Spot a Humpback from the Shore

By Hawaii.com Team

This was taken at dusk on February 24, 2017 from the Mahana at Kaanapali. Off in the distance is Lanai, and if you zoom in there is a humpback photobombing the sunset! Photo: Damon H.


If Maui’s waters are teeming with 40-ton humpback whales, why haven’t you seen one? Try patience, the right location and a little humpback know-how. For example, the best way to spot a whale is to scan the horizon, looking for a blow. Another trick is to watch for a boat that is sitting still for no apparent reason. That’s a good sign there’s a whale nearby.

The Pacific Whale Foundation mans a whale information station at the McGregor Point Lookout on Rte. 30. from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Here’s the place to get tips on sighting whales, answers to questions about whales and the on-site use of binoculars to see them better. Following is a list of PWF’s top picks for whale watching from the shore:
McGregor Point Lookout, between Ma’alea and Lahaina on Rt. 30. Perched high on the cliff overlooking the sea, this lookout is the No. 1 choice for consistently great whale watching.

Pu’u Ola’i, Wailea Alanui Drive, Makena Beach.

Wailea Oceanside Pathway. From Kea Lani Hotel to Ulua Beach. Try it for sunset viewing.

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Office, South Kihei Road, Kihei.

Olowalu. Five miles south of Lahaina on Route 30, you’ll find the Olowalu General Store. Follow the dirt road behind the store up the hill for great vistas.

Lahaina Pali Trail.. The trailhead is on the Honoapiilani Highway (Rte. 30) on the Lahaina side of the tunnel at the Na Ala Hele (Hawaii Trail & Access System) sign.

Black Rock, Ka’anapali Beach. Located near the Sheraton at the northern edge of Ka’anapali Beach.

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