Hawaii Guide


The Iao Needle, Maui

The Iao Needle Maui is located in the Iao Valley near Wailuku near the centre of the island. The Iao Valley was once a sacred burial ground for the chiefs of the Island and was also the stage of the last battle between the inhabitants of Maui and the Big Island towards the end of the 18th Century. It is hard to imagine so many decades later that this lush and tranquil valley, which is home to the Iao Needle, was a place that witnessed unimaginable carnage. There is a stream that runs through the bottom of the valley that is dissected by a number of short but interesting trails. The Needle is immediately visible as you approach the valley it is the point rising out valley, hence were it gets its name from. The Iao Needle is in fact the highest part of a jagged ridge that runs through the valley. An erosional remnant composed of basalt this feature rises to a very impressive 2250 feet above sea level!

The Iao Valley itself extends over ten miles and comes to a head in the form of an circular amphitheatre. The valley is home to a number of different species of animal, bird and plant life and hosts spectacular waterfalls, pools and hiking trails.

As well as the Iao Needle the valley has other spectacular sites such as the Kepaniwai Heritage Garden which is a park that holds traditional architectural designs of Polynesian style houses. The Iao Valley Botanic Garden is not to far from here and is the perfect picnic spot for the family with numerous tables and benches supplied. The best time to visit the gardens is either in the early hours of the morning or in the late afternoon at both these times the sun's rays descend into the valley creating an almost numinous feel. Opening hours are from 7am to 7pm.

For further queries please write to:

Iao Valley State Park
State Parks and Recreation
54 High Street
Room 101
Wailuku, HI 96793

Or please phone 808 984 8100