Wai’anapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii
Why-no-wine-and-nap? Why-Anna-what now? So just how exactly do you pronounce Wai’anapanapa? It’s actually easier than it looks…WHY-uh-NAHP-uh-NAHP-uh.
Initially I thought it might have been one of Barbapapa’s kids (does anyone even remember Barbapapa?) but as it turns out, it’s a pretty nifty park along Maui’s Hana Highway. Black sand beach, blow hole, lava tubes – basically one-shop shopping for all things “in the nature” on Maui.
Plus it’s got not one, but TWO naps in its name. That’s a win right there.And although my dreams of manhandling monk seals were dashed the day I visited (the seals must have been hibernating), there was still plenty to keep my attention. There are a few signs warning folks to steer clear of the blow hole, but I couldn’t resist taking a peak.I think it was hibernating with those monk seals too – nary a blow to be had while I was there.The volcanic coastline is filled with plenty of interesting formations and arches.There were even some folks cliff diving from the Y-shaped rock on the islet in the bay (sorry my video didn’t turn out.)The main draw here at Wai’anapanapa is the black sand beach. It’s one of only a handful on Maui. If you’re really interested in the process of how black sand gets to be that way (there’s actually more than one) Maui Magazine has a great article called The Microscopic Marvel of Sand.And although I couldn’t find the lava tube before the rain set in (a lava tube is basically a cave formed by lava), I did find plenty of of idiotic plant graffiti. It’s a shame that morons feel the need to leave their mark on such a calm and lovely place.
Wai’anapanapa State Park is ripe for hiking, and although many folks just make a quick stop here along the Road to Hana, there are camping and lodging options available at the park if you want to stick around and explore some more. Campsites are only $18 per night for up to 6 people, and cabins that sleep 6 are $90 – cheaper still if you are a Hawaii resident.
Note: My trip to Maui was made possible by the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau but they did not ask that I write a favourable review or spend my time searching for monk seals.