View Full Version : Honeymoon in Maui

17-Jul-2014, 18:33
This is actually not as much about the particulars of using large format gear in Maui, as I have yet to get my first camera, and more to do with the experience of exploring Maui for 12 days and taking photos while I am there, so just a bit of forewarning on answers and replies in this thread.

I am traveling to Maui with my fiance (will by then be my wife!) Jasmine from August 14th until August 26th. We are arriving on the 14th at 4pm and then driving straight to Haiku. We'll stay there for 5 nights, followed by 2 nights in Kula and then on to Kihei for the remaining 5 days. We rented a 4 wheel drive Jeep, so access should not be a problem when it comes to rugged terrain.

We will be driving Hana road for a day trip. We have some suggestions from friends about local spots and secluded areas, but I'd love to hear what else you all might suggest. Love this community and I am excited to hear what all you guys have seen and admire about this beautiful island!

Fire away at will!

17-Jul-2014, 19:51
We went there for our honeymoon, along with Kauii. I don't remember we got out of our room except to eat. Just saying, you have bigger priorities this time. On our second trip, I liked messing around in the attic of the island the best, up around the high altitude craters. It's a totally different kind of landscape there. Go at night, see the stars. It's amazing. I usually stay away from beaches in Hawaii. I'm weird.

Leszek Vogt
17-Jul-2014, 20:25
From what I recall, there were some snorkle tours to nearby island (forgot the name). I've spend a week (in 97?) and I thought that was adequate...tho using LF takes longer :>). Personally, I liked the black rocks towards the end of the road to Hana - you can create various contrasts + using all sorts of props/subjects (& under right light). Getting up to the top of the volcano was really cool. Mama's Fish House offered some v. well prepared fish (some from the islands area). The island offers a lot....don't forget to just stretch out a blanket/towel and enjoy the spot, whether it's a beach or a specific vista....to smell that proverbial rose. Chopper flights are v. popular, if you are into this sort of thing. If you are not too tired (he he), you'll likely spot more photo possibilities. Oh one more thing, if you are going to snorkel, it's a good idea to get you some "booties" (wet suit socks), since the coral is rather sharp and it can easily cut your feet...don't ask me how I know this :>). Enjoy!


DG 3313
17-Jul-2014, 21:03
My wife and I will be spending our anniversary on Maui the same week. We have a timeshare in Maui and go back every year. We Dive so it's hard to use the 4x5 at 130' below the surface but, there is a lot to see on land.

Buy the book "Maui Revealed" before your trip. This book is spot on from our experience. We stay at a resort on Ka'anapali beach which is North of Lahaina. Maui is laid back...expect to slow down..... "It's Maui time".

Hana is cool but, it was a long day of riding in a small tour bus for us. Rental cars are not generally insured for the last leg of the Hana drive....FYI, a sunset cruise is a lot more fun than a lu'au. We have gone to two and they were less than fantastic. A dinner cruise on the ocean at sunset was a lot more memorable. The blow hole (North end of Maui), Iao' needle, black rock and the Maui Ocean Center are worth seeing at least once. Too much cool stuff to list here......

It can be as much or as little as you decide to do while you visit Maui....but, you will never forget this time.


David A. Goldfarb
17-Jul-2014, 23:00
Beautiful spots everywhere. You could drive the Hana Road every day and find new things. Go up Haleakala, explore Lahaina, and there's a nature preserve near Lahaina with a boardwalk that's worth exploring.

If you can, bring a tripod you can carry on board. When we flew from New York, our luggage (with my tripod) was delayed. It seems that this is not so uncommon with flights to Maui, for some reason. Fortunately I had my Technika and one cammed lens, so I could shoot handheld for the first day and a half, until our bags arrived.

18-Jul-2014, 07:16
I used to live on Oahu, and we went to Maui a few times. It's very, very nice. I'd spend an hour each day, at least, at different beach. It's an island, that's what they're good for. Go to a beach one morning at sunrise. Go to other beaches each evening before dinner, at sunset. Snorkel when you find rocky ones. Swim if it's just sand and blue water. Walk the beaches if it's too rough (watch out for big, sudden waves, on the north shores, which can sweep you out to sea). Fish if you want. each beach is good for different things.

Other than beaches, Haleakala Crater is neat, and not too far. The road to Hana, if I recall, was very long. But very beautiful. Plan for a full day.

