Monday, December 10, 2018

Best Whale Watch in Maui - Closer to Whales


Whale Watching Trip – The Maui Way

I know that when kids are asked: What’s the biggest mammal on earth? Most (if not all) of them would answer an elephant. Well, my 7-year old boy begs to differ. He would always say a somewhat peculiar answer – a whale. Technically, he’s right because it was neither specified if the mammal lives in land or water. But the point is – aside from him being a really bright fellow – he had the biggest fascination for whales. And as his mum, I just couldn’t stand back and watch him dream of them. So I decided to take him where he can see the biggest whales his eyes can ever set upon – Hawaii.

Oh, what a place. When our plane landed on Kahului Airport, a sunny, tropical paradise greeted our arrival. I made sure to bring my camera at the time (can’t waste any picture perfect moments). It was April and the island was just so alive with tourists like us. But despite the happy, outgoing aura, I noticed my son turning all silent. At first I thought that maybe it was because his dad could not come along due to work demands so I tried to give him a pat on the shoulder and said we’d come again together the next time. But to my surprise, he turned his head down and became all teary-eyed and I was like “Uh-oh. Maybe I did the wrong thing booking this trip.” But then, he clasped my hand and told me he can’t contain how happy and excited he was for his whale watching trip in the afternoon. That really pulled on my heartstrings.



We made reservations in advance. We booked for 2 Whale Watching Passes via Stardust Hawaii as per my good friend’s recommendation. It was surprisingly affordable! The prices varied according to the number of hours you’d like to watch. They have it for 90 minutes (an hour and a half) for only $39.99 – trip to the mall even costs more sometimes. But knowing that my son is a young enthusiast, I figured he’d want more time. So, I booked for a 2-hour watch and luckily got a nice discount! We only paid around $69 each (normally $80).



And lo and behold it was a great deal indeed. The experience made my heart jump a bit. It was terrifying and amazing all at the same time. We were super close (I swear) and every time the whale jumped out of the water it would tower several feet above our heads. Rest assured the boat was perfectly safe (and comfortable). Plus, it was not too crowded (around 40 people max) so everyone got to enjoy the amazing creature in close-view.


Best part is when I saw my son’s eyes shining with astonishment. That’s when I knew the trip was worth it. Although, I did embarrass myself (a bit) when I got told off by my young kid that I was wrong for telling him that it was a blue whale. He was like “Mum, don’t you know a Humpback when you see one? I seriously thought he had an early onset of his rebellious stage for that.
Two hours went by so fast but the memories (and awesome pictures) will be with me forever. It was a fun, educational, and happy experience the whole family can enjoy. Don’t forget to check it out for your next family trip!



Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Looking for FREE things to do in Maui?

You're at the correct page, that's why you open a stardusthawaii.com website, right?!

We picked many FREE things you can do during your Maui vacation. 

Let's begin;

  • HULA SHOWS AT SHOPPING CENTERS
Several shopping centers have free hula shows a couple times per week. This is one of the free things to do in Maui that can save you the expense of going to a luau. Call for days and times:
Whalers Village 808-661-4567
Lahaina Cannery Mall 808-661-5304
Wharf Cinema Center 808-661-8748

Most evenings at 6:30 PM. Call 808-661-0011 for information. You can watch this show free from some seats around the edges of the audience, or you can sit at the tables in the center of the audience. There is no charge to sit at the tables, but the waitress will expect you to order drinks or snacks if you sit there.

  • SINGERS SUNDAY AT KAANAPALI BEACH HOTEL
Sunday mornings behind the buffet brunch room, outside and in back of the Kaanapali Beach hotel, sit at the round tables and listen to live music. 808-661-0011

Walk along this boardwalk with the ocean on one side and the wetlands on the other side. On Route 31 in Maalaea.

A volunteer from the Pacific Whale Foundation will answer your questions, give you brochures, and lend you binoculars to watch the whales (winter only) at Papawai (McGregor) Point Lookout on the Pali portion of Honoapiilani Highway (Route 30) on the west side of Maalaea Bay, from 8 AM to 2 PM. If you're here between November 15. and April 30., you should see Humpback whales in action, so we definitely recommend to reserve one of the few whale watching tours.

In Lahaina, relax and watch the tourists and the locals any day. People-watching here is one of my favorite free things to do in Maui.  You can also see art and meet artists on weekends here from 9 AM to 5 PM.


In Lahaina, behind Banyan Tree. Includes Lahaina Visitors Center (open every day 9-5), art gallery, and old jail.


