The Maui Butterfly Farm

The Maui Butterfly Farm - The Only Place to Experience a Live Butterfly Tour in Hawaii
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Maui Butterfly Farm is uniquely the only butterfly farm in the state of Hawaii where visitors can tour the facilities and experience hundreds, thousands of butterflies flying about them. This is an outstanding experience for those interested in learning more about these nifty pollinators and who want to get up and close to butterflies in all of their life stages. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

As you drive about Maui, undoubtedly one of the things you will notice is just how much plant life there is. From wild lowland rainforest flowers to plantations with rows of coffee beans and everything in between, Hawaii loves its plants. But what do plants love? Pollinators. Pollinators are what makes this island thrive and one of the best type of pollinators along the Hawaiian island are butterflies, and one of the best ways to learn about these hardy insects is by visiting a place like the Maui Butterfly Farm.

The Maui Butterfly Farm is located on the west side of Maui within the community of Olowalu. It is pretty easy to spot the building as it is just off of Honoapiilani Highway, the main highway that wraps around the coastline. The farm got its start in 2007 when a husband and wife duo bought a plot of land and dreamed of making a big, positive change. That change came in the form of raising butterflies. 

Today, the Maui Butterfly Farm has grown from a small operation to a large multifaceted one. The primary mission of the farm is and has always been to preserve and encourage native butterfly species on the island. In addition to aiding farmers and the local environment, the farm also sells live butterflies for use in events like weddings and special ceremonies and offers public awareness tours on its own grounds. In all of these business activities or services, there is an emphasis on showcasing the butterflies alive and encouraging their natural use as pollinators. 

The tour, of course, is the biggest draw for visitors to Maui. The Maui Butterfly Farm can boast the unique designation of being both the oldest butterfly farm in the state and the only butterfly farm that offers these live butterfly tours in Hawaii. 

The live butterfly farm tour takes visitors through the many different buildings and butterfly greenhouse tents of the Maui Butterfly Farm. Visitors will see and learn about the different life cycles of butterflies and see the many different species of butterflies that are endemic to the state of Hawaii. This is a guided tour by one of the experienced staff and butterfly takers at the Maui Butterfly Farm.

Learning and seeing butterflies in their natural habitat is cool. But what is really unique and what keeps drawing visitors to and back again is that the Maui Butterfly Farm encourages a more hands-on experience. Visitors on the tour are invited to handle eggs and crawling caterpillars that are in their middle stages. If you go at the right time and you have a bit of luck, you may even get to watch a butterfly birthing itself from the cocoon. Towards the end of the tour, when you enter the butterfly greenhouses, there is the opportunity of drawing the butterflies to your hand. The tour guide generally gives each interested guest on the tour a flower or similar item with nectar. Then, people are encouraged to hold out this treat out to draw the butterflies’ interest. More often than not, this works and visitors will have butterflies landing and sucking out the sweet nectar. All the while, hundreds of other butterflies are zooming in and out around you. 

The tour at the Maui Butterfly Farm is not very long. It lasts about an hour and the price may feel steep for that short of time (Adult admission is $34 and Child (2 to 10 years of age) admission is $26). However, most visitors feel the price is worth the experience, and we would certainly recommend a tour here for those who love all things wild and free. 

Insider Tip:
There is a lot to hold your interest on the block of this farm’s entrance. The neighboring Olowalu General Store is a good place to stock up on small item essentials and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop offers an ideal place for farm-fresh dining. So consider coming to this corner with an appetite!