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Place Category: FREE Keiki Activities
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge is 691 acres of wetlands. According to the great source in the computer sky, Wikipedia, Kealia Pond, “was once an ancient fishpond that supplied water from the Waikapu Stream in the West Maui Mountains and Kolaloa Gulch originating from Haleakalā. Native Hawaiians may have raised Awa (milkfish, Chanos chanos) and Ama’ama (flathead mullet, Mugil cephalus) using a system of ditches and sluice gates to let nearby fish from Ma’alaea Beach into the pond.”
Today it is home to two of Hawaii’s native and endangered waterbirds, the Hawaiian Coot (alae ke’oke’o) and Hawaiian Stilt (ae’o) and supports a diverse number of migratory birds from late summer (August) to early spring (April).KPNWR
If you want to make this outing into a fun project you could google and print out the pictures of the birds which are in season and take with you for a game of spot the bird. There is also informational signs along the way if you are not that prepared.
It does get hot during the day so it is better to be a morning or mid afternoon activity, and remember to take water for the kids and sunscreen and hats, if they keep them on. Incase you get too hot, bring the beach gear as you can always check out the beach that runs parallel and has access to the boardwalk. This beach also boasts to be one of the only sites on Maui that is a nesting ground for the endangered hawksbill turtle.
It is located between Ma’aleae and North Kihei on North Kihei Road (Route 31). If you are coming from Kihei, you have to pass the boardwalk and come back from the other direction. It is open 7:30 am – 4 pm Monday – Friday. You can also call 808-875-1582 or check out http://www.fws.gov/kealiapond for more information.