Terra Galleria Photography

The road (much) less traveled: South Maui

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Most visitors to Haleakala National Park visit the Haleakala Crater, however the Park extends down from the summit to the ocean, reaching it in a small, but interesting area called Kipahulu.

Instead of driving from the summit to Kipahulu through the Hana Coast, this time I tied the more direct, but seldom-traveled route through the south of the island.

Whereas the Hana Coast is incredibly lush and tropical, the south, in the rain shadow of Haleakala, it is mostly arid and barren.

The landscape, dominated by lava flows reminded me of the Big Island of Hawaii, rather than the lushness normally associated with Maui.

On a section between Kaupo and Ulupalakua, only those curious-looking trees were able to take root on the lava rock.

Whereas the Hana Coast, considered the #1 attraction on Maui, sees a fair amount of traffic, you see only a few adventurous souls on the south side, besides the tour mini-bus. The road is sometimes bouncy, there are one-lane sections and unpaved sections (less than 10 miles total), but it is passable by any passenger vehicle.

I was happy to discover another side of Maui. One of the reasons whey the Hawaiian Islands are so fascinating is that within a relatively small area, they offer a dramatic change of landscapes.

More images of South Maui

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