Up Country Photo Tour
Whether you're a part-time shutter bug or a full-time photographer, this fabulous tour of the Hawaiian Upcountry will give you endless opportunities to take pictures and video of its beautiful scenery. From the cruise pier, travel through the last working sugar plantation in Hawaii and learn about the history of sugar in the islands before beginning your ocean-view tour through the old town of Paia. Head to Ho'okipa Beach Park for some photos overlooking the wind-surfing capital of the world. Travel through pineapple country for a lush green drive up the slopes of Haleakala towards Kula. Your driver guide, who grew up in Hali'i Maile, will engage you with stories about the Maui Pineapple Company pineapple camp. Take the opportunity to purchase fresh pineapple, which can be shipped directly from the Maui Gold Pineapple Company or boxed for the airplane, and pineapples fly free! (no second bag charge).
Then head to Alii Kula Lavender Farm for lavender coffee or tea and scones, and a walking tour in the gardens filled with lavender and an impressive amount of foliage and produce, including edible flowers, vegetables, herbs, bamboo, olive trees, macadamia, citrus trees, fruit trees, chickens, hydroponics and more. Take some time to shop in the beautiful lavender boutique.
Make your way to Ulupalakua and stop at Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Maui's Winery for lunch, followed by a complementary wine tasting. This is a charming old Maui Ranch where you'll enjoy your choice of Maui cattle burgers with grass-fed beef, or a taro burger for vegetarians. The wine-tasting room at Maui's Winery is actually in the King's cottage. Wines can be sampled and purchased in the beautiful gift store.
After lunch, stop at beautiful Kula Country Farms, where they lease over 180 acres to grow an incredible variety of fruits and vegetables, and raise goats and chickens. In this most beautiful setting on the mountain, strawberries can be picked from February through May, and pumpkins are harvested in September and October. Stop in the quaint farm stand overlooking all of West Maui for a photo opportunity before departing from the farm.
From here, it's down a country road to the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery.
At the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery, experience the amazing organic sugar farm plantings. Learn how Ocean Vodka is created from fermented organic sugar cane, diluted with desalinated sea water from a melting glacier off of Greenland, which travels the entire globe and happens to pass by Kona, where they tap into the current 3,000 feet under the sea. The minerals in it make the vodka taste delicious, and give it a hint of the sea! Walk out onto the gorgeous lookout point, surrounded by over thirty varieties of organic sugarcane. Some are from the original canoe crops brought by Hawaiians from Polynesia over one thousand years ago. Explore the martini garden, which grows everything that goes well in a martini, and shop for vodka and gifts before returning to Kahului.
We chose thus excursion as we expected to be able to get some great photos of the upcountry of Maui. We go that and so much more. We got a life long memory of the life style of many native Hawaiians from goat farms, lavender farms, bakeries, wineries, and botanical gardens. Not to mention the great cheeses we sampled at the goat farm, the world e we tasted at the winery, the homemade scones we had at the gardens, and the wonderful burgers. All of which was organically grown and processed right where we visited. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. A big ""Mahalo"" to her. A wonderful first day in Maui!