Introduction to South Maui
The East Maui region from Maalaea Harbor near the Isthmus of
Maui to La Perouse Bay at the end of Makena Alanui Road is
usually called "South Maui" but its location is probably
better described as South Central Maui because there is
a also south Maui coastline in West Maui
from the isthmus to Lahaina and a South Maui
coastline in East Maui between La Perouse Bay and Hana. South Maui
towns and regions include - from north to south -
Maalaea Harbor, the Kealia Pond Reserve, Kihei, Wailea, Makena,
Molokini Island, Ahihi Bay, and La Perouse Bay.
South Maui Towns and Resort Areas
The harbor community of Maalaea is located
on the south coast of Maui near the Isthmus
that separates West Maui and East Maui. Maalaea
is a small, laid back harbor community that is also
a condominium resort area and a center for
whale watching, sport fishing, Molokini snorkeling
cruises, and other boat-based water activities.
Maalaea is also the home of the Maui Ocean Center
The town of Kihei is most well-known for its moderately
priced condominium accommodations, and its active nightlife.
The Wailea resort development is an exclusive
community with acres of golf courses and
some of the most expensive resorts in Hawaii.
Expensive homes and a few (only one?) expensive resort.
South Maui Natural Features
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Reserve
This 691 acre wetland preserve
protects the endangered Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian
Coot, and the adjacent beach protects the
endangered hawksbill turtle.
This bird sanctuary and wildlife refuge lies adjacent
to Maalaea Bay along the south central coast of Maui
between the harbor community of Maalaea and
the town of Kihei. Kealia Pond is separated from
the Pacific Ocean by a narrow strip of
beach and sand dunes and North Kihei Road.
Cracks Show in Kealia Boardwalk Project
Turtle Sculpture Stolen From Maui Preserve
Bronze Sculpture of Nesting Sea Turtle Stolen
FWS Kealia Pond Site 1
FWS Kealia Pond Site 2
Molokini Marine Preserve and Bird Sanctuary
Molokini Island is located between Makena
and Kahoolawe Island and it is actually the
top edge of a crater of an extinct volcano
that sank into the sea. The crater and
the waters surrounding it have been designated
by the state of Hawaii as a marine life
and bird conservation district. Many of South
Maui's snorkeling cruises make two stops,
one at Molokini Island and the other at a mainland
Maui dive spot known as "Turtle Town"..
Makena Beach State Park
Includes Oneloa Beach (aka Big Beach)
Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve
This state of Hawaii preserve
is located south of Makena and it
includes both Ahihi Bay and La Perouse Bay.
It is a popular scuba diving and snorkeling spot.
Ahihi Bay is about 1.5 miles south of the
Maui Prince Hotel and La Perouse Bay is
about 3.5 miles south of that hotel.
In February the state of Hawaii proposed a
plan to temporary close the reserve
to foot traffic for a two year period
so they could reroute trails to protect the
habitat and install education signs for the public.
Under that plan, parts of the reserve would remain open to the
public, including the offshore portion of the
reserve, Ahihi Bay, Waiala Cove, Maonakala, and
the "Dumps" surfing spot.
State Plans to Close Ahihi-Kinau Reserve
Other Regions of Maui
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