Hawaii, the original beach vacation destination. Just the word conjures images of white sand beaches, turquoise shallows and vibrant red Hibiscuses. Close your eyes and feel the warmth of the tropics fade into twilight as a fragrant breeze stirs the palms.
You can be pretty well guaranteed spectacular sunsets and sunrises where an expansive ocean horizon meets a mountainous coastline. Maui is no exception with Mother Nature expertly blending bright hues of yellow, orange, pink and purple. The Pacific serves as the perfect painted backdrop to Maui’s rugged volcanic landscape, while palm trees and hula dancers create intriguing silhouettes at dusk. The following images are amazing, but just a like fireworks display, the true essence of a sunset or sunrise is impossible to fully convey in a photograph. For that, you will just have to experience Maui daybreak and nightfall for yourself.
The Bare Summit of Mt. Haleakala
I should have brought a warmer jacket. Although this is the tropics, at 6:00 am and at 9,800 feet above sea level on the bare summit of Mt. Haleakala it is quite chilly. I've strategically positioned myself before the crowds arrived to get a prime view of the sunrise above the clouds over the extinct volcano. A few minutes after this photo was taken, as the sun first showed itself over the distant horizon, a male voice in the distance chanted the traditional Hawaiian sunrise hymn: "E ala e Ka la i kahikina" or, "Awaken, arise, the Sun in the East."
Photo Credit: Rob Weir
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Secret Cove, Maui
Morning light at Secret Cove, Maui.
Photo Credit: Joe Parks
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Coconut Valley at Sunset
Haleakala National Park, Maui
Sunset in Haleakala National Park, Maui. The sky was pretty blah all day, then blew up into something pretty epic at the last minute. Definitely worth standing around in the cold.
Photo Credit: Joe Parks
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The dormant Haleakala volcano rises 10,023 feet above the beautiful beaches of Maui. At that altitude its a great spot to watch the sunrise and in this photo you can see the sun just starting to cast a warm glow over the moon-like landscape around the crater. You can drive all the way up to the Haleakala summit but get there early as its a popular destination at sunrise.
Photo Credit: Bill Devlin
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Makena Beach AKA Big Beach
Makena Beach lies enveloped by Makena Beach State Park and is affectionately known as 'Big Beach.' Its golden sands stretch nearly a kilometre, making it one of Maui's largest. Anchored by black lava outcroppings on each end, Makena Beach offers sunbathers some seclusion, and skim and body boarders some protection from prevailing trade winds. Pristine water and visitor facilities make this beach a family favorite.
Credit: Hawai'i Visitors and Convention Bureau
This image was taken from Napili Point, which is about a 15 minutes drive north of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. I used a 30 second long exposure to reflect the incredible color of the sky and create a calm look in the water that obscured the usual crashing water of this rugged shore. While I find most nights you can get a beautiful sunset image on Maui, some nights are more spectacular.
Photo Credit: Bruce Irschick
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Wailea Beach Marriott Resort
Young Girl Playing in the Waves
It was a warm evening and approaching sunset, so I walked down with my camera from the hotel, across the road, and to the beach. The beach wasn't crowded. A young girl was playing in the waves as they broke across the beach. The beach formed a bit of a point of land, pointing to the setting sun, and the waves would wash up and curl around from both sides. The setting sun provides a bit of rim light to the girls hair.
Photo Credit: Gord McKenna
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Maui is really a small piece of heaven, truly
Along with my wife and little son, I experienced few magical moments while we were vacationing in Maui in early November of 2013 – this was one of them. Such vibrant mix of colors in sky was astonishing – breathtaking. Maui is really a small piece of heaven, truly.
Photo Credit: Palash Biswas
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A medium sized beach that rarely draws a crowd, Palauea Beach is a local favorite. Recessed into a small bay, sunbathers are sheltered from prevailing ocean winds. Each end of the beach is anchored by rocky outcroppings making it an attractive spot for snorkelers and shore divers. Palaeau translates to ‘lazy’ and the beach alternatively known as White Rock.
Photo Credit: Karma Hill Photography