Oh to be a tourist in your own home. Today was my first time going to Olowalu Landing. I’ve driven past it countless times, but had no idea it was there.
I recently came across an article called the Top 10 Hidden Gems on Maui. First on the list was Olowalu Landing. Olowalu lies along the Pali hwy between Maalaea and Lahaina. It’s that small wooded, green area, home to petroglyphs, Leoda’s Pie Shop and the paintballing place. I made a mental note – we need to go check that out one day soon. But you know how it goes, you get caught up with work, family and all the kids’ athletic stuff. Last weekend our youngest went here with his friend’s family for sunset. So today, I had my kid show me where this is!
Sugar Mill Ruins
Did you know, there used to be a sugar mill in Olowalu. It was built in the 1870s and existed there until the 1930s when it was dismantled and shipped to the Philippines. What’s left are remnants of concrete foundations and a pier that must have had train tracks on it in the past. See here for an interesting history of the old mill. It does give pause for thought…. will Maui’s last remaining sugar mill (you know, the one that shut down 5 years ago) just be left there to rot like this?
Where to find Olowalu Landing
When you reach the wooded area, turn left opposite of Leoda’s Pie Shop. There are some very high-end homes in a gated community straight ahead. Turn immediately left, drive around the tree and you’ll see a sign on the right with public parking. In fact, it’s officially a beach park. Except that there is no beach, it’s pretty rocky. There were a number of people snorkeling just off shore. Be aware, Olowalu is a known shark hangout especially when the water is murky. There are no life guards, no bathrooms, but there is a shower.