ART
— Friday night is art night in Lahaina. That evening, or any day, walk through the numerous galleries there. The Lahaina Visitors Center (in the Old Courthouse behind the Banyan Tree) has a flyer with a map of Lahaina’s art galleries with names of the artists featured in each.
— Wailea On Wednesdays. Wednesday evening, or any day, see the art in galleries at the Shops at Waileashopping center.
— Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, open 11 AM to 5 PM daily, with rotating art exhibits.
— You can also see beautiful art in the major hotels in the resort areas of Wailea, Kaanapali, and Kapalua. The best is the art at the Four Seasons hotel in Wailea. There’s a free art tour twice per week at the Grand Wailea.

MUSEUMS
A few of Maui’s museums are free:
— Whalers Village Museum in Kaanapali
— Printing Museum at Lahainaluna High School in Lahaina
— Hale Paahao (Irons House at Old Lahaina Prison) on Prison Street in Lahaina
— Lahaina Heritage Museum in the Old Lahaina Courthouse
— Plantation Museum in the Wharf Cinema Center.

OUTDOOR CONCERT IN LAHAINA
Call Lahaina Restoration Foundation 808-661-3262 or see their online calendar Lahaina Restoration Events to get the latest schedule for their monthly free concert on the lawn in front of the Baldwin Home on Front Street in Lahaina (usually at 6 PM on the last Thursday of the month).

LIVE MUSIC IN WAILEA
At the courtyard in the Wailea Gateway shopping center every Wednesday 6:30 to 8 PM. For this to be one of the free things to do in Maui, you’ll have to get your parking card stamped at one of the shops so you won’t have to pay for parking.

UKULELE LESSON
In the Lahaina Cannery Mall every Tuesday at 5:45 PM.

HUI
The Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center just outside of Makawao has art and artists’ studios in and around a beautiful old mansion.


Drive across the wide lava field created 200 years ago by Maui’s last volcano eruption, to get to the black beach at LaPerouse Bay. This is one of the most unusual free things to do in Maui. There is only one tour which can bring you very close to LaPerouse Bay - the Private Segway tour so you can experience great Segway gliding through Makena ocean shore with no sweat, with ocean breeze.


Fridays at 10 AM, see a video about the Hawaiian people, with a discussion by Hawaiian Cultural Advisor Clifford Naeole, called “Sense of Place.” Call him at the Ritz 808-669-6200 to verify day and time.

RAINBOWS
Watch for rainbows over the ocean the first two hours after sunrise, and in the mountains the last two hours before sunset. They are most likely on days with some mist in the air, or days with light rain showers, when the sun is visible in the opposite direction from where you look for the rainbows. They are most commonly seen from West Maui (the Kaanapali side of the island).

MOONSET
For a beautiful sight, watch a nearly-full moon setting into the ocean, in a dark sky, with white moonlight reflected across the ocean towards you. The only time you can see this, is 1-3 days before a full moon, at 1-3 hours before sunrise. Look in the western sky, at about the same position that the sun has been setting. Details, photo, and links to look up the dates and times for any particular month are at Maui Moonset.

NIGHT SKY
Look up at Maui’s clear skies any night, and see more stars and a different perspective than at home.


HERITAGE GARDENS
Garden, buildings, and statues, about the people who settled in Maui from other countries, on the road into Iao Valley.


Walk around these quiet and peaceful wetlands in the south part of Maui’s central valley, looking at the birds and maybe some turtles. Enter at mile marker 6 on Maui Veterans Highway (route 311) (formerly called Mokulele Highway, just north of North Kihei Road (route 310). Daytime only; closed weekends. Call 808-875-1582 for further information.


Beautiful small forest of wide variety of trees (pine, spruce, cedar and eucalyptus imported from all over the world). At the 7000-foot elevation, just below the entrance to Haleakala National Park. Camping and hiking, but can be chilly.


Tour of Maui’s only winery, including free wine tasting. In Upcountry. Call 808-878-6058 for schedule.

LOBBIES AND GROUNDS OF LUXURY RESORTS
Walk around and look at the beautiful pools, lobbies, and grounds of the big resort hotels in Kaanapali and Wailea. This is one of the free things to do in Maui that you won’t find in most tour books.

PETROGLYPHS
In Olowalu (west Maui, Honoapiilani Highway south of Lahaina). Ask directions to petroglyphs at the General Store. About a mile walk back into the fields, to see ancient rock carvings on a cliff.

About 5000 humpback whales come to Maui every winter. Watch them from the beach or from your lanai. January through March are the peak months, when you can see whales every day. If you're here between November 15. and April 30., you should see Humpback whales in action, so we definitely recommend to reserve one of the few whale watching tours.

