Having children has encouraged me to explore the island even more and go to places I once thought were only good for the tourists. The Maui Tropical Plantation is one of these spots I may never have discovered without bearing the fruits of my loins, joining a mama group and having one of the moms suggest it. The Maui Tropical Plantation can be found in between Ma’alaea and Wailuku on the Honoapi’ialani Highway (Hwy 30) between mile marker 2 and 3, just after The Kahili Golf Course on your left if coming from Ma’alaea.
This is a great spot to arrange to meet up with other mamas, even if the monkeys are no longer there. The Maui Tropical Plantation sits on 60 acres at the foot of the beautiful West Maui Mountains. We normally meet up by the lake where you can feed the ducks and koi. The children get a real kick out of this and you can set up right there and have a picnic. There is a large field for the kids to run around in and now there are also lots of ‘Go Diego Go’ zip lines everywhere that are exciting for the kids to see. However, the best thing for the kids is the little train, or I think they call it the Express Tram, that takes you on a tour through the fields filled with coffee, mac nuts, mangos, guavas, heliconias, taro, papaya etc, etc…The ride lasts between half an hour to 45 minutes and does a pit stop in the middle to give a demonstration on how to husk a coconut. The girls that do the driving and narration are funny and informative, if you can hear them over the banter of the children. So this day out is educational too. They provide you with great facts about the local and not so local plants. For example, who knew that guava juice has five times more vitamin C than orange juice (Warning: POG is not so good as it is mainly sugar!). If you are hanging out by the lake you can see when the train is ready to depart and get on, but, the eight daily tour times on the hour 10am – 4pm.
Unfortunately (since writing) the annual $8 kama’aina pass is no longer available and tickets cost $6.25 for kids and $16.50 for adults.
The weather is often sunny and cool and it is a good edutaining day and a good excuse for the kids to wear their boots (for some reason my kids love to wear their rubber boots there). They also have a restaurant that gives a great kama’aina discount too. Check them out on the web at www.mauitropicalplantation.com.
Image Credit: Paul Bacon Jr