18-Jul-2014, 07:20
yeah...that's not gonna happen

best case scenerio - leave the big camera at home, and take pix with your phone of places you'd like to photograph one day

do not inform new mrs this is what you are up to - just say: this looks like a cool place

just go..get married, have fun, pamper the wife and forgetabout taking pix seriously

something like that

oh..also leave golf clubs and all fishing tackle at home too - trust me

18-Jul-2014, 08:24
Been awhile but wife and I spent our Honeymoon on Maui many moons ago. Plenty to do and see. At 1st it was frustrating in that everyone seemed to drive so slow. But once I got myself to relax and set myself on Maui Time, no issues. One caution is that make sure if you are carrying camera equipment or any other valuables that you place them out of sight "Before" you get to a tourist destination, and not at the destination.

Before we got acclimated to the time change we made the trip up to Haleakala for sunrise as we were still on eastern time zone and waking up well before dawn. We were fortunate and that we had good weather, but in May temps at the top still dropped down into the mid 30's not sure what its like mid August. One activity that I wish we had taken was the Maui Downhill a 23 mile bike ride from the top of the crater down to the beach, basically you coast all the way with very little pedaling required. You'l travel from the Alpine like conditions at the top 10,000ft down through fir forests, eucalyptus and finally topical as you end in Paia on the coast.

We spent each morning snorkeling at either Ulua Beach Park in Wailea, or Black Rocks by the Sheraton in Kaanapoli. I felt that the snorkeling at these two beaches was better than the time we spent with a charter, snorkeling the Molokini Crater lots of colorful fish and not on someones timetable. We would normally get up get a danish and coffee at one of the shops getting to the beach between 7:30 - 8 am, snorkel until about 10 when the water would get a little rougher and a little more crowded. Once the trades started to kick in would head off either to Kanaha Beach park in Kahului for windsurfing or sightseeing and shopping. If you have a grill where your staying you might like to try heading to Azeka's Market in Kehei for marinated Korean Short ribs.There wee a number of other restaurants between Kehei and Wailea that had excellent seafood. Loved the grilled "Ono" (wahoo). Mamas Fish house was also excellent but fairly expensive.

From Haiku you should be fairly close to Hookipa beach park, If the trades are blowing it's worth a visit to see the Kite and Windsurfers playing in the waves. Further along the road to Hana there is a a turnoff on the left that goes down to a rocky beach Honomanu Bay a nice picture spot but 4x4 recommended and if muddy I would pass. You'll pass a number of waterfalls on the right as you head towards Hana. Can't remember which one but we pulled off the road , Hiked in a little bit and were rewarded with a wonderful waterfall and pool where we went swimming. Just before arriving in Hana there is a black sand beach with a number of caves at the waters edge. We didn't go beyond Hana as we made a lot of stops along the way and wanted to get back to Kehei before dark.

Maui was wonderful and we had no problem with anyone most were very friendly, only place we felt a little uncomfortable was one day at Big Beach at Makena State Park.

Have a great trip

18-Jul-2014, 09:30
... snorkle tours to nearby island (forgot the name). ...


Leszek Vogt
18-Jul-2014, 10:03
It sounds about right, Brian. What I really appreciated about my trip (in February 97) to Maui/Oahu, that when I departed SF, the weather was absolutely dreadful....and dogs, kitties, volvos and 11x14's were coming down (no disrespect to Jim :>). The contrasts couldn't be more in your face: one place you look to be inside your vehicle to stay warm/dry and at another I was in my shorts, 70 deg at dinner time....and one just wanted to stay outside. OK, OK, not going to bore you with all the grass skirt stuff....


Drew Wiley
18-Jul-2014, 11:27
Check with the local dive shops as to what places will be safe to snorkel during that specific season. The drive to Hana is slow but otherwise easy. You want to have
some time to stop here and there. If you go almost to the end of the paved road to the NP parking lot, forget all that Seven Sacred Pools nonsense and head uphill instead, if you don't mind a decent hike to some much more impressive waterfalls. Driving clear around the island on that dirt road is somewhat slow, and will take you past dry more desert-like conditions. That might make for some awful long drives for a honeymoon, unless you have nothing better to do! The summit of Haleakala is a marvelous spot, especially if you're up there at dawn (if you have nothing better to do). Watching the sunrise over the Pacific is like witnessing the
birth of the world. But remember that the summit is up there, so a good windbreaker and sweater might be mandatory. The tour buses and crowds arrive by midmorning, right around when all the good light is gone anyway. The drive around the north side of the island takes a quite a bit more nerve than the Hana road,
which is a freeway by comparison, but does have some very different sights. We're going back in Dec and staying in Napili again.