Each Friday evening a different fun Maui town has a street party with live music, shows and exhibits, and food vendors. The first Friday of the month it’s in Wailuku, the second Friday in Lahaina, the third Friday in Makawao, and the fourth Friday of each month in Kihei. Info and photos at Maui Fridays.

WHALE LECTURES AND FILMS
The Ocean Science Discovery Center is run by the Pacific Whale Foundation in the Maalaea Harbor Village, the shopping center adjacent to the aquarium. Call 1-800-942-5311 for the current schedule of free lectures.
Also talks about whales in Kihei at Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

DAN’S GREENHOUSE
See live exotic birds, pigs, and other animals and plants, upstairs at 626 Front Street in Lahaina. Kids often say that this is one of their favorite free things to do in Maui.

PLAYGROUNDS FOR KIDS
Kamaole and Kalama Parks have free swings, slides, and jungle gyms. In Kihei.

GIANT BUDDHA STATUE
Lahaina Jodo Mission has the largest Buddha statue outside of Japan. In the north part of Lahaina, (near the “Jesus coming soon” sign) turn off of Front street (toward the ocean) onto Ala Moana street, and immediately bear left, and look for the sign “Lahaina Jodo Mission.”

CLIFF DIVER
Watch divers jump from Black Rock into the ocean at sunset in front of the Sheraton Hotel 808-661-0031.

Sign up at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Kaanapali Beach, for their free Art & Garden Tour and Wildlife Tour and Lei-Making class. Call 808-661-1234 for tour times and days. Or just stop in at the Hyatt in the daytime any day to see their live parrots, swans, flamingos, and African Crowned Cranes.

Mornings (7-11 AM) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Honokowai, a couple miles north of Kaanapali.
All day (8 AM – 4 PM) Monday – Friday in Kihei (at 61 Kihei Road)
Fruits, vegetables, flowers, bread, jam, all often fresher and cheaper than at the grocery store. And they have free taste samples too!

Cable TV channel 7 has constant information about things to see, places to go, restaurants, etc.

PICK UP BROCHURES
This Week in Maui, Maui Gold, 101 Things to Do, and others available on racks in the airport baggage claim area, hotels, and shopping centers. Although most of the ads are to sell paid activities, these brochures also list some free things to do in Maui.

SEE DIFFERENT BEACHES & TAKE A WALK ON THE BEACH
Use the book of maps from your car rental company to drive around and see beaches on different parts of the island. All Maui beaches are open to the public.

It looks different each night, and it looks different from each vantage point. Watch sunset from a different place each evening: from your hotel or condo, from a sunset-view restaurant, from the corner of Front Street and Papalaua in Lahaina, from S-turns park in Kahana, from Olowalu (just north of the Olowalu General Store), from Kaanapali Beach, from one of the three Kamaole beach parks in Kihei, from Wailea Beach, from the hills of Kapalua, from the top of Haleakala.  It’s one of the most beautiful free things to do in Maui.
On June 21 (the longest day) the sun rises at 5:46 AM and sets at 7:11 PM. On December 21 (the shortest day) the sun rises at 6:59 AM and sets at 5:51 PM. However, depending on where you are watching from, the sun may rise later or set earlier if it is rising or setting behind a mountain or behind Lanai (an island about nine miles away). In addition, the sun rises earlier and sets later when viewed from the top of Haleakala, the tallest mountain on Maui, two miles up. For a list of sunrise and sunset times on Maui for each month of the year, see the Weather page of this website. Remember, best way to see Maui sunset is from a (not horse) but Segway PT, no sweat, ocean breeze and beautiful view of Maui sunset. Reserve your Segway Sunset Tour now to get the open spot for your vacation.

Take the self-guided walking tour. Pick up a free “Maui Historical Walking Guide” booklet in the Lahaina Visitors Center in the old courthouse behind the banyan tree.


FREE SHELL LEI
At Hilo Hattie’s store in the Outlets of Maui (behind Hard Rock CafĂ©) in Lahaina.
HIKING
See this page for where when and how: Maui hiking

