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Introduction to South Maui

The East Maui region from Maalaea Harbor near the Isthmus of Maui to La Perouse Bay at the end of Makena Alanui Road is usually called "South Maui" but its location is probably better described as South Central Maui because there is a also south Maui coastline in West Maui from the isthmus to Lahaina and a South Maui coastline in East Maui between La Perouse Bay and Hana. South Maui towns and regions include - from north to south - Maalaea Harbor, the Kealia Pond Reserve, Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Molokini Island, Ahihi Bay, and La Perouse Bay.

South Maui Towns and Resort Areas


The harbor community of Maalaea is located on the south coast of Maui near the Isthmus that separates West Maui and East Maui. Maalaea is a small, laid back harbor community that is also a condominium resort area and a center for whale watching, sport fishing, Molokini snorkeling cruises, and other boat-based water activities. Maalaea is also the home of the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium.

The town of Kihei is most well-known for its moderately priced condominium accommodations, and its active nightlife.

The Wailea resort development is an exclusive community with acres of golf courses and some of the most expensive resorts in Hawaii.

Expensive homes and a few (only one?) expensive resort.

South Maui Natural Features

Kealia Pond National Wildlife Reserve
This 691 acre wetland preserve protects the endangered Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian Coot, and the adjacent beach protects the endangered hawksbill turtle. This bird sanctuary and wildlife refuge lies adjacent to Maalaea Bay along the south central coast of Maui between the harbor community of Maalaea and the town of Kihei. Kealia Pond is separated from the Pacific Ocean by a narrow strip of beach and sand dunes and North Kihei Road.
- Cracks Show in Kealia Boardwalk Project
- Turtle Sculpture Stolen From Maui Preserve
- Bronze Sculpture of Nesting Sea Turtle Stolen
- FWS Kealia Pond Site 1
- FWS Kealia Pond Site 2

Molokini Marine Preserve and Bird Sanctuary
Molokini Island is located between Makena and Kahoolawe Island and it is actually the top edge of a crater of an extinct volcano that sank into the sea. The crater and the waters surrounding it have been designated by the state of Hawaii as a marine life and bird conservation district. Many of South Maui's snorkeling cruises make two stops, one at Molokini Island and the other at a mainland Maui dive spot known as "Turtle Town"..

Makena Beach State Park
Includes Oneloa Beach (aka Big Beach)

Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve
This state of Hawaii preserve is located south of Makena and it includes both Ahihi Bay and La Perouse Bay. It is a popular scuba diving and snorkeling spot. Ahihi Bay is about 1.5 miles south of the Maui Prince Hotel and La Perouse Bay is about 3.5 miles south of that hotel. In February the state of Hawaii proposed a plan to temporary close the reserve to foot traffic for a two year period so they could reroute trails to protect the habitat and install education signs for the public. Under that plan, parts of the reserve would remain open to the public, including the offshore portion of the reserve, Ahihi Bay, Waiala Cove, Maonakala, and the "Dumps" surfing spot.
- State Plans to Close Ahihi-Kinau Reserve

See also
- Other Regions of Maui
- Attractions on Maui
- Activities on Maui

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