Maui-Wai’anapanapa State Park

One of my favorite beaches on Maui is located on the Northeastern side of Maui in a remote tropical jungle. The sand is black, the surf is fierce, and lush green foliage covers the area.

My husband and I drove the Road to Hana in excitement of visiting this exotic black sand beach and were looking forward to exploring the surrounding area.

After a few hours in the car we arrived at Wai’anapanapa State Park and found ourselves in the middle of a tropical downpour. Of course, if you are traveling to Hawaii you should know the one rule about these islands: If it’s raining, wait a few minutes and it will probably stop. We took cover and waited out the storm, which ended only a few minutes after it began.

With our beach towels in hand, we quickly made our way down to the beach. The beach itself is very interesting; on the eastern side the rocks are bigger and more rough, and towards the western side of the beach the rocks became smaller and more like the sand you find on any other “sandy” beach in Maui.

As we walked along the beach we spotted a  blue jellyfish stuck on the beach. It’s not fun getting stung by one of these bugga’s–trust me, it happened to me on Kauai.

The water was too rough for swimming that day, however, it was perfect weather to relax on the beach and soak in the scenery. We watched in awe as the waves pummeled the shoreline and my husband was able to capture some striking photos of mother nature at her finest.

The angry ocean was the very reason that there was a beach to relax on that day. After years and years of the rough surf pummeling, breaking, and carving out the surrounding shoreline of lava rock, the black sand is broken down and accumulates into the beach that is there today.

Black sand and powerful waves

After enjoying our time on the beach we packed up the beach towels and began to explore the surrounding area. We hiked along the western shoreline and saw beautiful views of the beach below.

The eastern side of the beach has picnic tables, restrooms, and an outdoor shower to rinse off the sea-water. There are many activities within the 122-acre State Park to keep you occupied all afternoon: take the path out to the lava arch, explore the caves and lava tubes, see the blow-hole, visit the ancient heiau (a Hawaiian religious temple), and more.

If you plan ahead, you can reserve a campsite at Wai’anapanapa State Park for $18 per night, and if you’re not the “camping” type, there are a couple of cabins available for rent that will run you closer to $90 per night. It’s a great opportunity to spend more than just a couple of hours at this amazing place.

Wai’anapanapa Blowhole

Photo Credit

Sea Arch

If you’re driving the Road to Hana on your next visit to Maui, the Wai’anapanapa State Park is going to be one of the highlights of your trip. Make sure you spend some time here to truly appreciate your journey.

Have you been to Wai’anapanapa State Park? What was your favorite part?

19 Comments

  1. December 1, 2012 / 4:50 PM

    Great photos! When I was in Maui, we didn’t go there becuase of our kids’ tendencies to get car sick I heard the drive can be a lot of winding roads. I’m thinking we missed out. But we did have an amazing time going up to Haleakala!

    • December 1, 2012 / 7:45 PM

      Thank you! 🙂 Haleakala is amazing! Very cold, but definitely a must see. The Road to Hana does get a bad wrap (although well-deserved) for car sickness, but luckily for us, we didn’t get sick. We just took our time, explored along the way, and took a lot of pictures. Hope you get the chance to drive this road one day (with or without the kids) 😉

  2. December 3, 2012 / 9:33 PM

    Absolutely gorgeous photos, Krystle — it makes me want to book a flight to the Hawaiian islands right now. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by Travel Oops! Steph

    • December 4, 2012 / 7:16 PM

      Thank you! I always recommend Hawaii, the islands are some of my favorite places on Earth.

  3. December 9, 2012 / 3:27 PM

    This looks like a place I would like to visit 🙂

    • December 9, 2012 / 3:39 PM

      Thanks for reading 🙂 You definitely should take the drive, it was amazing!!

  4. September 21, 2014 / 7:48 PM

    I’m a native, born and raised on Maui. Haven’t lived there in decades ever since leaving for college on Oahu. Don’t get back to visit my hometown much since relatives live in Honolulu where my family and I vacation every so often. Hugs for sharing my island home with me…and the memories which came flooding back looking at the photos.

    • September 22, 2014 / 9:38 AM

      Aloha Hugmamma!
      Mahalo for your kind words! 🙂 Maui is an amazing island. While we love the diversity of all of the Hawaiian islands, Maui ranks right near the top for us! We are heading back in three short months to do some more exploring. Hope you’ll check in for those posts! And I hope you can get over there to visit again soon!
      A Hui Hou! Have a great day!

  5. September 21, 2014 / 7:51 PM

    Reblogged this on hugmamma's MIND, BODY and SOUL and commented:
    The memories of my childhood came flooding back as I read this post and saw these photos. Thought I’d share these which depict my beautiful, island home of long ago…
    ………hugmamma.

    • September 22, 2014 / 10:02 AM

      Thank you, Susan!

  6. February 6, 2015 / 8:17 PM

    Loved that park! you have a nice flow in posting. Thx for sharing your experiences!

    • February 7, 2015 / 11:39 PM

      Thank you 🙂 It’s one of my favorite places on Maui!!

      • February 7, 2015 / 11:45 PM

        I actually just posted about Maui also! Great island!

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