One of the most unique experiences I've had in Maui was visiting Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. I'd never been to a lavender field or farm in my life, being a Francophile, I thought they only existed n the South of France. I was particularly interested in visiting the lavender fields after spending time with Lani on the Big Island.
She began her foray into agritourism by transforming the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm into what it is today, a destination to visit in Maui. There are lots of farms in the Kula area of Maui, it is a fantastic area to explore, this farm is quite special.
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When florist Ali’i Chang decided to retire he bought the property that the farm is currently on today with the thought he would have a nice quiet retirement. At his retirement party, a friend brought him a lavender plant as a housewarming gift. Not knowing what else to do with it, he planted it. The plant thrived and Ali'i decided to grow more. A few years in, Lani came to visit him and the two of them collaborated to build the thriving business that exists today. Ali'i passed away in 2011 and his son has been carrying on running the farm.
The farm is at 4000 feet elevation on the slopes of the Haleakala creator, the air is crisp and there are spectacular views. It is serene, peaceful, exceptionally designed. There were probably 30 cars in the parking lot when I arrived, but it felt like there was just a handful of people on site. I arrived early for my tour and had about a half-hour to kill so I was treated to one of the boutique's specialty's: a homemade scone with lavender lilikoi jam served with a lavender tea blend (lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, and mint) with lavender honey – delicious!
Belly satisfied and warmed up inside, I took a tour of the property with one of the gardeners, Dustin. He showed us the different varietals of lavender along with the many, many, many other types of plants that were planted by Ali'i Chang and his teams. There are full-time gardeners who pick a dozen bouquets of lavender every day. Some of the harvests go to flower bouquets and the rest goes into lavender-based products that are sold in the boutique and around the world.
Dustin picked various varieties for us to feel and smell. Four of them ended up as a mini-bouquet hanging on the edge of my ONA Bag. I brought them back to my hotel room to enjoy the rest of my stay.
The property is absolutely gorgeous and thus a no-brainer for events such as weddings and small gatherings. There are different spots around the property and a little party house as well. It is truly a stunning backdrop for any event.
It's fun for kids too, the farm has a treasure/scavenger hunt for them to do and when they collect all the spots on the map they get a prize at the shop. I saw several kids doing this and witnessed the biggest smiles on their face when they turned in their maps. There are chameleons all over the property so that is a fun “can you spot them” game…even for adults!
The farm has hundreds of lavender-based products and I bought a few for gifts as well as treats for myself. For the past several years I have slept with a lavender-scented mask and love the relaxing scent. All that walking around made me thirsty and I bought one of their refreshing lavender lemonade for the road. I normally don't like lavender in my food or drinks, but this was seriously awesome. They have an iced tea too, but I was already on the road to my next stop when I was drinking the lemonade so I didn't have time to turn around to try it (although I definitely contemplated it for a moment!).
I really enjoyed myself, the Kula area is absolutely gorgeous and the people at Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, like everyone else I met were super friendly.
The farm is located at 1100 Waipoli Rd, in Kula. The lavender fields are open 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. General Admission is $3.00. They have 2 tours are available and reservations are recommended for any of them:
- Guided Walking Tour which takes 30-40 minutes at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm daily, the cost is $12.
- Guided Cart Tour which lasts an hour. You get to see more of the 13 acres this way. Tour times are at 10:30 am and 2 pm, the cost is $25.
BONUS: If there is a little bit of wind, you can also catch hang-gliders floating above, which is a cool bonus! It is the ONLY place to do it on Maui and they glide right over Ali'i Kula (you can see it in this video really well at 1:49), think I would want to try that on the next trip!
How about you? Have you been to a lavender farm before? Did you know that Maui had such wonderful farms? Would you consider visiting?
My visit to Hawaii was courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, my farm tour was comped. As always, all opinions are my own.
You can also view more of my trip to Maui in my Magnificent Maui Wanderlist on AFAR.
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