By Jen Karetnick
Flowers — especially tropical species — thrive on Maui. Meandering around the island, you’re guaranteed to spot orchids and plumerias, Birds of Paradise, the yellow hibiscus (Hawaii’s state flower) and the Lei Day lokelani, also known as the pink Maui rose.
But 4,000 feet above sea level, about an hour’s winding, scenic drive from Lahaina and the Ka’anapali Beach Club, an unexpected sight awaits: fields upon fields of lavender. Located at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, in a corner of the world renowned for incredible vistas, this awe-inspiring sight ranks among the most stunning.
About the Farm: The History of Maui Lavender
Located in the Upcountry region on Haleakala, the 13.5-acre Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm began with a gift. A good friend gave owner Ali’i Chang — a master horticulturist tending succulents, hydrangea, protea and olive trees — sprigs of the herb. Naturally, he planted them. Because the mountain’s climate is so similar to that of the Mediterranean, where lavender laps up the full sunshine and roots happily in the dry, gravelly soil, the seedlings took off. Today, 55,000 of varying violet-hued plants bob and weave their conical heads in a royal display of natural grace.
How to Explore: Lavender Fields Maui
If you want to sample the farm’s famous lavender tea and scones, consider booking a Ladies Day Out to tour the property with a guide. Afterward, relax and delight in a smattering of lavender delicacies. High tea has never been so fragrant.
Not just the ladies get to enjoy wandering paths of variegated purple rainbows. Guided walking tours (five daily; about 30-40 minutes long) and guided cart tours (twice daily; about one hour long) are available every day. This way, you’ll learn about the history and uses of lavender, as well as the sustainable nature of Ali’i Chang’s legacy.
While on the premises, you can also indulge in a lavender treasure hunt starting and ending in the Gallery Gift Shop (prizes included!), gourmet picnic lunch complete with a lavender-infused dessert, or craft class using dried lavender. Families Day Out, which occurs on the last Sunday of every month, includes mini bouquet-weaving. (Note that only the lavender treasure hunt does not need advance notice; every other event, including the tours, require reservations.)
Take Home a Unique Souvenir
Known for its distinctive fragrance, lavender — despite its many varieties — is grown only for three general reasons: ornamental, medicinal and gastronomic. At Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, you can find many surprising lavender products that cater to each of these uses in the Gallery Gift Shop.
Lavender coffee, for instance, is certainly a departure from the everyday vanilla latte. Or, pick up a pack of lavender sachet dryer bags, which last more than 20 cycles. The shop even offers lavender pet hair conditioner, which provides natural protection against fleas and ticks. Or, simply pick up a few bath items for scenting the water in Ka’anapali’s oversized tubs, where you can soothe muscles after a yoga session or a day of water sports. Whatever item you select, you won’t soon forget your time at the magical lavender fields of Maui.
The lavender farm in Maui is also a prime setting for making memorable photos. Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer or simply an enthusiastic Instagrammer, you’ll find innumerable shots to fill your feed. The lavender-tinted memories will be a gorgeous complement to the ones you make during your relaxing stay at Ka’anapali Beach Club.