Hey guys! I’m back for another installment of our Maui, Hawaii adventures. 🙂 See my first post (Hiking Maui, a Volcano Sunrise + Bike Ride and Scuba Diving Lanai) for more details on why Matt and I are here and what we were up to for the first few days of the trip!
We heard that driving the Road to Hana was a “must do” while in Maui, and we also wanted to spent some more time in Haleakalā National Park, so we signed up for an all-day waterfalls and rainforest hike adventure with Hike Maui that would cross both those things off the list!
They picked us up bright and early at our hotel on Wednesday morning for the adventure. We’re staying on the northwest corner of Maui and Haleakalā National Park is on the southeast corner, so we were in for some serious time in the car. We did stop some for gorgeous views like this, though!
On our way to the park, we took the southern Road to Hana – it’s a really rough and windy road up in the hills through some of the old lava rock areas, which were cool to see, although the long rough car ride had all of us VERY ready to get out by the time we made it to the coast for a quick break!
The sand was all ground up lava rock – black! Cool.
By the time we made it to the National Park (at Oheo Gulch) it was about 10 a.m. and I was excited to stretch my legs! We beat most of the crowd to the park which was awesome – the parking lot was nearly empty. Off we went!
Our tour included a 4.5 mile hike round trip through the rainforest. It reminded us a lot of Costa Rica (where we went for our honeymoon back in 2012) – beautiful scenery! They don’t have these huge banyan trees in Costa Rica, though – cool!
Only a little bit into the hike and we were rewarded with our first view of Makahiku Falls, which we were hiking towards. Beautiful – so big!
The trail was so pretty – a mix of bridges, dirt/mud/rocks, and elevated paths!
I especially loved this gorgeous bamboo forest section – magical!
The weather forecast was calling for rain all day so we weren’t surprised when about 45 minutes into the hike it started sprinkling. And then… it started POURING. Oh well – it’s the rainforest, right? Everything got muddy fast, though!
The rain was so heavy parts of the path were starting to get washed out – but they were still easily traversable so we kept moving.
By the time we made it to our turn around point with the amazing view of the waterfall up close, it was POURING and the waterfall was HUGE thanks to all the rainwater – it was crazy up close with all the wind and spray coming off it! No swimming for us, that’s for sure – normally you can swim in the pools below it!
Ahhhh! We were soaked – and so was my camera!
After we all got some quick photos we hightailed it back out of there – the mist and rain was getting intense and we wanted to make sure we could get back via the washed out trails!
We left just in time because the trails were getting more and more washed out – it required some teamwork from our group to help each other back across some parts!
By the time we made it back to the original lookout the waterfall was noticeably larger from all the rain. Crazy! We also discovered this sign when we made it back to the trailhead – apparently they closed the park while we were in it! Yikes.
We were all really glad to have been able to do the hike – would have been a huge bummer to drive 3 hours each way and not get to get out of the car!
We got back in the cars and started driving the northern part of the Road to Hana to get back – this part is all paved although it’s also very windy and right on cliffs. Beautiful views from up there – you passed waterfalls all the time! We stopped at one of them for a quick lunch (the tour company gave us all sandwiches)!
About halfway through the drive we found a waterfall that was small enough that we could still swim in it! Yay – the water was cold and I was chilly already from sitting in wet clothes, but I figured – when is the next time I’ll have the chance to swim in a waterfall in Maui?! So glad we went in. 🙂
There was an area behind the waterfall you could swim behind – neat!
It was a loooong drive back to our hotel (we didn’t get back until 7 p.m.) but it was definitely worth the trip. You can easily do this drive/hike on your own, btw, if you have a rental car – we just figured it was worth having a guide with us to show us all the cool spots (and to drive on that crazy windy road while we looked out the windows to see the view)!
As for our Thursday morning adventure, Matt and I took a surfing lesson via Maui Surf Clinics! 🙂
We had our lesson in the water off the town of Lahaina and it was a blast! Decent, consistent waves and the instructor was really helpful, too. Matt and I both caught a ton of waves – and even rode some all the way in! I didn’t get any action shots because I was busy surfing, but it was a blast. 🙂
After surfing, we grabbed lunch at a cute casual spot (order at the counter and eat out in the courtyard) called Lahaina Luna Cafe. I had the kale and brussels salad with almonds, avocado, and grilled mahi mahi, which was phenomenal – super moist.
For dessert, we went to Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice next door and shared one with a macadamia nut ice cream base and mango, pineapple, and coconut shave ice on top. Sooooo good!!
One other food highlight in Lahaina – we went to dinner at Mala Ocean Tavern earlier this week and it was phenomenal – great food, cozy ambiance, and such beautiful views right on the water! Unfortunately it was pouring so we couldn’t sit in their outside waterfront area, but we still had nice views of the water from the window.
The food was pricey but delicious – we started with the ahi tuna bruschetta, which was as good as everyone said it was!
And I had an Asian stir fry with their fish of the day. Also yummy!
I will leave you with a rainbow! Now I know why they are on the Hawaiian license plate – they really are everywhere, especially during the rainy afternoons we’ve had! Beautiful.
Have a great weekend, guys!