Maui (October 2015) (Part 4 – Iao Valley State Park, Maui Wine Ulupalakua Vineyards, and Surfing Goat Dairy)

Posted: August 22, 2016 in Travel, Vacation
Tags: , , , ,

We had considered going snorkeling at Honolua Bay on day four. The weather on that side of the island was not cooperating so we decided to spend the day exploring the island. We started by heading to Iao Valley State Park.  The weather was not perfect, there were low clouds and an off and on light rain, but the park is absolutely gorgeous! It is everything I expect to see when I visit Hawaii. There were small rain fed waterfalls off the mountains as we drove into the park.

View from the parking lot at Iao Valley State Park

On the other end of the parking lot the iconic Iao Needle rose to the fuzzy bottom of the clouds.

View of the Iao Needle from the parking lot


With a light drizzle we hung around the entrance to the park for a while and got some pictures of each other and together with the star of the park in the background.

Rials and Clamans in front of Iao Needle


It didn’t seem like the rain would get worse so we decided to explore.  There are a couple of loops of trails in the park. One goes directly down to a small stream that runs through the park. The other takes a larger loop through the park.  We decide to take the longer loop through the park.   The longer loop trail is still an easy walk.  It is paved and only .6 miles in length.  It is a very scenic tropical park.  The loop trail has several views of Ioa Stream.  View of Ioa Stream


The trail passes very close to the stream around the middle of the walk.


Dave and Wendy ahead of us on the long loop trail Iao State Park


One of the best views on the trail is near the end when you have a view of the stream, needle and the bridge near the start of the loop.  My picture does not do the view justice!

View of Ioa Stream Ioa Needle and bridge near beginning of trail


It is a short climb back up to the entrance of the park.  Although it is a short trail, the unusual heat and humidity was back again for our third full day in Maui.  We were glad to get back in the car and enjoy the A/C.  We headed up the side of Haleakalā Volcano, not to the crater, that was in the plan for early the following day, but to the Maui Wine company on the side of the mountain.

Maui Wine sign

The winery is in a beautiful location.  It covers a large area and is very well maintained.  There are several buildings so it may take a minute to find the tasting room. Just go to the building straight behind the carved tree trunks.

Tree trunk carvings in front of the Maui Wine Tasting room building

The wine was OK, the tasting was fun, and the location couldn’t be beat. We bought some of the wine to enjoy when we got back to the condo. We also looked around the small store for gifts and ideas. I particularly liked this table.

View of the ocean over the sugar cane at the Ocean Vodka Distillery

I took a picture of it to remind myself when I got home. I really like the style, but not sure where it would fit in our house. Very cool table though. This picture is also a reminder that my camera was broken through the whole trip. In fact it had been broken through both our trip to Maui, and our early trip to the Grand Canyon for a rim to rim hike. I have gotten it fixed since then. It was a warranty repair. However, the camera is not well designed. It’s power button is too easy to push accidentally. It is constantly opening in my pocket and even in the small case we have to keep the dust off it when we are hiking. It is a Nikon S9700. I have looked at the Nikon S9900 and noticed that on the updated camera they put the power button in between 3 other controls that protect it from being accidentally pushed. I’m glad they fixed their design issue, but that won’t help me the next time the camera breaks from opening the zoom lens inside an enclosed place (pocket or case). Hopefully it will last a couple more years and by then it will be likely that I’ll be ready for a new one anyway.

After the winery we went across the street to the ranch store for lunch, they have a pretty good grill/deli. From there we headed back down the mountain and we did a quick stop at the Surfing Goat dairy. No the goats don’t surf, but there are a lot of surfboards around the property and by the table the stand on while they are being milked!

Eight nannys a milking

Vodka Distillery. Unfortunately it was too late for a tour, but we checked out their store and walked around the grounds. Their is a terrific view down the mountain and out to the ocean from a grassy area surrounded by sugar cane. They offer this as a wedding venue. That would be a great place to tie the knot!

View of the ocean over the sugar cane at the Ocean Vodka Distillery

Then it was time to head back to the condo in Lahaina. We didn’t plan much that evening because we had a sunrise bike ride down from Haleakalā Crater. It had been a relaxing day in paradise. I’m definitely ready at this point for some more of that!

To see all our Tropical Vacation Posts go to our Tropical Vacation Posts page.


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