Anyone here from Maui?

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Wasabi Bob, May 16, 2012.

  1. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Starting to plan for a trip to Maui in June. I'm wondering if there is anyone here from Maui that might be able to suggest some of the best "local" photo ops? The travel sites have a list of the "best places", but I've learned that the locals always have better ones!

  2. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    My wife and I visited Hawaii last year. We took a day trip to Maui. We drove the road to Hana. Lots of waterfalls. There's also a nice beach east of the airport where you will find people surfing.

    The drive to Hana is (IMO) rather daunting. The road is, in some places, barely wide enough for two vehicles. It can be hard to find a parking spot. The north side of Maui (road to Hana side) is the windward side, and therefore, prone to occasional rain, which creates all the beautiful waterfalls.
  3. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran


    Several people have told me the same story, yet all have said it is worth the trip. I'm concerned that most of the rental car companies tell you that you can't drive those roads. Did you receive the same info?
  4. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    I recommend driving the road to Hana, if you want to see a lot of waterfalls and other scenic things. But, that is not the only thing to do in Maui. If I had to do my first trip to Maui over again, I would choose something else other than the road to Hana.
  5. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    The rental car company I rented from never said anything about the road to Hana being off limits.
  6. not a local, but

    Spent some time on Maui windsurfing the Northshore for a few springs.

    Place I always visited right away to take advantage of the time zone changes (Maui I think is -10gmt) is Haleakala. Sunrises can be more than beautiful. Waking up at 0200 local time is easy if you are from the mainland. Be prepared for some cool, windy conditions. Summit is +10,000 ft. The changes in color and texture will provide opportunity for some cool images. Plan on 1/2 day minimum. The drive down with the other tourists can be slowww.

    Mornings not surfing on the West side were spent getting lost usually Upcountry. Head inland from Haiku or Paia. Get off the main motor routes and just explore. Great way to meet some real locals. If interested in seeing some world class wave sailors (& kooks) check out Ho'okipa Beach Park. The break is fairly close in. No need for a mega telephoto. One area I really miss not making time to visit is on the south side. The Kaupo region. Basically the leeward side of Haleakala. Bit remote.
  7. Hana ok. Use to maybe still do discourage driving the northern end of the west side and a section down on the south end (Kaupo district). Not all paved. Rains can cause washed out sections, ruts. They won't know unless you damage the rental or breakdown.
    There are "local" rentals that are less restrictive than the national brands. Not sure if they are still in business. Check out Rent a Wreck or Maui Cruisers.
  8. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    I couldn't disagree more on the "road to hana." It's basically a never ending street. And it goes forever. My wife and I drove about 3 or 4 hours one way hoping to reach "the end" but realized that it just continues until the road is no longer paved... We drove back the other way for 3 or 4 hours. Basically spent all day in our car driving.

    I thought it was a total waste of an entire day on vacation... and because the roads were so windy, I ended up getting car sick along with my wife... and that's been the only time in my entire life when I got car sick while driving.

    I say do the road to hana for an hour up and then return for an hour down. Because I promise you, 2 hours of it will make your experience of Hawaii and its beauty so much better than8 hours of it!!!
  9. mono55

    mono55 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2012
    If you can find a day when it's not shrouded in cloud and mist, be sure to drive to the top of Mt. Haleakala for some breathtaking views.
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    There were 2 roads that rental car companies including local establishments that dont allow you to transverse. One after Hana has now been closed due to a washout and unsafe conditions and I do not believe its been opened. I dont really recall it much as it was very dark on my way back to my condo after doing the Hana trip but I do recall it being very tight in some areas and EXTREMELY bumping - major potholes. Oh yeah, I was warned and good thing too to watch out for Roaming Cattle! I nearly hit several cows that night. Here is a typical map showing the roads you are unauthorized to drive on with a rental. maui-island-map.

    The other was on the other side of the island (believe it was Iao valley) but where there is a native tribe that hardly every comes out in public, in the valley. Remember a few times opening my drivers side door and yeah.. cliff about 6inches away!:2thumbs: Trying to get to the spot to take a nice pic of the Iao Needle would be cool to try.

    I rented a Jeep from a local jeep operator and highly recommend it to anyone.

    Maui - atop the volcano has was is considered the worlds most beautiful sunrise so if you can plan accordingly (takes a few hours to get there depending where you stay) is a MUST DO in my opinion.

    Luau would make a nice photo opp as well.

    Along the way to Hana, I always jumped out of the car and explored off the beaten path and discovered some amazing waterfalls not mapped etc. Almost always I was there exclusely.. amazing to jump in a pond and hang out at a waterfall with no one else around.

    You can also try and find C. Lindbergh burial plot. Not easy to find and might run of daylight to get to it depending how slow and how much you enjoy the trip to Hana.. about the journey not the place itself.

    The blowhole also makes a nice place to take photos .. you will lots of rocks arranged to make comments by tourist proclaiming their love, peace etc.

    Oheo Gulch (7 pools) can make for a challenging photo to get all the pools in one shot and challenging dynamic range from dark greenery, reflective water and blue sky without clouds typically.

    Kookipia Beach when big surf is out will get your some nice vantage points to take some inspiring photos.

    Cowboy town for a completely different take and perspective of Hawaiians

    If you dont do a Luau, then definitely take in a traditional meal with a pig bbq done in the ground vs. over an open fire with some local staff. Great photos and opportunity to learn about the local culture.

    Eat where the locals eat.. not at major US establishments. I still can not find a mahi mahi fish sandwich as good as the one I got in Kaanapali recommended by the lady who cleaned our rooms. Its where she goes for lunch.

    For me.. Black Rock was way overhyped. Too crowded, nothing really to look at.. nice shallow entry for fish observing though. You can also see some cliff jumpers there which could make for some good dramatic tone photos. Black Sand beach was also a bit out of the way and not as interesting as I thought it would and a wee bit dangerous - fierce tide and undertow, risk of poisonous jelly etc. If you are tight on time, I would forgo that stop.
  11. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran


    I REALLY appreciate all the suggestions and the map. I'll have 8 nights in Maui with a totally open agenda and plenty of SD cards so I should have enough to keep me busy.

    Last night I just started to decide which cameras and lens get to go. I tend to over pack and not use half of what I went with. I'll probably go with the 7-14, 14-140 and 100-300.

    Much appreciated!
  12. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Thanks for starting this thread! I'll be on Maui in mid-June as well, just a few days (June 17-20) as I'm island hopping, and I appreciate the ideas!
  13. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran


    Where are you staying in Maui? I'll be there June 14-22, staying in Kaanapali
  14. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I had the dates wrong! I'll be on Maui 6/23–6/26, staying in Kihea.
  15. Dan Lopez

    Dan Lopez Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 12, 2011
    I spent some time on Maui w/gf1+20mm and as much as I wanted to shoot, I found myself laying on the beach more often than not :) . I would highly recommend going snorkeling, and an underwater camera something I wish I had with me at the time (not disposable).. If you do decide to snorkel Hanalua bay is an awesome location, but just about anywhere on the island is. Lastly I highly recommend the Shave Ice! it's like nothing I've ever had, also if you spend time near Kapalua go to the Ritz Carlton and enjoy the Kapalua Punch you'll thank me later. :)
  16. grantb

    grantb Mu-43 Veteran

    I highly recommend hiking Pipiwai Trail all the way up to the epic 400ft Waimoku Falls. If there was ever a reason to drive the entire road to Hana, this is it. Google image search it.

    If you do the drive, and you see a guy selling BBQ pig from his front lawn on the left side of the road right when you get to Hana, you should definitely stop.