Posts Tagged ‘scenic’

Maluaka Beach was one of my favorite places to snorkel during our previous trip. So of course it was the first beach we went to swim at. The beach is located in south Wailea, on the island of Maui. The Makena Beach and Golf Resort is the only resort at this beach. Looks like an amazing place, but much like the other Wailea resorts is pretty pricey.

Maluaka Beach

The waves were a bit bigger this time, and the water was not quite as clear as it was on our last trip. But we had a great time here once again. A number of the charter snorkel tour boats bring their customers here, usually after their morning snorkel stop at Molokini. Since my brother and I are good swimmers, we had no problems with swimming out to where the boats anchor.

The first day we came here, I was really happy with all the different kinds of fish. No turtles hough, but I still had a great time in the water. This was the first time I was able to try out my new Canon D10 underwater camera as well. I was pretty nervous to put it in the water at first, but quickly learned to trust that it would be fine doing what it was made for – taking pictures while snorkeling.

Here is a large school of yellow-stripe goatfish that was swimming around. I wasnt sure if there were a few schools of them, or if I just kept seeing the same school as I swam about the reef:

School of Goatfish

I also saw a bunch of Moorish Idols, and was happy with the way the water’s surface showed up in this photo:
Moorish Idols

As you can see here, the water was not the clearest. Visibility was still quite good however, and the colors of the coral showed up quite well:
Maluaka Coral

We tried out Palauea a few days after the first trip to Maluaka, but the visibility was not good at all. So we decided to head back to Maluaka. I am not sure why, but it was still relatively clear once again. We had not gone too far out when we finally spotted a turtle lying on the bottom. It just layed there looking up at us, and had a fair bit of sand on top of it – so it must have been there for a while:

First Turtle of the Trip

We continued swimming out towards the tour boats, figuring the water would keep getting clearer as we got further from shore. It stays relatively shallow for quite a distance from the shore, providing lots of great reef to observe. As we got closer to the boats, the number of snorkelers began to increase. I heard someone about thirty feet ahead, in the direction we were swimming, say they had spotted a turtle. It was a younger child, and his siblings/parents did not seem to believe him as he was the only one in the group to spot it. All of the sudden it swam right in front of me, and only five feet away. Luckily I was swimming with my camera on, and I was able to get a quick photo:

Green Sea Turtle

I turned to try and find my brother, to make sure he was looking as well. But he was heading off in the other direction, and did not realize it was there. I got one more photo as it continued swimming off towards the bottom:

Swimming Away

By this time we were getting quite a long way from the shore where we had started. Although we did get a pretty sweet view of the black sand beach located between Maluaka Beach and Little Beach. But the current was starting to pick up a bit, as were the waves. So we figured we should start making our way back to the beach. We saw a lot of different fish along the way back to shore as well. But no more turtles. I had hoped to get back one more time before we left, but just ran out of time.
View of the black sand beach:

Makena Black Sand Beach

Overall I was very happy with the new underwater camera. I read a lot of reviews, and checked a lot of the groups on Flickr, to try and figure out which brand offered the best options. All of our other cameras are Canon, so I was searching rather hard to try and find one that might be able to top the Canon D10. In the end, I decided I really liked the photos and color produced by the D10, so decided to stick with the Canon. You definitely have to take care of the seals though. I noticed a few times when I was cleaning it that a few small sand particles were trying to stick to the seal. One thing I was worried about was the number of reviews from all of the various brands that mentioned their camera had flooded and no longer worked. But my D10 survived the trip, and I look forward to using it again in the future.

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We found a brochure for the Kula Botanical Garden at one of the many strategically placed brochure/advertisement locations (they are everywhere). We wanted to check out one of the tropical gardens during our trip, and decided this looked like the one we wanted to see. It is located in the area known as upcountry, on the way to the Haleakala Crater. As we were only a few days into our trip, we were quite happy to find the temperature was a fair bit cooler up there as well, as we were not yet used to the Hawaiian heat. Admission for the self-guided tour was $10 per person – it was well worth it. You can also take a guided tour, but we just wanted to wander about and check it out for ourselves.

The view from the visitor center is very good, looking out across central Maui:

Kula Botanical Garden

Parking might be a bit of an issue during busier times, as their lot was rather small, and the map they give you is a bit confusing at first. But those were my only complaints. Once we entered the grounds we were quite happy with the diversity of flowers and plants. There is a main trail running through the grounds. It has a number of side routes that all end up back at the main trail. There are a number of tiki’s throughout the grounds as well:

Kula Botanical Garden

There is a Wedding tab on their website. The large grassy field is the main locations for larger weddings. The website says it can accomodate up to 150 seated guests. It is surrounded by trees and flowers, and also has a nice view of Central Maui through the trees.

Kula Botanical Garden

Another potential wedding location would be one of the two gazebos. The large gazebo shown below was our favorite, as it was overlooked a bit of a canyon, with a duck pond at the bottom:

Kula Botanical Garden

There was also a Koi Pond, that was very popular with the children visiting the park that day:

Kula Botanical Garden

Koi at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

We were more interested in the flowers however, and they certainly did not dissapoint:

Kula Botanical Garden

Kula Botanical Garden

Kula Botanical Garden

Here are some of the amazing photos Shauna took at the Kula Botanical Garden:

at Kula Tropical Gardens, Maui

Fern at the Kula Tropical Gardens, Maui

Plumeria- amazing flowers!

Different angle on the crazy flower at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Orchids at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Protea Flowers at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Some sort of Pine Tree at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Hibiscus in Greys at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Hydrangeas at Kula Botanical Gardens, Maui

Hibiscus Rear View at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

at Kula Tropical Flower Gardens, Maui

Orchids at Kula Botanical Gardens, Maui

We had a great time walking throughout the grounds here, and were very happy we decided to visit the Kula Botanical Gardens. It is a bit out of the way, but well worth it. It would also make a good stop on the way up to the Haleakala summit for a day trip – for those who dont want to get up early enough to catch the sunrise.

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