Saving Honolua

The land surrounding Maui's famous pointbreak to become a state park

| posted on April 28, 2013

Ian Walsh, taking in the view from one of Honolua's finest vantage points. Photo: Noyle

The state of Hawaii has allocated $20 million of their budget to purchase 280 acres of land surrounding Maui’s famed Honolua Bay from the Maui Land and Pineapple Company. Once finalized, the state will designate Honolua as a state park. The decision was met with enthusiastic cries of support by members of the Save Honolua Coalition, a group that has been pressuring the state to protect the land from a series of proposed developments, including a golf course and a series of luxury homes.

For more than six years, the Save Honolua coalition has been fighting to preserve the cultural, historical, and archeological significance of the land to ensure that it remains unblemished. According to Tamara Paltin, president of the Save Honolua Coalition, this announcement is a massive leap forward to protect Honolua’s natural state.

“For us the decision by the state to purchase Honolua is a monumental event. Future generations of keiki will be able to enjoy Honolua without any fear of development. It also means we can now focus our attention and efforts on restoring the ecosystem, which has been experiencing significant decline and on community based resource management utilizing Native Hawaiian practices and values.”

The approved budget to purchase the land still has to pass through a number of governmental hoops, but according to Maui’s State Senator Roz Baker, the move should pass without a hitch. “It’s a done deal that this is going to happen, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow or the next day,” Baker told the Maui News. “The funds don’t become available until July, and there’s a process that follows.”

For surfers like Maui’s Ian Walsh, it’s heartwarming to know that Honolua will remain untouched. “Honolua is such an important place on Maui. There’s a lot more to it than just the wave. Getting down there and experiencing the bay, the cliffs, the nature…it’s all a part of the experience. It’s the place as a whole, it’s not just the wave that makes it so special. I’m really happy that they’ve protected the area from development. I’m stoked that my kids and even my grandkids will be able to experience this place the same way I did.”

  • Eesha Williams

    Great news! This shows that people can make a difference.

  • diane king

    .It’s great that Honolua will be spared being surrounded by condos, but once it becomes a state park, I’m afraid it will change it from what it’s always been…somehow, someway Honolua won’t stay the same once the state becomes involved.

  • rudy ramirez also known as Mala Mike

    Awesome,I first surfed the bay in 1963 in search of a secret surf spot on the outer island of Maui,at that time Maui was only known by a few locals.Little did we know that such a place existed. 8’to10′ feet ,slight off shore,perfect lines and no one out.
    Paddling out from the ramp you could only marvel at the blessing bestowed upon us Northshore surfers,no crowds,no aggression,
    perfect tubes,no drop-ins, bliss. I would return the following summer and make Maui my home.From 64′ to 67′,before the California boys showed up,I surfed the Bay by myself day after day until someone showed up. Stoked when one of the 6 surfers of Maui showed up. These days will always burn in my memory,to sit in the line up in front of the Cave and look up the valley,the peace and beauty of this place,unadulterated by humans,it is one of the most magical places on the Planet with one of the best waves in the World. Times have changed,the crowds are enormous,I had my 15yrs at Honolua and now that it can be preserved as I first experienced in 1963 for all future generations is truly a testament to a dream we all share. My thanks and gratitude to the Honolua Coalition for the vision and courage to preserve this Holy site.

  • Tony Carlson

    I remember Honolua Bay as the perfect right hander that was most of the time an open door wave..I surfed it from 1965-1968, and many days I was alone out there by myself on 5′-10′ most memorable day was a wipeout in the middle of the bay on a freak 12′ wave that came rolling thru and I made a late takeoff on this thing of beauty [I had to have it!] and went over the falls..I bounced off a huge flat underwater reef table rock and seriously sprained my left ankle..didn’t realize it until I took off on another wave and couldn’t stand up very long..being out there by myself, I paddled in to the boat ramp, made a temporary pair of crutches out of driftwood , and finally got my board into my Maui 1950 plymouth station wagon..the hard part was using the crutches to do the clutch peddle as this was a 3 speed stick wagon..I made it to the hospital and had it checked out..couldn’t surf for about 6 weeks…I lived in Lahaina back then, my rent for my bachelor pad was $25 a month..a tool shed converted to digs..really good uncrowded times back then..I hope the state park includes the interior of Honolua Bay as it is where the Hawaian people first settled when they came to Maui..many cobblestone works to be found there, altars, taro planters, roads etc., aloha