Words by Cathy Hewett
Our first stay was at the gorgeous Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, the perfect spot if you want luxury. The grounds are vast and lush and the hotel offers 3 different pools including an adults-only pool, 3 bars & 4 restaurant options. Our suite had 2 double beds with a large bathroom, separate toilet plus a separate lounge area with a large corner lounge suite and desk. Totally amazing and the views are to die for.
Unfortunately I was only here for one night and we had an early morning start to go snorkeling at Molokini and then near Wailea Bay with the turtles. I have snorkeled in many locations around the world as it is out family’s favourite pastime, but I have to say that Molokini is truly magical with the amount of sea life to see and how clear the water is. Being an old volcano, the sea life is a little different to other locations. After snorkeling near Molokini we went back toward the Wailea Bay and snorkeled with turtles of all varying sizes. We were lucky enough to have a local marine biologist join us to our tour to give even more information of the amazing sea life below - she even had flash cards so we could identify some of the fish. A fabulous day out and definitely a must-do when next in Maui.
After a gorgeous day onboard our catamaran we were then transferred to our next accommodation at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Villas resort. Oh my! What a huge resort this with three massive blocks of 1 or 2 bedroom units right on the water front. Absolutely amazing! Each block has its own reception/check-in area which makes for a speedy check-in. You can also use all the pools in the resort, it might just mean a bit of a walk to get to the other ones. There is a dedicated area for kids to play at and plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby. There is even a little supermarket which comes in very handy when staying in apartments with fully equipment kitchens & dining rooms as it gives you the ability to cook, save money and feed those hungry kids after swimming all day. The apartments were so well layout with a lot of room for the larger families. I will choose to stay here next time I visit with my family.
We went to Dukes for dinner that night which was an easy walk along the foreshore but in the busy times remember to ring and book a table, especially if you have hungry kids as it can be a bit of a wait. There is a bar there so a Mai Tai or two can easily be had while you are waiting!!! Great outlet shopping plus local markets are also within walking distance for those who need to fill their 2 x 23kg of checked luggage allowance on the way home.
Day 3 and we are up early again as we headed out to the amazing O’o Farm for a look around, we were served an amazing breakfast which was part of the tour. All food is grown within the farm and it also produces some of Hawaii’s best coffee. It was a fabulous experience seeing everyone working together to prepare the freshest food I have ever eaten. During our farm visit we were lucky enough to see the coffee bean process from bush to cup and enjoy a multitude of amazing varieties, none of which needed any milk to enjoy. This has changed my mindset on coffee as I now prefer drinking black coffee/espresso to enjoy the flavour. Amazing….
Our final evening on Maui had us staying at the oldest resort on Maui - Ka’anapali Beach Resort and enjoy their fabulous Luau. If you enjoy your food, this is the place to go as it offers great choices, endless drinks and you want you can also get up and learn how to Hula from the professionals. It will be a fabulous night out for you and your loved ones to enjoy. The shopping centre just up the beach makes filling your suitcase with souvenirs or a few gifts easy to do and even with little spare time we always managed to shop, as the stores stay open a little later which is awesome!
We had another early morning and the weather was absolutely perfect! Our next adventure had us needing to wear a life vest around our waste. Can you work out what we were doing? I hope you guessed a helicopter ride!
Now as much as I love snorkeling, I love taking off to the skies in a helicopter and see our amazing world from above. Maui has so much beautiful terrain and you really don’t appreciate it unless you can see it from above. From the sky you can spot the fabulous waterfall and coastline with the amazing flora and fauna. It is not the cheapest thing you can do but boy is it mind blowing! We were in closed door choppers, but if you don’t mind the height there are tours that have choppers with their doors open!! Imagine the photos without any glass causing reflections! Save up and try and get up in the air next time you are on any of the Hawaiian Islands. It was an amazing way to finish our few days on Maui, but I will certainly be back with family and friends to enjoy for a little longer next time or as part of venturing to other islands as well.
Don’t despair there is a little bit of Hawaii in all of us - go and explore this amazing group of islands which is only 9 hours east from Brisbane on direct flights with Hawaiian Airlines.