We leave Maui Lani Clubhouse behind and venture out past the sugar cane fields of central Maui, through the “quirky but fun” beach town of Paia, onto a picturesque overlook at Ho’okipa Beach Park and then, the famous Road to Hana begins.
The lush vegetation along the road to Hana, with it’s wide array of tropical flora, allows for many once-in-a-lifetime photos. Maui is blessed with a seemingly infinite number of amazing landscapes and seascapes. It boasts both a dry, sunny side and a wet, lush side to offer a wide variety of climates. Our Road to Hana Tour winds through, and frequently stops in, the lush rain forests of Maui to give our guests the opportunity to see, feel, smell and hear the rain forest.
The majority of Maui’s tropical forests stretch across the rainy northern sections of the West Maui Mountains and Mount Haleakala. The rains feed a tropical rain forest filled with fragrant and colorful flora, exotic birds and hundreds of streams. The terrain is very steep and as the water rushes down the mountain it creates some of the worlds highest, most famous waterfalls (up to 400 feet in height).
Maui’s rain forest covers a good portion of Haleakala from sea-level to the tree-line at about 6000 feet. The rain forest on Maui is similar to other pristine rain forests found around the world in that they too have many plant and animal zones layered one on top of the other beneath the canopy.
Larger trees, like the Koa, help make up the canopy and provide shelter to the many smaller flora such as ferns, shrubs and other smaller trees growing closer to the ground. Over the last few hundred years many non-native species, invasive plants (and weeds), have been introduced into the Hawaiian ecosystem, some of which we don’t mind taking over at all, just as long as it’s on a small scale. Guava, coffee, bamboo and ginger have flourished in Maui’s rich soil and tropical environment, forcing many of Hawaii’s ancient native species out while providing new food sources and building materials in return.
While on tour don’t be shy, feel free to ask questions! Our knowledgeable, expert guides will know the answer, or they’ll make the effort to find out. We believe in showing our guests the true meaning of ‘Maui No Ka ‘Oi’ (“Maui is the best”) all throughout the day!