Ten years ago, Smithsonian Magazine printed an interesting article about just how pineapples came to be so prolific across the Hawaiian islands. One of the more intriguing bits included here was that the year before, the second most-visited tourist attraction throughout the state of Hawaii was the Dole pineapple plantation with a whopping 1.24 million visitors. That’s a lot of interested pineapple travelers! A lot has changed since then and no pineapple plantation has made the top ten visiting attraction list in recent years — but maybe it’s time to change that back. Especially when there are amazing outfits like the Maui Pineapple Tours operating out of the Maui Gold Plantation.
The Maui Gold Plantation grows its award-winning, globally beloved fruits in Upcountry Maui on the slopes of the Haleakala. Is it ash from long ago Haleakala eruptions that give the Maui Gold pineapples their renowned sweetness? Or maybe it’s the intermittent rains frequent on this part of the island? Those curious for the answer will just have to sign up for the Maui Pineapple Tours!
The Maui Pineapple Tours take place within the tiny plantation town of Haliimaile where Maui Gold bases its operations. In addition to viewing the farms where the pineapples are grown, some of the tours also go through the Haliimaile Distilling Company’s distillery where sweet Maui Gold pineapples get transformed into sweet sipping vodkas.
Let’s take a look at these two and other tour options offered by the Maui Pineapple Tours group.
Classic Pineapple Farm Tour
This is the bread and butter of the Maui Pineapple Tours. This option happens every day, twice a day, and lasts for about an hour and a half. Guests of all ages are invited to come aboard a cool air-conditioned vehicle as they are guided throughout the Maui Gold plantations. An expert and friendly guide leads the way, offering fun and engaging information about pineapples and the processes of this popular farming operation. Guests will also get to peek inside the packing facility to see just how their pineapples get packaged and sent on their way. Every participant in this farm tour will likewise go home with their own packaged pineapple that is ready for air flight (or ready eating).
Haliimaile Distillery Tour
This is a shorter tour that takes place only within the Haliimaile Distillery. It is offered several times throughout the weekdays and lasts for between 30 and 45 minutes. The 30-minute tour does not include the end tasting option where guests are invited to sip the vodka made from Maui Gold pineapples.
Field to Glass Tour
You will want to call ahead for this tour as it is only offered seasonally, during the most popular months. This is a more in-depth tour that takes guests through the entire process of farming pineapples to distilling them into the vodka sold at Haliimaile Distilling Company. It’s a pretty incredible tour, but due to its longer and more involved nature, might not be a top pick for those with young children.
Private Pineapple Tour:
Finally, those not wanting to share their pineapple tours with others or who otherwise want a more unique and intimate experience can opt for a private tour. The staff at Maui Pineapple Tours are incredibly flexible and willing to create tailored tours for interested guests. Just be prepared for a higher ticket price than any of the listed options.
-Consider booking a tour before or after lunch and making the Haliimaile General Store your go-to lunch spot. This popular restaurant features lots of locally sourced ingredients and foods with delicious options like Tropical Shrimp Salad, Crab Pizza, and a BBQ Pork Sandwich.
-Unlike what you may experience elsewhere on the island, Maui Pineapple Tours does not operate on island time. And while maybe not the #2 most visited attraction in Maui, they are pretty popular and get pretty busy. So first, make sure to book early, and second, make sure to arrive on time (ideally also a bit early).