Paul Cunningham
18-Jul-2014, 13:07
I can't add much that the others have not already said, but we have been visiting Maui nearly every year for the past 31 years.
If you can visit Haleakala summit on a moonless night, it is not to be missed. If the sky is clear, the stars will be so bright that you'll swear you could read a book by them. Clear air, high elevation and relatively little light pollution make for spectacular "seeing". I have some photos here http://www.verycunning.com/stardust, don't click on the link unless you want to see some digital photos. (Shot with Nikon D700 @ ISO 4000 +/-).

Hana as a day trip probably means spending most of your time in the car, but it is a wonderful, quiet, place to hang out for a few days. Haiku and Kula will be also, since they are in 'upcountry', where the weather is cooler and the landscape pastoral rather than beach oriented. Kihei is a bit busy, but the wonderful thing about it is really next door Wailea, and the drive out past Makena.

We will actually be there for some overlapping time. The 13th-18th we'll be at Napili Kai (at the end of our trip which begins the 3rd.) If you see a guy shooting a 4x5 it might be me.

And if you want restaurant/dining options, just ask.

John Kasaian
18-Jul-2014, 20:04
I had fun in the early morning hours in Honolulu scouting out pre-WW2 architecture with a hand held Speed Graphic. I only had a few holders and a changing bag, and I used the sports finder instead of the gg. No "keepers" (the bellows grew holes) but I had a memorable time.
Next trip I'll take the 5x7 Speeder!

Graham Patterson
19-Jul-2014, 11:18
We were planning on a trip back to Maui this year for our 15th wedding anniversary, but other things have got in the way. Maybe next year. We spent most of our time in and around Lahaina. I didn't have large format available at that time, so I was using a Mamiya 6 and a Yashicamat. One thing about using a film camera on a honeymoon - you won't have to worry about security peeking at the pictures 8-)

19-Jul-2014, 18:57
Lahaina, Acquarium, Iao Needle, Paia, Five Palms beach area in Kihei for sunset (but eat at Sarento's on the Beach - book in advance on open table), Turtle Town, Haleakala if you can stomach drive. Reason people say "I survived road to Hana" just saying! Have fun. Momma Fish House is overrated IMHO - no sunset but great fence of old surf boards nearby.

19-Jul-2014, 19:11
Thanks everyone, these are wonderful responses and I'll be trying a few of the suggestions out hopefully. No worries on taking time away from the gal for photos, I'm not lugging anything out there apart from my X100 and Canon F1, so we'll be just hanging out doing newly wed stuff and just taking vacationish photos while we are out and about. :)

Drew Wiley
21-Jul-2014, 09:20
Be forewarned that Lahaina is a tourist trap, replete with some really ugly obscenely overpriced photography, along with all the starving artist fare too. But ironically,
the discount chain stores can be a great place to buy fresh local coffee beans and macadamias for taking back to the mainland. It's hard to get good Kona or similar
coffees outside the Islands themselves. We always pack a lot in the suitcase for the trip back.

mike rosenlof
23-Jul-2014, 08:28
I spent 9 days on Maui in March. I would not recommend mixing first attempt at LF photography with a honeymoon, but that's between you and your fiance. just saying...

We stayed 3 nights in Hana. It might be a tough daytrip. It's pretty and quiet out there. I rented a 50cc scooter for the trip to Hana and it was a ton of fun. The twisty narrow road was not stressful like it was for my wife (and her mother) driving the car. I was faster than most of the tourists, but slower than the locals. You don't need a motorcycle license for the little scooter. I'm an experienced road cyclist (bicycle) and was not fearful on the road, your feeling may be different of course. I was not hauling LF gear. Rented from a place not far from the airport. might be "Island motion" or something like that.

Highly recommend going to Haleakala. especially if it's clear. the moonscape of the top is amazing. hike if you are in to that. We did not do sunrise on this trip. It was raining when we got to the summit. Couldn't see anything. After a while it cleared. Even in august, it will be cold at 10K feet. and probably windy.

For my trip this year, I packed LF and then unpacked it due to size and weight. I took a 35mm rangefinder HP5 and a 75mm lens. No tripod, and forgot my light meter so I was guessing exposure the entire time. There were occasions where I missed LF. Mostly the style of photos I took was differenet than I would have done with the 4x5. After the trip, I was happy with a few photos, and thrilled with the trip overall.

have fun! and congratulations on the marriage