Visiting the Nakalele Blowhole
About Nakalele Blowhole
The Nakalele Blowhole is located in the far North of Maui, Hawaii. It is a natural geyser where the ocean gets trapped in an underwater lava tube. Needing a way to escape, the Nakalele blowhole is born. The outlet is only about the size of a large tire but it can be extremely powerful. As you make your way down there are signs warning you not to get too close and to stay on dry rock. A man was actually killed in 2011 because he stood too close and was sucked into the blowhole. You can read the article here.
On days where the surf is up and there is a bit of wind the blowhole can reach a height of up to 100 feet! Sometimes larger waves can sweep up over the lava rock which is why it is important to not get too close. Make sure you observe the surf for a few minutes before venturing closer.
Keep an eye out for the famous heart shaped rock while you are here too!
How to get there
When in Maui we were staying at Kaanapali so it wasn't a far drive, about half an hour. It is pretty easy to find, you drive north along state highway 30 until you reach Honokohau Bay at the 38.5 mile marker. There are signs saying Nakalele Point and Blowhole, that's when you'll know your at the right place.
It's a beautiful drive here, make sure you take a moment to enjoy the scenery! We had hired a Jeep Wrangler and had the top down the whole way which was great fun. We even caught the sunset on the way back which was even better! There are pitstops on the side of the road where you will often see cars parked up enjoying the view. Sitting out of the Jeep watching the sunset was almost the best part of this adventure, almost...
When to go
We went late afternoon, we arrived at the blowhole around 4pm which was quite a nice time to go as it wasn't busy and there was plenty of parking. We were looking for a way to kill some time that afternoon and felt like going for a drive before dinner so it was quite a last minute decision. If I was to go again I would recommend checking the tides, as the blow hole will be much more spectacular if you visit it a full tide!
It is also great to visit this blow hole in the morning as there is often a rainbow that forms in the mist! Just stand with the sun towards your back if you want to see this.
Jandals, yes or no?
Being a kiwi, I live in jandals. We wear them everywhere, and I mean everywhere! If you are planning observing the blow hole from the top and not walking down the rocks to get a better view (which I would recommend) then jandals will be fine. It might be worth wearing trainers if you want to get closer as some of the rocks can be quite unstable and it is easy to loose your footing in jandals! If you wear jandals everywhere like I do then you will probably be fine.
Once you get to the bottom the rock is a lot flatter and it a great place to sit and watch the blow hole from. If you don't want to walk right to the bottom there are plenty of rocks you can perch yourself on.