Oahu, Hawaii is a place that I am fortunate enough to call my home. After being here for so many years, I realized that there’s only so much to see, let alone photograph. With an opportunity to travel inter-island, I made my way to the beautiful island of Maui with hopes of discovering some serene locations to photograph. Being someone who “goes with the flow” especially when traveling, I discovered magical places on the island and wanted to share some of these places that I think you too should photograph on Maui.
1. The Beaches in Lahaina
The first place on my list of places to photograph on Maui are the beaches in the town of Lahaina. The town of Lahaina is where most of the visitors on the island prefer to stay while in paradise. There are many restaurants and activities for first timers to enjoy. I’d highly recommend the Royal Lahaina Resort! Not to mention, most of the resorts are literally foot steps away from white sandy beaches that span for many miles!
Looking into the ocean, the islands Lanai and Molokai’ are visible. And f you’re lucky, you can even see parts of Oahu. There are stunning views of the pacific ocean where you can capture glimpses of Humpback Whales breaching in the distance during the winter seasons. So be sure to plan your vacation timely.
Swimming or taking a dip in the ocean is a must! My dive into the waters amazed me for the fact you can hear the wonderful aquatic sounds of the whales communicating with one another. I urge you too, to do the same.
Lastly, the sunset’s here are great for photo ops. So be sure to lounge out on the sand, set up your camera and enjoy the magnificent Hawaiian sunset during golden hour.
2. Honoapiililani Highway to Kahekili Highway
Following your exploration of the town of Laihaina, be sure to take a drive up north through from Honoapiilani to Kahekili Highway. Along the way the you will discover cliff-side beaches and spectacular views of a different island-perspective.
Be sure to take the drive easy due to the numerous S-turns you will encounter. The speed limits here decrease down to 20mph at some spots and oncoming vehicles can come about unknowingly. Remember, you’re on an island so slow down a bit and just enjoy paradise!
Some recommended locations to stop are listed below:
Please drive with caution especially if you’re planning on making your way around the island to Kahului. The two-way traffic transitions into a one-lane road leaving barely any room for cars going into different directions to pass safely. Above all, watch your speed and use the numerous turn-outs to pull over when need be.
3. Iao Valley State Park
The third on my list of places to photograph on Maui is a place called Iao Valley State Park. This lush valley located in central Maui will take your breath away with its lush scenes of tropical flora. The valley entrance has a paid parking lot that welcomes you to a walking path that leads to a viewpoint of Iao Needle. This state monument is a historical site that was used by Kamehameha as a lookout point to conquer Maui’s forces – An event that changed the course of Hawaiian History.
Take it all in and be sure to explore paths below. There’s also a enthnobotanical loop trail if you want to learn about the plants that the native Hawaiian’s brought to the islands.
Adventuring past the enthnotropical loop trail will lead you to an easy hiking trail where you have an opportunity to take a dip in the Iao Valley stream. The Iao stream converges the waters from 4 major streams, the Nakalaloa, the Poohoahoa, the Kinihipai, and the Ae. There’s even a small swimming hole I discovered that made a perfect opportunity to take a cold plunge. If you want to learn more about Iao Valley State Park, be sure to check out the MauiGuide.com
4. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
The next on my list of places to photograph in Maui is located in the town of Kula. Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is a must go-to place for nature lovers. I highly recommend to visit here if you are planning to visit Haleakala National Park.
The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm resides in UpCountry Maui. Here you will find a beautiful hillside view of Lavender flowers that span across this 13.5 acre plot of land. In addition, the farm sits at 4,000 ft above sea level providing breathtaking views of Central Maui and the blue Pacific Ocean.
Keep in mind that this is a private farm. Therefore, there is a cover charge of $3 for parking. Don’t worry though! There is plenty of parking as well as discounts for military, seniors and residents.
Take your time exploring this area as there are numerous stops along the botanical garden to capture photographs. Don’t forget to stop by their Gift shop for refreshments and souvenirs. I’d highly recommend trying out their Lavender Lemonade!
5. Haleakala National Park
The last on my list of ‘Places to Photograph on Maui’ is Haleakala National Park. This long 2.5 hour drive from the town of Lahaina will bring you into a state of amazement. Due to the constant change of altitude, you’re able to view the most diverse landscapes on the island of Maui. According to National Geographic, this 38-mile drive to the summit consists of the most diverse climate and vegetation zones ranging from subtropical lowlands to subalpine deserts.
Ideal Time to Photograph the Park
As many of you photographers know, golden hour is the best time to photographs environments that consists of landscapes. At Haleakala National Park, the best times to visit are usually during sunrise or sunset. I highly recommend making reservations months advance if you are planning to photograph the sunrise here because they limit the cars entering from 3-7am.
I prefer sunsets, so I opted to visit during the morning hours and instead made my way up for the sunset. Despite the larger crowds, I was still able to capture some amazing photographs of both the crater and sunset near the observatory. We got lucky during our visit as this rare day made it possible for us to see a clear view to the base of the mountain as well as the view of Maunakea on the Big Island.
Tips for Visiting the Park
- Bring warm clothes: It gets cold here and temperatures drop down to the 40’s once the sun disappears.
- Hydrate: The summit sits at 10,500ft above seal level so the air is thin here. Make sure to hydrate as much as possible so you can enjoy your stay.
- Drive Cautiously: The roads at the park are dangerous and there are plenty of sharp S-turns along the way. One mistake can cause your car to veer off the cliff. Drive cautiously and also watch for the endangered Nene Goose that walk these lands.
My most recent visit to the island of Maui, Hawaii was one of the best trips I made so far in 2022. I was given the opportunity to explore the islands beauty and witness how much different it is compared to Oahu. Despite the time frame we had on the island, I was still able to visit and photograph many places that you should take into consider during your next visit to the islands. Here, you will witness different landscapes, seascapes, and maybe even a lucky view of some rare sights of the Humpback whales or the Hawaii state bird, the Nene Goose.
What are your thoughts on this blog post? Have you photographed some of these places on Maui? Are there any other suggestions you think others should know about? I would love hear about them! Email me: email@example.com