At Waianapanapa State Park
It’s not just a black sand beach, but a very special area for the Hawaiians. It is a place where a Queen visited and legends were made, a sacred place you might say. There are romantic tales to be told and sights that simply overwhelm the senses with wondrous coastline, caves and sea arches. Our guides will, “talk story”, and you’ll find yourself daydreaming back to an ancient time of love, passion, sadness and calmness in Hawaiian culture. Don’t miss out on these stories!
By now, it’s time for our Hana Classic Picnic lunch. We have many different locations where we serve lunch. You will appreciate the food and not being stuck waiting in a restaurant, for the Road to Hana Tour lends itself to being outdoors and in touch with the natural beauty mother nature has provided us.
Waianapanapa, located just off the Hana Highway on the outskirts of Hana, is very special. It’s 120 acres hold many sights to see; a seabird colony; natural stone arches; sea stacks; the largest known Hawaiian Temple; ancient caves; blow holes and anchialine pools. Waianapanapa means “glistening water” and when you see the incredible waters on a sunny day contrasting against the very black rocks and the black sand beach, you will be awed.
Natural Stone Arch, Sea Stacks and Blowholes
There are many memorable features along the coast of Waianapanapa State Park due to the volcanic nature of the land. The ocean, throughout the years, has eroded the softer rock to create many forms. Sea stacks are pillars of rock coming up from the ocean floor. Those that dot the coastline are covered with a variety of green plants that give a beautiful resting spot for many of the seabirds and sometimes function as a shelter from the rough water for the local sea turtles as well. A blow hole is also located nearby and when the tide is high and the waters rough, which it usually is, water will blow up through the holes 10′s of feet, splattering all around it. There are plenty of holes in the rock but the most active blow hole has no vegetation around it, so it is easy to spot. Standing near the blow hole you can look towards the west to see a natural stone arch at the tip of the bay. You should be able to see right through it like looking into the eye of a giant needle at this angle and can sometimes witness the waves crashing behind and through it.
The Hala tree was very important to the Hawaiian people and is found throughout the islands. It is very distinctive and our guide will point it out to you. It’s roots stick up well above the ground while the leaves resemble spiky palm trees and it grows to about 20 feet in height. The leafy parts of the tree were used to make everything from mats to hats. It’s fruit was eaten and the wood was made into pipes and posts. It is a flowering tree and the pollen has a sweet smell to it.
These are pools of fresh water, located some distance inland, that have connections with salt water at some point below the fresh water. As the tides change, the levels in the fresh water pools also change but in all cases the fresh water will stay on top. A type of small, red shrimp called ‘opae’ula have adapted to these brackish water conditions. These pools are found on five of the Hawaiian islands , including Maui, and are formed due to erosion of the volcanic rocks. Several are located in Waianapanapa State Park.