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The Coconut Chronicles
Volume VIII, featuring Kihei and Wailea
Aloha! Welcome to the eighth edition of "The Coconut Chronicles" presented by Billy and Pete Jalbert, Realtors for the Maui Real Estate Team in Paia, Maui. This month we are highlighting one of Maui's most popular destinations, Kihei. Kihei's abundant sunshine and beautiful beaches make it a favorite for visitors and residents alike.
Each month The Coconut Chronicles presents some properties that may be intriguing to you. There are literally hundreds of active listings to choose from. Our goal is to provide you with a snapshot of some properties that may be right for you! This month we are focusing on Condos in Kihei that are geared towards owner occupants and long term rentals.
While Kihei is known for vacation rental condominiums, there are also a number of complexes well suited to owner occupants looking for more affordable housing options. Generally, these complexes have fewer resort-like amenities. They also tend to have lower maintenance fees. There are two higher end complexes that prohibit vacation rentals. These complexes are popular for retirees, professionals or those that are just not concerned about renting their place when they are off island. The following are some of the condo complexes in Kihei and Wailea that do not allow vacation rentals.
Kihei and Wailea Owner Occupant Condos
Wailea Palms (Formerly the Palms II)
Wailea Fairway Villas
Villas at Kenolio
Southpointe at Waiakoa
Note: This article was published in May of 2005. Prices have since changed for many of these properties. Contact us today for a market update on Kihei and Wailea Owner Occupant Condos.
Maui is an amazingly beautiful and diverse island. In my time here, I have had the good fortune to see many different faces of Maui. Until recently, I have not had the opportunity to see so many of its diverse elements in such a short period of time. That all changed when I decided to take a helicopter tour of the island. I signed up with the good folks at Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for their whole island tour.
The tour departed from the Kahului heliport. After a brief safety review, we lined up to board the helicopter. Seat assignments are based on weight distribution. I had the good fortune to be situated in the front row of our ecostar helicopter. The ecostar is the latest and greatest quiet helicopter with a very open cockpit providing tremendously panoramic views. It is worth the extra money to book this model aircraft. The staff of Blue Hawaiian ensured we were all loaded safely into the helicopter. Our pilot, Jason, started the helicopter and we began our ascent. We pivoted and headed over Kanaha Beach and the beautiful waters of the North Shore. Windsurfers and kite surfers frolicked below us. We pivoted again towards the West Maui Mountains and the Iao Valley. Our helicopter glided up the valley allowing us to look down on the dramatic ridgelines of the West Maui's. The West Maui's are an incredibly steep and inaccessible range. Combined with the lush vegetation, there are parts of these mountains which have never seen human traffic. Pu'u Kukui is the highest peak in the range at 5,788 feet. Jason guided us through the cathedral like green spires of the mountains. The Pacific began to peak through the mountains. We descended through the Launiupoko Gorge Valley to the West Side of Maui.
As we headed towards Lahaina, Jason caught site of something in the waters offshore. A small pod of humpback whales had risen to the surface. The whales were a pleasant surprise as a majority of the humpbacks have already started their journeys back to their summer habitat in the waters of Alaska. It was a unique perspective to see these gentle giants from above. We pivoted again heading south along the west coast of Maui. A small south swell drew many wave riders out along the Lahaina side. I could see surfers bobbing in the water and in some cases surfing the waves at breaks such as Launiupoko, Puamana and Thousand Peaks. When I wasn't watching the surfers, I was transfixed by the vivid shades of blue in the waters below. The coral reefs along the coast stood out sharply in the crystal blue waters.
We left West Maui and crossed Ma'alaea Bay heading towards the beaches of South Maui. Jason pointed at Kaho'olawe and Molokini in the distance. Jason did a great job of narrating our trip explaining, history, geology and landmarks along the way. When he wasn't talking, a medley of Brother IZ (Israel Kamakawiwo`ole) and other Hawaiian singers played gently through our headphones. The arid sun kissed beaches of South Maui were a sharp contrast to the emerald green of the West Maui Mountains where we were just ten minutes before. One of the many remarkable aspects of Maui is that one of the wettest spots on earth situated in the West Maui Mountains is a mere 25 minutes (about 3 minutes by air) from South Maui which averages less than 20 inches of rain per year. The helicopter began to ascend as we rose towards the summit of Haleakala. Green was back but in new shades. The spring greens of Ulupalakua were evident through the halo of clouds that draped along the flank of Haleakala.
As we rose above the clouds, a new face of Maui appeared. Not only could we see the summit of Haleakala but also Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island. The rough hewn surface of the volcano was an impressive site. Scars from recent eruptions were still evident on the south flank. Science City, an impressive array of astronomical instruments was a crown on the summit of the dormant volcano. Jason piloted the helicopter so that we could get a view into the massive crater. At 2 ½ miles long and almost 7 ½ miles wide, the crater could almost contain the entire island of Manhattan. The surface was otherworldly. Craters and cones pocked the surface. Cinder cones or Pu'u rose majestically. I had to laugh as the background music changed to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon during this part of the trip. After banking gently in circles so that both sides could see the crater well, Jason turned us towards the rain forests of East Maui.
As we cruised along the South side of the island, it was amazing watching the vegetation change. The land changed from rough and barren with geology and erosion vivid to the naked eye to a land where thick foliage covered the hillsides. Just past Kaupo we banked towards a massive gorge called the Waihoi Valley. The head of the gorge was the drainage for an area of lush rainforest above. A couple dozen waterfalls spilled down the steep face at the head of the gorge. The falls would tumble for hundreds of feet before hitting massive pools. They would then tumble hundreds more feet. All told, the water was flowing down faces a couple thousand feet in height. It was one of the more spectacular sights I have experienced on Maui.
The rest of East Maui was a series of natural wonders. We flew over huge forests of Koa trees. As we passed over Oheo Gulch, also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, the area became even more lush. The areas on the east side of Haleakala above Hana are some of the wettest on island. It was evident in the electric green foliage and giant ferns that dotted the forest below. Waterfalls were everywhere. At one area called the Cones, there were dozens of streams below. The Cones themselves were recognizable as old volcanic features from past eruptions. It spoke to the drama of their geology that they were discernible at all in the lush foliage.
The lush rainforest began to change as we approached the central valley and our heliport in Kahului. We crossed over towards Makawao and rainforest changed to pasture land, eucalyptus forest and pineapple fields. The pineapple fields soon turned to cane fields. The cane was a sweet green below. The thirsty crops nourished by aqueducts that start in the rainforests we had flown over just minutes before. The airport came into view and we began our descent. In just an hour, I had seen most of the island and its many ecosystems. It was yet another wonderful reminder of how beautiful the place is that I call home.
Blue Hawaii Helicopter offers tours all over Maui and Maui County including tours of the West Maui Mountains, East Maui, Haleakala, and Molokai. Reservations may be made online at www.bluehawaii.com or by calling direct at (800)745-2583 or locally at 871-8844.
Continued in » Coconut Community Spotlight: Kihei
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