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 Haleakala Volcano. 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).
The Maui rainforest 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.
Koa tree leaves capture moisture from the clouds and funnel it to the ground underneath the tree
Old Koa tree on Haleakala Ranch
Koa trees grow just a few inches per year compared to the Eucalyptus which grows several feet per year.
A young Koa tree grows in the shadows of the massive Eucalyptus.
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 Hawaiʻi’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!