Planning a trip to Maui and want something different to do? You could check out the Nakalele Blowhole, way out on the Northwestern side of the island. This area of the island is largely undeveloped and is located on the West Maui Circle drive. There are two ways to get to it from the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport. I use this as a starting point because it's the most centralized location. The first way is to go directly towards west by driving in a Northwesterly direction.
While the drive time says 58 minutes, I wouldn't count on it... I wouldn't recommend taking this way period. Why? Because the road looks like this...
The road is a narrow, windy road with little protection from the drop off. Oh, and the road is two-way. How do two cars pass each other on a road like this? I don't know... To me, the better route and the one I took is the longer way through Lahaina, Ka'anapali and Kapalua.
The road does get narrow and windy after you pass Kapalua, with the worst part being a one-lane bridge, but it's nowhere near as bad as the other route. And despite the quoted travel time, expect to take closer to an hour and 20 minutes to get there. There isn't a sign at the blowhole either, there just may be a bunch of cars parked in a unmarked, dirt parking lot just off the road, and there may be a tent setup with some ladies selling cookies, fruit and drinks. Oh, and you won't be able to see the blowhole immediately like the Halona Blowhole on Oahu. Instead, what you'll see it this.
Pure, untouched coastline. Beautiful isn't it?! But see the black rocks down below? That's where you'll need to go. Along the way, you'll also notice these signs.
It's a good idea to heed them. You can get swept away if you get to close, and there's no one around to save you. You are, after all, in the middle of nowhere! So be safe and use common sense. As you can see too, the pathway down is very rocky, while also having dirt and sand. It does get pretty tricky to navigate, especially as you begin to slip. So be sure to check your footing and watch where you're going, though that might be hard with the nice views all around.
After you get to the bottom, theres an easy way to get down on the black rocks by following some flatter footing against the hill's face. When you reach the the flat, smooth area among the jagged lava rock, you'll have the blowhole right in front of you.
Located in back of the blowhole is another impressive natural feature, and the reason why the wife and I trekked out here in the first place.
That's right, it's a heart shape that somehow eroded into the lava rock. It's a great spot to take a photo with your other half, so if you have one, bring your tripod! Or ask someone else to take a picture for you. And when all is said and done, you'll have the lovely tiring hike back up to the car to conquer.
If you do visit the Nakalele Blowhole, make sure you aren't like us. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, and so we didn't come prepared. I was wearing long jeans and a collared shirt, while the wife was wearing slippers (flip-flops). Big mistake! It's very hot out there and the terrain is a bit of a challenge. A comfortable t-shirt or tank top, shorts, and good shoes are recommended. Be sure to also bring ample water. I was so parched by the time we got to the top that I thought I was going to pass out. Luckily the stand had water... at highly marked up prices... but what would you expect?
The important question is, would I do this again? Probably. If anything, the novelty of being able to take a picture with your loved one and the heart rock is worth it on its own in my opinion. And if you plan on dining around like I did, the exercise certainly doesn't hurt either