Our trip to Maui began with a little gift. When we booked our flight with Mokulele Airlines we expected a normal airplane that would take us to the other island. Little did we know that our plane would actually be a small 9 passenger Cessna plane. What followed was one of the best experiences in our lives. We had incredible views of both islands just paying the usual airfare, where other people pay 200 USD for a scenic plane ride.
Sunrise viewing in Haleakala
When we arrived in Maui we made our way straight away to the Haleakala National Park where we had a permit for the sunrise gazing the next morning. We got the year pass for three National Parks for 30 USD (each individual entrance costs 25 USD) so we didn’t have to pay entrance fee nor for camping at the Hosmer campground. The next morning at 4 am, we made our way up to watch the sunrise, and took tea, blanket and sleeping bags to be prepared for the very cold morning in altitude. Similar to the sunset in Big Island the view is breathtaking with the sun rising over the clouds and illuminating the sky and the surrounding mountains.
We then drove to the Western side of Maui where we stayed two nights at the Olowalu campground. It is a nice place, but very expensive and apart from the nice shower and bathrooms we are not sure how the price is justified. Especially when you get woken up by roosters everyday at 5.30 am. On the other side there are not a lot of campsites around to choose from.
We then made our way up to explore the northern beaches. We first went to Honolua Bay, one of the best snorkel spots on the island. And we were not disappointed by the variety of corals and fishes. The highlight was following a green turtle whilst enjoying his lunch. The next stop was Napili beach which is small but very nice and also has some snorkeling to offer. After that we wanted to watch the free cliff diving show of the Sheraton which was rather disappointing. Also the free show at the Ka’anapali Beach hotel is definitely not a must see.
Road to Hana and East Maui
We left the next morning on one of the most popular tourist activities on Maui, the famous Road to Hana. This 40 mile drive towards a small town is filled with lookouts, waterfalls and natural pools. Since it was Sunday there were a lot of tourists and locals around. The best advice we can give is not to turn around at Hana and head back, but to continue along the coast all the way to Kipahulu. With a permit you can stay at the Wai’anapanapa campground before continuing your trip. The quiet Koki and Hamoa Beach were some of the best we have seen on the island. Then shortly after the 48 mile marker you can climb a little wall on the left side of the road before a small bridge and follow a path to the Venus Pools. There you can admire local cliff diving experts performing their daring jumps and take a splash yourself. I was so proud of Ale for overcoming her fear and diving into the pool.
After this fun break we went to our campground for this night in Kipahulu Bay. The campground lies in the Haleakala National Park and before cooking we did a beautiful 3.2 km hike through a bamboo forest to one of the highest waterfalls I have seen in my life. Again we had to go into the tent fairly early because on the East side of Maui the tropical rain hits you in strong shower intervals throughout the day.
West and South Maui
We started our journey back to the westside to stay two more nights at the Olowalu campground. The last days in Maui we needed to dry our clothes and equipment from the heavy rainfall on the other side of Maui and to exploring the beaches in South Maui. Especially our relaxing time at the Big Beach and the snorkeling at Maluaka Beach are really great memories.