Maui – The West

Maui - Hawaii

...a short remark in advance...

As already mentioned on the overview pages, we visited the Hawaiian Islands in 2000. At the time these pages are created (February 2020), our visit will be almost 20 years ago. Although we have fond memories of our three weeks on the islands, all of our assessments are based on 20-year-old memories. Even though the locations we describe here still exist, the circumstances have certainly changed. We ask you to keep this in mind. All opening hours and entrance fees are as of February 2020.

Altitude above sea level: Haleakala
10023 ft

Iao Valley

Description: One of Maui's biggest attractions is the 1198ft high Iao Needle. It is located in the middle of the West Maui Mountains, a few miles east of Kahului. There is a short hiking trail (about 0.6mi) where you can get nice views of the Needle and the surrounding area. The place has also a historical meaning for Hawaii. Because here Kamehameha I defeated King Kohlkili in 1790 in the decisive battle for Maui.

Tip for the visit: The Iao Needle is often already covered by clouds from noon on. Therefore, you have better chances to see the rock needle without clouds in the morning.

Our rating: The Iao Needle is well worth a visit. The drive through the green, rugged and steep mountains of the Maui Mountains was also great. 


Entrance fees and opening hours

For the GPS: 54 S High St Wailuku, HI 96793

Maui Ocean Center

Description: The Maui Ocean Center opened in 1998. It is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The main attraction is the marine life that lives around the Hawaiian islands. In attractively designed aquariums you can learn a lot about life in the ocean and on the tropical coral reefs.

Our rating: We really enjoyed our visit to the Maui Ocean Center. Even though animals in captivity are not really something we like, there were a lot of interesting things to observe and learn here.


Entrance fees and opening hours

For the GPS: 192 Maalaea Rd, Wailuku, HI 96793

Lahaina Jodo Mission


Description: Lahaina is an old whaling and plantation town. Today it is a tourist town, attracting more than two million guests a year. There is an old town with beautiful streets where you can find mainly stores, galleries and restaurants.

Our rating: We liked Lahaina very much, even though it is a bit touristy, we found the place quite pleasant. Where else can you watch a dreamlike, tropical sunset while having a delicious dinner with open windows.

Lahaina Jodo Mission

Sugar Cane Train

Description: Opened in 1970, the Sugar Cane Railroad is a tourist railroad that has carried over 5 million tourists through the sugar cane fields of Maui since its opening. The railroad travels the 6mi route between Lahaina and Kaanapali. The ride takes about 1 hour (round trip). Due to cost, the railroad was closed a few years ago. However, it has been back in operation since 2019.

Our rating: Honestly, we had expected a little more from the ride. It wasn't bad now, but the whole landscape we drove past was rather boring. The sugar cane fields were harvested and so you saw mostly only barren red land. The whole experience was very touristy.


Entrance fees and opening hours

For the GPS: 17 Kaka’alaneo Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761

Northwestern coast


Our rating: