walk for miles. This 90 minute walk starts and ends at Charley Young Beach, across the street from our condo at Maui Vista. The round trip is about 3 miles – so the pace is leisurely.

 

Most of the walk is on sand but there are a few places where you’ll want sandals.

 

Don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure to carry water.

 

 

Charley Young Beach

Charley Young Beach

 

 

Start at the north end of Charley Young Beach near these rocks.

About halfway down the beach, Charley Young becomes Kamaole Beach Park I.

Note that all three Kamaole parks have lifeguards, restrooms and showers.

Kamaole Beach II

Kamaole Beach II

 

 

Take the sandy path at the south end of the beach and use the short public access pathway on the makai (water) side of the Royal Mauian Condos to get to Kamaole Beach II.

Check the water as you pass the Royal Mauian. You can often see turtles swimming and feeding off the point.

 

Kamaole Beach III

Kamaole Beach III

You may want your sandals at the south end of Kamaole II as you climb the short slope to the large grassy park of Kamaole III.

On the weekends, this park is a favorite place for local families to host children’s birthday parties.

You can walk through the park on the grass or return to the beach.

 

 

6 - Kihei boat ramp

Kihei Boat Ramp

The south end of Kamaole III is about a mile from the start of this walk. You can turn around here or put on your sandals for an entirely different experience.

If you continue on, stay on the paths that crisscross this natural area – it’s a nesting habitat for the Wedge-tailed Shearwater. You’ll soon see the jetty at the Kihei Boat Ramp.

 

7 - south of boat ramp

Path from the boat ramp to the Kihei Surfside

Walk under the shade trees on the makai side of the boat ramp parking lot. Cross the boat ramp and look for the path just to the right of the paved driveway with the “Do Not Enter” sign.

As you round the corner of this short delightful path you’ll come to the grounds of the Kihei Surfside resort. The public access pathway is next to the water.

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach

 

Continue on the boardwalk past the tall Mana Kai Maui Resort and the 5 Palms Restaurant to the north end of Keawakapu Beach.

Turn around here or, if you’re really ambitious, stroll down Keawakapu Beach. It’s another mile to Ulua Beach – just past the last bit of sandy beach in the distance.

Maunalei Arboretum and Mahana Ridge Trail

UNFORTUNATELY, CONVENIENT ACCESS TO THIS HIKE IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. HERE’S THE INITIAL WRITE UP:

This lengthy but mostly shady hike takes you through beautiful and diverse vegetation with occasional spectacular views into the lush West Maui Mountains and out to the blue Pacific and the islands of Lanai and Molokai.

Entering Maunalei Arboretum

Entering Maunalei Arboretum

The first mile of this 6.5 mile hike is uphill – not steep, but always up. The remainder is mainly downhill with short uphill stretches. Parts of the trail may be muddy, so wear appropriate walking/hiking shoes. You’ll be in the shade until the last mile or so where the sun can feel very hot. If it has rained recently, there may be slippery places. Allow 3+ hours. Bring snacks and plenty of water.

View of the watershed

View of the watershed

IMG_1036 IMG_1041

View to the ocean

View to the ocean

IMG_1055 A free shuttle takes you from the Kapalua Resort Adventure Center to the trail head. There is no other way to get there except by hiking the trail backwards, which is not recommended. Call the Adventure Center (808 665-4386) for driving directions, departure times, and to reserve a place on the shuttle. The trail ends at D. T. Fleming Park and beach, a short walk from the Adventure Center where you left your car.

D. T. Fleming Beach

D. T. Fleming Beach

 

See the fish without getting wet – Maui Aquarium

MOC 2

Want to see an amazing collection of tropical fish, but you don’t want to snorkel or scuba dive? Maybe you’ve had enough of the beach and the heat for awhile and you’re looking for something different. Or – heaven forbid – it’s raining and you need an indoor activity. If any of these apply, try the Maui Ocean Center – aka the Maui Aquarium – at Maalaea Bay.

The Maui Ocean Center has a fabulous collection of tropical fish and sea life: octopus, sharks, sea horses, shrimp, coral, turtles, and a rainbow of fish both large and small. It’s easy to find, just take the road to Lahaina and look for the signs. Admission in 2013/14 is $25.50 for adults and $18.50 for children through age 12.

Hammer head shark

Hammer head shark

 

MOC 15

Sea horse

Sea horse

Black tip reef shark

Black tip reef shark

MOC 10

Moray eel

Moray eel

Octopus - note ink

Frightened octopus – note ink

 

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding at Kalama Park

Paddle boarding is easy

Paddle boarding is easy (even standing up)

In addition to surfboard rentals and surfing lessons, you can rent stand-up paddle boards and take lessons at the south end of Kalama Park, just a few blocks from our Maui Vista condo. Go in the morning when the wave action and wind are down. There are several trucks from which you can rent equipment, or you rent from Maui Wave Riders located across the street. Maui Wave Riders also provides lessons.

Lots of turtles off Kalama Park

Lots of turtles off Kalama Park

I’m not sure if it’s really necessary to take a lesson to learn to paddle board. I did and didn’t regret it, but it cost $65 for the board rental plus a “lesson” that lasted all of five minutes. On the other hand, the instructor was always with us and he took us to a great spot over turtle reef. Lots of turtles there. They’ll surface right next to you and swim under your board.