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Makena: Maui’s Truly Undeveloped Paradise

Makena Beach and I in the 60’s

Growing up on Maui in the 60’s was amazing. We would take a yearly camping trip way into the keawe tree-filled beaches of Makena and camp for a week. Some of my fondest memories and nightmares (my first stingray sighting caused many sleepless nights) were had there. Things have changed but, actually, not so much.

Makena is bordered on the North by posh Wailea Resorts and to the South by the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve. It offers visitors a glimpse into the nature of Hawaii as it once was. This is the place where the road ends, an area largely covered in volcanic rock fields formed in the last eruption on Maui in 1790. In ancient times, Hawaiians settled in small villages along the Makena shore. These villages were populated by fisherman and by highlanders who migrated to Makena to stay warm in the winter.

La Perouse Bay

The snorkeling destination known as La Perouse Bay was named after Francois de Galaup, captain of La Perouse.  He was the first person that was not of Polynesian descent to set foot on the island. Waves here can be dangerous to even the most seasoned surfers.

Makena Landing

In the late 1800’s, Makena Landing served as the dock for what is now known as the Ulapalakua Ranch. As late as 1948, cattle were still driven down the slopes of Haleakala into the surf, and herded onto barges for the market…. Free range beef, I suppose! Today, the shoreline is rocky (but picturesque), and little of the beach remains.

Keawalai Church

Founded in 1832 and built in 1855, the Keawalai Church sits on a sandy cove overlooking the ocean. The walls are 3′ thick and constructed of lava rock and coral mortar. The church’s cemetery features headstones with ceramic photo portraits of the deceased. To ward off the evil spirits, the Hawaiians surrounded the church with ti plants. The website MyJewelryBox.com has listed the Keawalai Church in Makena as one of the top 5 romantic places in the world to have a wedding.

Big Beach

South of the only hotel in Makena (The Makena Beach and Golf Resort) is the most famous beach of the area, Oneloa Beach, or more commonly known as “Big Beach.” It runs more than 3000 ft long and 100 ft wide and is the longest beach on Maui. It has the most perfect white sand ever. The North end is bordered by Puu Olai, a large domed cinder cone. On the other side of this is Little Beach with a smaller, yet equally magnificent beach. If you are brave enough to conquer Puu Olai, you will notice the many nude sunbathers. It is against the law, but who’s checking! The Sunday afternoon sunset is an event not to miss. Drummers come out to beat at a frenzied pace as the sun sets.

If you are considering buying a new home in Maui, Makena is an area you’ll want to be sure to check out.  Contact me for more information.

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David Buck

May 11, 2010

Nice Papio!

David Buck

May 11, 2010

Nice Papio!

Maui Real Estate: Makena’s Luxury Homes Are World Class « Hawaii Real Estate Market

May 11, 2010

[…] I wrote about some of Makena’s most spectacular places to visit; as residents know, this is no ordinary part of […]

Maui Real Estate: Makena’s Luxury Homes Are World Class « Hawaii Real Estate Market

May 11, 2010

[…] I wrote about some of Makena’s most spectacular places to visit; as residents know, this is no ordinary part of […]

Jeremy Stice

May 11, 2010

Unreal Piece Ken! Awesome work.

Jeremy Stice

May 11, 2010

Unreal Piece Ken! Awesome work.

Diane Chavez

May 12, 2010

Ken,
Thanks for taking us down memory lane. I used to live on Maui in the 1980s and that was when the town of Paia was all boarded up with masking tape covering up most of the store front windows. This was prior to when the windsurfers brought Paia back to life.
Everytime I would fly into the small airport I would always think
Maui No Ka Oi……..and Maui still has the charm you suggest of.

Diane Chavez

May 12, 2010

Ken,
Thanks for taking us down memory lane. I used to live on Maui in the 1980s and that was when the town of Paia was all boarded up with masking tape covering up most of the store front windows. This was prior to when the windsurfers brought Paia back to life.
Everytime I would fly into the small airport I would always think
Maui No Ka Oi……..and Maui still has the charm you suggest of.

Brian Baklenko

May 18, 2010

Beautiful photos of S. Maui! I never knew about Keawalai Church. It will be a must for my next trip.

Thank you!

Brian Baklenko

May 18, 2010

Beautiful photos of S. Maui! I never knew about Keawalai Church. It will be a must for my next trip.

Thank you!

Sheralyn

May 29, 2010

I really enjoyed your article and gorgeous pics!

Sheralyn

May 29, 2010

I really enjoyed your article and gorgeous pics!

Makena Beach & Golf Resort…Going Once, Going Twice…Sold for $55 Million « Hawaii Real Estate Market

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[…] If you would like additional information on the Makena area, please ready my blog, Makena, Maui’s Truly Undeveloped Paradise. […]

Makena Beach & Golf Resort…Going Once, Going Twice…Sold for $55 Million « Hawaii Real Estate Market

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[…] If you would like additional information on the Makena area, please ready my blog, Makena, Maui’s Truly Undeveloped Paradise. […]

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[…] in Sunny, South Maui in the area of Kihei. It is located just before you enter the Wailea and Makena areas and is just mountain side of the Piilani […]

Maui Meadows Real Estate is an Ecclectic Mix of Styles « Hawaii Real Estate Market

June 22, 2010

[…] in Sunny, South Maui in the area of Kihei. It is located just before you enter the Wailea and Makena areas and is just mountain side of the Piilani […]

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[…] For more information on any of these listings, please contact me. If you are not familiar with the Makena Beach area, please read my blog, Makena, Maui’s Undeveloped Paradise. […]

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[…] For more information on any of these listings, please contact me. If you are not familiar with the Makena Beach area, please read my blog, Makena, Maui’s Undeveloped Paradise. […]

Hawaii » Blog Archive » Day 2 – Kayak

August 6, 2011

[…] have a good photo of the beach so here’s one from hawaiilife.com, there are two little sandy sections like this […]

Hawaii » Blog Archive » Day 2 – Kayak

August 6, 2011

[…] have a good photo of the beach so here’s one from hawaiilife.com, there are two little sandy sections like this […]

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