Black Sands & Blow Holes (and just how do you pronounce Wai’anapanapa anyway?)

Posted by - July 22, 2013 | Category: Escapes, North America, United States

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.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-076And 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.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-089 There are a few signs warning folks to steer clear of the blow hole, but I couldn’t resist taking a peak.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-091I think it was hibernating with those monk seals too – nary a blow to be had while I was there.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-094The volcanic coastline is filled with plenty of interesting formations and arches.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-096There were even some folks cliff diving from the Y-shaped rock on the islet in the bay (sorry my video didn’t turn out.)Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-098Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-100The 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.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-105Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-110And 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.Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-112Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-113Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-117Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-122Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-134Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-135Black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii-139

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.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to the Man On The Lam Newsletter

Get a monthly round-up of travel & lifestyle articles, plus unique content & hush-hush extras only for members.

26 comments - add one
  1. Dramatic and energetic while simultaneously restful and peaceful – don’t think I’d leave too quickly 😀

  2. Such great pics! I’ve done Hana twice and want to go back so badly. Seems to get better every time. Something really unique we just saw on the Big Island last month was the green sand beach. If you go, pay for the $15 4×4 ride in. Don’t walk it like we did!

    1. That’s the first I’ve heard of a green sand beach — I know there is a red sand beach around Hana as well. One of the shops in Hana had a sign that read “Please don’t ask for directions to the red sand beach — it’s too dangerous to get to!”

      Which of course made me want to go see it even more. 😉

  3. I giggle every time I read “blow holes” in this piece. I’m so going to that black beach. Did I tell you I’m going back to Maui next month?

  4. Oh wow! I’m dying to go there now! Hawaii has always been a destination for me that seemed so unattainable somehow, but I am just dying to see volcanos! I can just imagine crawling all around those rock formations trying to find the lava tube and all manner of other hidden secrets. Sounds like a great way to spend a couple days!

  5. Though I prefer white sand over black sand, this is a place that I surely love to visit someday. It’s clean, peaceful and has lots of amazing rock formations. Though I think it’s a bit cruel to write words on those leaves.

  6. I love this place …..I’ve been there 2 times and i enjoying a Lott . Shot taken by you is really good thanks for sharing .

  7. What a great place! This is how I am liking beach nowadays, rough, isolated and with tons of rock formations. Maui is kind of calling my name.

  8. Really beautiful. I haven’t had a chance to visit Maui. But I’ve seen beautiful black sand like that in the Waipio Valley on the Big Island.

  9. That last picture you have posted is from inside the lava tube…what you missed was the fresh water cave! Maui Resident : )

*
*

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

MENU