Helicopter over the coast of Maui.
David gets very close to the falls.
A surfer's dream in Maui.
Long, sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, rolling green pastures and amazing rocky cliffs is exactly what you'll get at Maui.
Maui the "valley isle" enjoys enduring popularity, mainly due to its diversity. The 77km by 67km island has 81 long, sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, rolling green pastures, dryland forests and amazing rocky cliffs. Its sands can be white, gold, black, salt and pepper, green or garnet colours created by old volcanic activity.
Compared to the island of Oahu, Hawaii's busiest tourist destination, Maui is very laid back and the pace is half-speed. Much of it is too rugged and remote to be inhabited, so the island has remained pristine. Its population is an ethnic mix of Caucasian, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian and Chinese.
The West Mountains lead to the Lao Valley where, in 1790, King Kamehameha defeated King Kahekili and gained rule. The victorious king is very prominent in island folklore. The mountain's rock walls are covered with petroglyphics and the people's ancient language. Some of the world's tallest waterfalls can also be found here.
Between November and April, around 4000 to 5000 humpback whales arrive from Alaska. The females give birth in the sheltered waters around Kaanapali and Lahaina. They take it easy before returning to the Alaskan waters.
A helicopter flight over Maui is a must-do. Because 85 percent of the island is inaccessible, flying is the only way to take in all of this wondrous creation. From the air, you'll see that the dormant 3055m Haelakala's crater could easily hold Manhattan Island. Another popular thing to do is drive or ride up the long, winding road to the summit at 3am to see the sun rise, seemingly from inside the crater.
The narrow, winding Hana Highway has 600 curves and 54 one-lane bridges and hairpin bends. It hugs Maui's northeast coast for 90 kilometres. The highway offers coastal vistas one minute and the rugged wilderness of the mountainous interior the next. It is not suggested that drivers try to enjoy the scenery!
The highway is an ancient trail, built in the 15th century, and once known as the King's Road. The town of Hana popularly known as "Heavenly Hana" has a population of 683 spread over 217 families. It is isolated from the rest of the island and relishes in being quiet, quaint, historic and keeping real Hawaiian culture alive.
The Hotel Hana Maui attracts people who want to be secluded, relax and enjoy the white, black and red beaches, waterfalls and lush Hawaiian foliage. Lots of celebrities have homes here, but don't expect to see them. They are very well hidden.
Ho'okipa, on the north shore, is the birthplace of windsurfing. The world's best windsurfers congregate here to take advantage of the strong trade winds from the north. Ho'okipa is for professionals only, but you can sign up for lessons at the gentler waters of Kanaha, Kihei and Spreckelsville.
Maui has rich, fertile soil that farmers love. Its produce keeps the island thriving, and there are huge sugarcane, coffee and tropical fruit and orchard plantations. In the higher areas you'll see fir trees grown for Christmas. The place oozes fruit and beautifully coloured flora, and the air is thick with the scent of tropical flowers.
Around 20,000 marriages are performed in the Hawaiian Islands each year, mostly on Maui. If you are thinking of tying the knot on this romantic island, it's pretty straightforward. All you need is $50, a driver's licence and your favourite person (you both need to be over 18-years-old). Getting "Maui'd" is a big business, and there are plenty of wedding planners to make sure your big day is perfect.
Hawaii's second-largest island.
flies five times a week to Honolulu with connections to Maui. Return economy airfares start at $1594 from the east coast, $1914 from Adelaide and $2394 from Perth, per person.Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
offer 30-minute sightseeing flights over Maui, starting at around $220 per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
More informationBlue Hawaiian Helicopters
105 Kahului Heliport, Maui
Ph: 0011 1 808 871 8844
Website: www.bluehawaiian.comHouse of Foundations B&B Inn
1579 Lokia Street, Lahaina 96761
Ph: 0011 1 808 667 2121
: Ph: 13 13 13
For a safe and healthy journey, talk to the travel doctor
: 1300 658 844 or visit traveldoctor.com.au
VACCINATIONS: Tetanus and Measles if under 30 years and no previous booster.