WATCH THE SURFERS
Riding the big waves in the afternoon, off Hookipa Park on the north shore, two miles past Paia.
Road to Hana is one of the top ten activities in Maui. We have several option for you to see beautiful tropical rain forest, waterfalls, old Hana town and much more during Hana tour. Don't drive there with your rental car because a car rental insurance will not cover any damages. 
One of a best way how to see Hana is on motorcycle, of course if you have motorcycle license. Reserve now Harley Davidson Motorcycle Guided Tour to Hana 
for the best price. If you prefer luxury and be with your hubby or family only, you have to reserve a private Luxury Road Trip to Hana with Mercedes Benz S-Class sedan, or a tour with a small group in Mercedes Benz Sprinter which will definitely exceed your expectation. If you would like to see Hana and more from a bird view, Helicopter Hana/Haleakala Tour is the right match for you. If you don't mind a bigger crowd, here is the one for you 
Road to Hana’s Hidden Waterfalls Tour. As you can see there is many options for you and if you're still not certain which tour will fit you the best, please don't hesitate to contact us at 808-661-8284 or at https://www.stardusthawaii.com/contact-us/



See glass blowing 10:30-4:00 most days at Hot Island Glass at 3620 Baldwin Avenue (call 808-572-4527 to confirm) in Makawao, or at Limahana in Lahaina where you can even create your own made glass piece which we'll pack for you to take home. Reservation for this Glass Blowing Activity is here. It’s one of the free things to do in Maui that most people don’t expect to see here.

STARRY NIGHT MOVIES AT THE MACC
Family-friendly movies shown outdoors on the lawn at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center one night each month. Go to their website at mauiarts.org and click on Shows, or call them at 808-242-7469 for dates, times, and names of movies for “Starry Night Cinema.”

WAIANAPANAPA STATE PARK
Four miles before Hana. Includes a black sand beach and some trails to explore.

TOUR REAL ESTATE
Look for signs announcing “Open House” at condos and homes all over Maui. Wander in and chat with the real estate agents about condos for sale. Dream about owning a condo on Maui some day. Dreaming those dreams is one of the free things to do in Maui, but unfortunately buying one of those homes or condos is not free.  (Do NOT attend any Time Share sales presentations. Do NOT even consider looking at any Time Share property.)

Once more, we're here to help, you can get cheap air tickets if you coming to Maui with Stardust Hawaii, you can reserve a private residence or condo for best prices in Maui, so there is no need to spend huge amount of money to be with hundreds of other people, we even hand picked a tours which would be best for your kids and family during your stay and they are here.

Don't forget to reserve affordable picture taking by professional, because Photo memories from your vacation in Hawaii are the best. Reserve here.

Please contact us anytime at www.stardusthawaii.com, email info@stardusthawaii.com or via phone at 808-661-8284.



Monday, October 23, 2017

Maui Luxury tours - Discover Maui upcountry in style


Maui Luxury tours - Discover Maui upcountry in style

Ocean Vodka Distillery, Surfing Goat Dairy & Lavender Farm Tour

When visiting Maui, you just got to go on this tour. It is fun, exciting, educational, and a great place to relax and escape the bustling city life. Oh, and did I mention Vodka?

Yes, you heard it right. For the very first stop, we visited the Ocean Vodka Distillery and Farm. Here you can learn how tedious the distillation process can get (in all the best sense of the word) plus you get to see the breathtaking stretch of sugar cane that is processed to make our all-time favorite friend Vodka. How the machinery work is simply astounding and you’d be surprised to find out that everything runs on solar energy! Everything is made organic, and all ingredients handpicked even. You can be 100% sure that no pesticides or chemical substances are found on their produce. It’s inspiring to know that not all innovations are out to feed on Mother Nature. The nicest thing about this tour is that you get to go to the Martini garden where you can see fresh, local ingredients and get a taste of their delightful Vodka. But don’t just take my word for it, be sure to enjoy this firsthand.

 Ocean vodka Luxury tour


Next, we got to see the Surfing Goat Dairy farm. If you love cheese, you just got to go here – no kidding! You get to see adorable farm goats and get more acquainted on how the whole cheese process works. It’s informative and fun at the same time (made me want to feed the goats the entire day). A big bonus for this trip was meeting Charlie. He’s super cute and just plain irresistible. But don’t ask me why or who this intriguing Charlie is, get to meet him yourself!

 Goat farm luxury tour


I’m personally a romantic. So our next and final stop was really memorable for me – the Lavender Farm. Enjoy serene and tranquil sceneries by taking a Guided Walking Tour that typically takes around 30-40 minutes. They also offer a Guided Cart Tour but be sure to book in advance because these carts are pretty popular. Get to see the stunning fields of lavender that stretch far into the horizon. Feel free to enjoy it with a special partner too.

 Upcountry Lavender farm provided by Save on Maui



The tour ends with a delectable lunch set that is both filling and satisfying – definitely the best way to call it a day. Make sure to place an order for your lunch choice while making a reservation.  It is optional at extra cost.  This tour is a blast to experience by yourself but can be extra fun with family and friends. Get to experience the finest works of Mother Nature right here in Maui by taking this one-of-a-kind tour. You will definitely enjoy it – I sure did.

