When researching things to do on Maui, I immediately knew I wanted to visit Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Situated in the island’s Upcountry section (an area where the majority of the island’s produce is grown), the farm is located on the slopes of the Haleakala crater at an elevation of 4,000 feet, so the views are beautiful.
The farm is free to visit and visitors can walk the grounds on their own. A pamphlet contains an illustrated map of the farm, including an easy lavender reference guide which lets people know what types of lavender they’re looking at. There are seven different types of lavender grown at AKL farm. I opted to do the 30-minute walking tour (a total of five are offered daily). Tours cost $12 a person, although you can save $2 by booking in advance.
We arrived about an hour early for our 11:30 AM walking tour so we first browsed in the gift shop (lovely items but incredibly expensive). Afterwards, we bought a lavender scone and drinks to enjoy outside on their terrace. I found the birds on Maui to be quite friendly and uninhibited around people. While sitting on the terrace, the birds would come extremely near, obviously in hopes of finding some crumbs to nibble on. The scone was delicious and you could definitely taste the lavender.
Our tour was led by Terra-Lyn, who was extremely kind and informative, very resonant of the Hawaiian people I found. A plus for going on a walking tour is that in addition to the facts and information about the plants not found in their pamphlet, you can also have some stems and buds snipped for you. Terra-Lyn would cut flowers during our walk for both D and me so that we could touch and smell them. At the end we were able to make a bouquet out of our cuttings. The one disappointment was not being able to see the lavender I have always wanted to, due to the time of the year we were there (the knee high fields of free growing lavender like you often see in images of the Provence region in France).
In addition to the numerous different types of lavender grown, there is also an abundance of tropical plants, many that are native to the Hawaiian islands. I have never been very big on flower photography before, but at a place like Ali’i Kula it is hard not to be.
At the end of the tour we did the gourmet lunch basket which I had reserved in advance. It cost $28 per person (this did include the walking tour). Lunch consisted of your choice of either sandwich (chicken salad or chicken pesto) or salad (Greek or garden) and comes with lavender lemonade, lavender chips (these were terrific as I never would have paired lavender with a salty snack and yet it worked) and a lavender brownie (the lavender seemed to be more in the frosting that was drizzled on top). If we went back again, I’m not sure if I would get the picnic lunch basket, but it was a neat and extremely healthy lunch for when we were there.
The Upcountry area is absolutely beautiful, so if you’re already in the “neighborhood,” I do recommend visiting Ali’i Kula Lavender farm. Even if you’re not a really big flower person (as D is not), I think you’ll still be captured by the stunning locale and uniqueness of the place.