The Lava Coast of Maui

Treacherous Beauty

In the pursuit of the soul of a place, Pamela and I will often not be terribly afraid to go off the beaten path (especially when visiting first world countries). This particular location in Western Maui (on Kahekili Highway around MM 16) is one of the views we had after hiking over considerably treacherous terrain looking for some natural ocean baths. These are natural “pool” formations in the lava that collect water that is then warmed by the sun and the black lava rock. Its quite an interesting and somewhat difficult place to get to but oh so worth it much like the Heart Shaped Rock.


This is a three shot bracket shot on a tripod (Despite the lady telling me emphatically while on our way down SHE wouldn’t try to get down there with all that camera gear. Of course she was also wearing flip flops (slippers in Hawaii) and carrying a small child…hmmmm.) (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix, edited with a number of curves layers in Photoshop, enhanced with the Nik Suite and finished in Lightroom.

Heart Shaped Rock


Before taking our recent trip to Maui, I asked around on the Interwebs if people had any specific recommendations of places not to miss on the island. My friend Destination David suggested the Nakalele Blowhole. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when we decided to go. First we happened to be in Kahului (which I always called the airport town) and we logically approached the blowhole from the east. This is apparently a road only people who LIVE on the road actually attempt to drive on. It was largely one lane, with VERY steep drop offs…I LOVED IT! The hike to the blowhole is steep, dangerous, likely to cause injury and oh so worth it (Don’t be like me…heed the signs and turn back from certain death).

Crazy Formations

The blowhole is a site we will surely explore in another post, but in this one I wanted to highlight an interesting heart shaped rock you will see if you turn around from being awed by the force of the blowhole. I have been unable to find information about whether this rock is a result of the awesome power of the ocean, or if someone purposefully carved this into the rock. I would love to know, so if you have some supportable documentation please post it below in the comments!