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For a beautiful and picturesque setting, be sure to see the Seven Sacred Pools at 'Ohe'o Gulch in Southeast Maui. It's about 40 minutes beyond Hana. There are really more than seven pools, and locals say that there is nothing sacred about them.
Once you reach Kipahulu, you will be within walking distance of Haleakala National Park and the Oheo Gulch (7 Sacred Pools.) The pools include a series of waterfalls and tranquil pools which flow through the O'heo Gulch going into the ocean which is nearby.
Starting two miles inland, the Pipiwai Streams feed these falls and pools. The nicest pools are located near the shoreline.
This land was donated to the Haleakala National Park system; therefore, the pools will forever to open to the public.
The area includes:
1. Cliff jumping
2. hiking (Hikers say that Pipiwai Trail, above the Seven Sacred Pools, is one of the best hikes on Maui) It takes 2 1/2-5 hours
3. historical sites
4. pool swimming
5. nature watching
It's better to go during the week because the weekends are so crowded. Either way, be sure to arrive early. The Pipiwai Trail includes INFINITY POOL with its row of thick rocks that keep people from plunging over the 200-foot waterfall. There are also several more great waterfalls along the hike route, with the final destination being Waimoku Falls, falling 400-feet down a sheer lava rock wall!
The area has portable toilets, concession on weekends, picturesque setting, numerous pools and waterfalls, and a large, gravel parking lot.
Lava rock is quite slippery when wet so wear beach shoes
Flash flooding is possible
Hidden rocks in pools so use extreme caution before jumping into pools!
Updated Jun 4, 2005
The other side of Maui has a real pristine environment without any congestion or noise. It has stayed this way because of the dangerous 2-lane road leading to Hana. That road remains as it is to keep the pristine environment secure!
Once you reach Kipahulu and see the Seven Sacred Pools, take the four-mile hike along a jungle trail through what is called an enchanted BAMBOO FOREST. This area is made up of thousands of bamboo poles which make a "gigantic bamboo wind chime"!
Allan and I took this walk and loved this experience. It seemed almost spiritual in nature.
Still, to this day, we talk about that experience and how personally rewarding it was for both of us.
Allan took the photograph of me just as I was about to enter the Bamboo Forest.
Updated Jun 4, 2005
There are only a few beaches on Maui that contain black sand. Black sand is formed as the lava from an active volcano flows into the ocean; the lava is shattered into glassy fragments by rapid cooling. Then, these fragments drift alongshore, being deposited to form black sand beaches.
Since there has not been a lava flow entering the ocean along the Hana coastline for at least 200 years, no new black sand beaches have formed. This black sand would be derived by the wave erosion of the existing black lava rock.
Hamoa Beach is a black sand beach. It is interesting to note that one night a week a down-home style luau is held beside the black sands of Hamoa Beach. It is celebrated with traditional food cooked in the imu (earthen oven), Polynesian music and hula. I was told that some people arrive on horseback. We did not see this Luau but would have liked to very much.
Updated Jun 4, 2005
One of the highlights to our visit to Maui wascave swimming on the black sand beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park.
Waianapanapa (in a Hawaiian translation) means "Glistening Water." Allan is really great about finding interesting and fun "out-of-the-way" places. He told me about this park, and, at first, I was reluctant. The thought of swimming in an undergroud cave frightened me since I'm not that great of a swimmer. I'm glad he talked me into it.
The park is 120 acres which has been preserved by the State of Hawaii for camping, hiking, picnicking, and swimming. The Park claims that Waianapanapa has Maui's largest Black Sand Beach. There is also a wet lava tube cave to swim into.
While in the cave, I took this photograph into the opening/closing. I think it is unique.
And, by the way, I had a blast. I guess I have a adventurous spirit after all!
Updated Jun 4, 2005
The IOA is a valley on the northern part of Maui which was carved out of a volcanic crater by eons of erosion.
This natural rock pinnacle presides over the IAO stream. It was once used as a natural alar; today, this 2,250-foot pillar is covered in green foliage and is the focal point for visitors to this peaceful, lush area.
It is also the site of a bloody battle in Hawaii in an effort to unite all the islands.
This area is quite small, but you can take an easy hike, enjoy the exotic plants and pristine pools.
I took the picture of Allan with the rock pillar behind him.
Updated Jun 4, 2005
My daughter requested that we should go to a beach where Hawaiian residents swim. What could be the most secluded beach closest to Waikiki? (Other than going to the north side of the island).
We drove on the Kalana Ole Highway passing the Diamond Head, the Blue Hole, the Hanauma bay, Sealife Park and down to Makapu Beach!
The beach has a cove covered by mountains on the right and sloping hills. There were two sheds before getting down to the beach. I finally found out that these were actually two separate bathrooms!
I walked past rocks on a path between shrubs. There were several surfers and sun tanners on the beach. Some were just watching the surfers! My daughters and husband hit the waters and drunk a lot of sea water! Aloha! (A-loo-ha) Welcome to Makapu Beach! (This beach has huge waves and you need to be a strong swimmer or surfer! If you are not, you end up gulping sea water!).
Updated Jan 2, 2009
Swim with turtles (it's forbidden to touch them!), trumpet fish, uhu (parrotfish), moorish idols, several types of tang, moray eels, and many, many more, right off the shore of Kahalu'u Beach Park. The waters teem with marine life, and a mask and snorkel opens up this underwater world to even the most inexperienced swimmer. The waters are very gentle, protected by what remains of a breakwater built by early Hawaiians to aid in fish farming.
Kahalu'u became a beach park in 1966, and has all the amenities one needs.
Updated Aug 3, 2003
Hawaii is home to eight different species of dolphin but the most famous and instantly recognizable are the Pacific bottlenose. Up to ten feet in length, they are easily identifies by their rounded forehead, or melon, and amicable expression. Usually seen in small groups or singly, they spend most of their time in the channels between the islands but will sometimes approach passing boats.
Dolphin QUest, a marine research and education center based at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, gives people of all ages a once in a lifetime chance to experience the magic of the dolphin world with hands-on encounters with these beautiful animals. Close to a dozen bottlenose dolphins are protected in a special area of the Hilton's four-acre, saltwater lagoon. Dolphin encounters are availible for people of all ages but space is limited.
Written Aug 3, 2003
Lanikai Beach has talcum powder sand, bath warm, turquoise water and very few people. It's located on the windward side of Oahu near the town of Lanikai (about 8 miles from Waikiki). It's free and public. Park along any of the streets, where ever you find a space in this residential area. There are public access paths between the million dollar + houses to the beach. Be sure to see if there are any jellyfish or man o' war alerts as this is the side of the island that has the constant off-shore winds that can bring them in.
Written Jun 2, 2005
You can see the rain moving in from the shore and observe the riot of colors. To get to this vantage point, take the road up to the top and park in the last parking lot. Then head out on the trail. After an hour or so of hiking you'll reach this rim. Beautiful hike!
Updated Oct 7, 2003
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