Make sure the tour is available before you come to Maui. Here is where you can check availability https://goo.gl/kt2iLw

Have fun and let me know how did you like it. Aloooooha.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


KAANAPALI ZIPLINE WITH PACIFIC OCEAN VIEW – 8 LINES




8 Line Tour on Kaanapali zipline with Pacific ocean view is Award Winning 8 Line Tour, also voted the #1 zipline course in Hawaii by Hawaii Magazine’s Best of the Best Readers Choice Awards 2014.
After a short briefing, you’ll board one of rugged 4×4 vehicles to begin a journey to the tour location, which is situated on private property above historic sugar cane fields near beautiful Kahoma Valley. After a few minutes on the road and a short trek up an old sugar cane road (hold on…it can get a little bumpy!), our expert tour guides greet you at the Ka’anapali gear pavilion. If you haven’t gotten into the adventure mood yet, that is sure to change as you are outfitted with one of our custom harnesses and the rest of the gear you will need to get you through the next few hours.
Following a bit more familiarization by the guides, it is on to the zipping! As you head further up the mountain, the hustle and bustle of Front Street fades away behind you, and a private adventure lies ahead. The incredible coastal views of Maui and the outer islands of Molokai, Lanai and Kaho’olawe get better and better as the ride continues. A few minutes later you will arrive at your first zipline!
Or choose from many other ziplines we have available at www.stardusthawaii.com
or talk to us directly if you have any questions at 808/661 8284
Fly like a bird over the Maui gulches 

Maui Treasure Hunt Adventure - the best for your family on Maui!


Maui Treasure Hunt adventure


Forewarning: This blog is going to contain one muddy adventure!

When my mom asked me what I would like to have for my 11th birthday – I instantly knew the answer. No it wasn’t Disneyland (I’m not the type to like humanoid mice), I wanted to go somewhere that felt like a real jungle adventure. At first I said I wanted to go to the Amazon but of course no parent would permit that. We live in Pearl City, Hawaii, near the historical Pearl Harbor, so my dad suggested we should go to Maui instead. It has the jungle feel plus it’s not going to rob my father three months of his paychecks. So I was game, my two brothers were really happy to go as well.

This was going to be our first time on Maui as a family and because we don’t exactly know how to go about the place yet, we asked a tour company’s help. I really knew my mom was trying to give me the best time for my birthday and so she went ahead and booked us for a Jungle Treasure Hunt Adventure! The word jungle really tugged on my adventurous spirit and I really wanted to jump up and down out of excitement.  My mom said they also had it in a Savanna version or you can enjoy it together with an Ocean Center Package (1 week free entrance) but since we’re only staying for a couple of days and a jungle adventure is what I came for in the first place, I decided to save the other two the next time we came to visit again.

It was fifteen minutes to 9:00 AM when we arrived at Park n’ Ride Kahului – the meet-up spot. The weather was perfect and my energy was so high I could hike for days. They gave us fair warning of the huge possibility that we’d get down and dirty (literally) so we had working clothes on. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t help the grin on my face from showing. Ready, set, and go! We’re off to start our family adventure.

We first did a bit of hiking through deep forests. The trail was not too long or too difficult; it was just about right to break out a good sweat – ideal for every member of the family to enjoy (even my 7-year old brother handled it splendidly!). The thrilling view of the towering trees and the natural sound of the forest were fascinating. The best part was having a goal to pursue. I felt like a real life treasure hunter: searching for clues, accomplishing tasks, and braving on waters. Because the weather was nice and sunny, we got to swim in a beautiful lagoon. That’s when I realized fresh water would win over pool water any time. We crossed a river and ventured into thicker greens. I was having the time of my life – and I was happy to see my sisters were too!

After a nice hike, we finally did it! We completed the hunt the moment we found the golden treasure chest! The contents of which I will not reveal (I don’t want to spoil the surprise) but it felt so fulfilling to have reached the goal.  I had an achievement photo taken with me and my family on it to commemorate the experience. And more than the treasure we found on the chest, that photo is what I treasured most. I still have it as a keepsake to remember my Maui trip with.


You must be wondering how old I am since I’m storytelling this experience as if I’m in my 90’s. Well, I’m not. I just turned 14 this year (would you find me on the picture?) and am looking forward to more Maui adventures! Maybe next time we’ll get to go on other tours as well. My mom is actually going deaf with my inquiries on when we’ll be going back so I think she’ll give up any time now. Well then, see you real soon Maui!