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Wailuku

Wailuku Ocean

Right at the mouth of the magnificent Iao Valley, lies Wailuku, a picturesque tropical town which lures the tourists from the whole world. Having an international acclamation for its charm and fabulous beauty, Wailuku is an excellent place to explore the nature of Hawaii. Wailuku and Kahului are two towns which have merged into each other. The harbor, the airport, commertial industrial buildings and several shopping malls are located in Kahului, whereas Wailuku contains the historical center of the town, being located on the slope of the extinct volcano Puu Kukui.

Wailuku Pictures

There are many attractions here. One of the most popular places for excursions is Iao Valley State Park that is located west of Wailuku. The Hawaiians say "mana" when they refer to something supernatural or divine. Iao Valley is the place where the sense of mana is almost tangible. This 10-acre park located just four miles West of Wailuku is crowned by a 2,250-foot rock pinnacle.

Wailuku Oceanfront

This place used to be one of the old Hawaiian holy valleys and the Hawaiians would undertake pilgrimage there to honor their gods. It was known as an important political center of ancient Hawaii and was the scene of many battles with thousands of warriors’ bones scattered around. For many years Hawaiian chiefs were laid to test here in special secret burial sites along the walls of the valley. Ancient Hawaiians name this valley Iao, meaning Suprime Light, in honor of the god Iao and people used to come here to pay tribute to this powerful deity. The rock pillar rising out of Iao Stream is now called Iao Needle, but at that past time it served as a natural altar.

Wailuku Photos

Today several paths lead to this magnificent valley with breathtaking views. The paths are well-groomed so the tourists will admire this wonderful hiking tour. The nature center and heritage garden are located in the park. Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens honor those diverse cultures that have immigrated to Maui while Hawaii Nature Center is an interactive educational facility.

Nearby there is also Tropical Gardens of Maui that possesses an outstanding collection of great range of palms, cycads, fruit trees and other Hawaiian endemic and native plants.

Wailuku Photo

Viewpoints of geological and scenic interest are along Wailuku River. Boiling Pots feature a succession of large pools, connected by underground flow or cascades where the waters roll and bubble as though boiling. The slow cooling of basalt lava formed the exposed hexagonal columns framing the pools. The most haunted are the 80-foot Rainbow Falls which are famous for the rainbow formed from its mist many mornings. It is a legendary place with the cave beneath the waterfall was believed to be the home of Hina, mother of the demigod Maui.

Wailuku Picture

If you are the admirer of fine arts, visit the Bailey House Museum which exhibits artifacts, period furnishings and the paintings of the prominent artist Edward Bailey who had lived in this building. Edward Bailey was a renaissance man, an artist, a teacher, musician, builder, writer, botanist and entrepreneur. His collection of oil paintings clearly depicts what the life of his time was like. The museum houses on of largest public collection of pre-contact artifacts and shows ingenuity of the early Hawaiians in using ingenious materials in their daily life. Upstairs, where once the family private quarters were, the everyday items like china, utensils, quilts and clothing are displayed. Many of the exhibits are authentic and have traveled around Cape Horns as treasure relics of another era.

Wailuku Pics

Ioa Theatre in Wailuku is worth visiting too. This 80-year-old playhouse, opened in 1928, debuted the first talking film shown on Maui and welcomed such Hollywood superstars as Frank Senatra and Bob Hope. Maui OnStage is one of the longest consistently theater running companies in the United States and maintains a busy entertainment schedule.

Welcome to Wailuku, a precious jewel in the treasure of the island of Maui.