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Sunrise on Haleakala (Elevation 10,023 feet):

Leave Kihei between 3 and 4 a.m.! Check the papers for the sunrise time. and check Maui Weather Today for viewing forecasts. Allow two hours for the drive. Drive in the dark up to the top of this huge dormant volcano that makes up the bulk of East Maui. Wear layered warm clothes because the temperature can be near freezing. There will most likely be a fierce wind chill, there will be no heat in the observation building, and you will be out in the cold for about two hours. At the top, before sunrise, get out of the car and look at the stars--the crystal clear air allows you to see every star in the heavens! Sunrise is indescribably beautiful, with the sky slowly turning various colors. You will look down on the clouds, and see the "Big Island" of Hawaii in the distance. After sunrise, explore the Sliding Sands trail for a ways down into the crater.

Many people refuse to get up early to view the sunrise. If you are one of them, go up in the late afternoon, explore the crater, and take in the sunset. It will be just as beautiful. Don't forget the warm clothes, even in the daytime. Call 572-4400 for Haleakala National Park information. Park admission $10 per car. Free ranger talks in the summit building at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 AM.


North of Hookipa is a legendary big wave break on called Jaws. In the winter, when there is a strong north swell, you might see 30 to 50 foot waves, and perhaps even taller waves, from the 200 foot sea cliffs of Pe'ahi . Take binoculars and ask for directions from locals at Hookipa. Or drive past most of the turn-offs to Haiku (about ten minutes) and turn left at Hahana Street (one-half mile past Mile Marker 13) that immediately ends at a T. Turn left at the T and park. It’s a one-mile plus hike over pineapple roads from the end of the paved road. In dry weather, you may be able to drive all the way to the point. In wet weather, you should not attempt the drive down to the point without a Jeep. The road is steep and very slippery. Hiking will be very, very muddy. Plan ahead! Take towels and a second set of sandals. The launch spot for the wave runner is Maliko Bay. Continue through Paia town, past the Buddhist Temple (on left), past Mama's Fish House Restaurant (on left-ocean) and Hookipa Lookout, approx. 9.4 miles to Maliko Bay. Slow down on the bridge, look for a blue "Call Box" and make a quick right into Maliko. Make an immediate right under the bridge to the launching and staging area at Maliko Bay.

Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters

Bird-watchers will want to explore the nesting area of the indigenous Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters ('us'u'kani), just across the street and south of Kam III beach. These birds have historically used Molokini to nest between March and November. As their numbers increased, they began looking for new sites to build their burrows, and several years ago, they selected the area south of Kam III beach as well as Kamaole Point north of Kam III to nest from April to November.

Using red cellophane-covered flashlights, walk the trail between the Kihei boat ramp and Kam III beach. Go at dusk, just before total darkness. Stop where you see the warning signs to stay on the trail. Walk quietly and speak in hushed tones. As you stand quietly, listen for their mournful cries. You will see the birds flying down near the shore and often over your head. If you see a bird on the ground, stand still and they may even come over to you. Their legs are too weak to stand, so they shuffle along the ground. Incidentally, Buck Joiner is maintaining cat traps in the area. If you see a cat or a bird in the trap, call the telephone number on the trap and Buck will tend to the trap immediately.

Night Sky

Drive south past Maui Prince Hotel several miles and stop anywhere you wish along the side of the road. On clear nights, without any city lights, the view of the stars will be breathtaking.

Whale Watching

Hundreds of humpback whales come to Maui every winter. Just about any rocky point (such as at Five Palms Grille) are excellent vantage points. If you care to take a whale-watching excursion, call the Pacific Whale Foundation. Whales may be seen from November through April.

Wind Surfing

Watch the big wave riders doing cartwheels in the afternoon, off Hookipa Park on the north shore, two miles past Paia. The ordinary wind surfers can be found at Kanaha Park behind the airport.