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Upcountry Maui

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ʻĪao Valley State Park is a peaceful, lush area around Kūkaemoku, also known as ʻĪao Needle, a towering rock pinnacle. Kūkaemoku soars 365 meters high and can best be seen in the early morning. From West Maui, follow Honoapiʻilani Highway then turn left onto Main Street, which becomes ʻĪao Valley Road.

The next stop is Ho‘okipa Beach Park, a great spot to watch pro-windsurfers race around in the winter or swim and sunbathe in the calmer summer months. Simply follow Main Street east, which will become W Kaʻahumanu Avenue. Turn right onto the Hāna Highway and drive along the coast for twenty minutes. Note that during the winter, wave conditions can be extremely dangerous so read the signs on the beach.

Head back down the Hāna Highway the way you came, turn left onto Baldwin Avenue and follow the road to Pā‘ia. The picturesque plantation-era storefronts of Pā‘ia are home to several ethnic eateries and dozens of colourful boutiques offering unique gifts, surf gear and a variety of locally produced art, jewellery and clothing.

Continue up Baldwin Avenue and you will discover another small town, Makawao. The combination of pineapple plantation and paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage along with a thriving arts community make Makawao a uniquely enjoyable place to go for a wander.

Next check out the Surfing Goat Dairy. Follow Makawao Avenue, head south on the Kula Highway and drive to the town of Kula. In Kula, you’ll uncover fruitful farming communities that harvest some of Maui’s freshest produce (including the famous Maui onion). The delicious Kula onion is sweet, flavourful and appropriately mellow.

Re-join the Kula Highway driving south, turn left onto Kekaulike Avenue then take a right onto Waipoli Road to visit Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm. Go on a tour of the farm that is home to approximately 55,000 lavender plants and 45 different species of lavender. Have lunch overlooking the beautiful lavender fields or wonder the shop full of lavender products.

Haleakalā volcano at Haleakalā National Park is also one of Maui’s most memorable attractions. Rising more than 3,050 meters from the sea, a Maui trip is not complete without a visit to the “House of the Sun”. Plan to arrive before sunset, the views will be unforgettable. To drive there make your way to the Haleakalā Highway and follow the signs to reach the visitor centre and summit. You might like to take motion sickness tablets with you as the road winds back and forth up the mountain.

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