Alau Island, Maui: Where The Heck Is This?

If you’re planning your first trip to Maui, places like Haleakala and Lahaina are obvious must-sees, but what about Alau Island?

A short stop on the magnificent Hana Highway, Alau Island is an underappreciated gem. Located just past the town of Hana, and part of a small coastal stretch with much to take in, Alau Island is easy to find once you know where it is.

But, where is Alau Island, exactly?

Alau Island as viewed from Koki Beach

Where Is Alau Island, And How Do You Get There?

The Road to Hana is a scenic drive that can take drivers all the way around Maui and passes through towns both big and small, and Maui’s tropical rainforest. The Hana Highway is a top attraction for many visitors to Maui. 

What makes the Road to Hana so incredible isn’t its terrifying bends and heart stopping blind corners—it’s the awe-inspiring sights you discover along the way. One of these places is Alau Island. 

Alau Island is pretty far along the Road to Hana. In fact, you’ll pass Hana itself before reaching the viewpoint, but it’s earlier than the Ohe’o Gulch, and makes for a well-timed rest.

How To Get To The Alau Island Viewpoint

To reach the viewpoint for Alau Island, carry on past the town of Hana, following Highway 360. Turn onto the Haneo’o Road. 

As you drive down Haneo’o Road, you’ll eventually meet the coast, offering a first glimpse of Alau Island. Continue down Haneo’o Road, and pull off to the left at the Koki Beach Overlook.

From here, you get a great view of Alau Island and its crown of palms sitting serenely in the water.

To get a better look, walk down to Koki beach. 

Why Visit Alau Island?

A drive along the Road to Hana is one of the main reasons for renting a car on Maui. With so many fascinating places to see, choosing what makes the list is difficult. But Alau Island only needs to be a short break, and Koki beach is a great place to enjoy a smoothie and a slice of banana bread.

  • Koki beach, the best place to view Alau, is made distinctive by its red sand . Sit and watch the surfers, and enjoy the swaying of Alau Island’s palm trees in the distance.
  • Turn your head to the north, and you’ll see Ka Iwi O Pele, a red cinder hill. Hawaiian Mythology saw this as the area where the bones of the volcano goddess Pele were scattered after a fatal battle with her sister, the goddess of the ocean.
  • Look to the sea, and you’ll find the Leho’ula sea arch. 

One of the best ways to enjoy the Road to Hana is on a coach tour. But if you do take the coach, make sure to ask the driver to make a stop for Alau Island.

Don’t Forget To Visit Hamoa Beach!

A short drive on from Alau is Hamoa beach, one of Maui’s most stunning beaches. It’s a perfect crescent shape, ringed with trees and populated with surfers.

It’s almost hard to believe that Hamoa beach is real, with white sand, clear seas, and trees dancing in the wind. Although it can get busy, it’s just out of the way enough that the crowds are never huge.

Carry on along Haneo’o Road, past Koki beach. You’ll likely notice cars parked along the road. Find a place to park, and follow the path down to the beach. It is a bit steep, but the views are worth it.

So, Where Is Alau Island?

Alau Island is off Haneo’o road, a short detour along the Road to Hana.

It’s visible from Koki beach, and the waving palm trees on top of the small island are sure to catch the eye.

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