Simply glance up at the night sky in Maui, and you’re in for a treat. The lack of light pollution on the islands compared to many places elsewhere mean the stars really pop and you can see with immense detail into the depths of the heavens above. Hawaii is quite popular for astronomers as a result, with many of the volcano summits boasting observatories. Whilst you could get a pretty good view in most places on Island, here are our tips for making the most out of the stars whilst on Maui with some top tips and places for stargazing.
What can you see stargazing on Maui?
A lot! At 21 degrees latitude, on Maui you can see both the Northern Hemisphere and most of the Southern Hemisphere as well. Unlike any other state in the USA, in Hawaii you can see both the North Star and The Southern Cross. Wow! In fact, you can see over 80% of the stars visible on planet earth from Hawaii.
For many visitors coming to Maui, simply seeing the milk way, (a bright band of hazy light running through the stars) with the naked eye is breathtaking. Visitors also often comment on the sheer amount of shooting stars they see compared to home.
When is the best time to go stargazing?
The darker it is the better the stargazing will be, and that is why it is better to go on a moonless night. The days before, during or just after each new moon are by far the best for stargazing. Full moon is not the night for stargazing as the stars will appear much dimmer in the light of the moon.
Look out for meteor showers! If your trip coincides with a meteor shower, such as the Perseid Meteor Shower in August, then you will be in for a treat. Check out this calendar for significant stargazing dates.
Where are the best spots for stargazing?
Head out of the towns and cities, away from the light pollution for the best experience of stargazing on Maui. This can be just about anywhere but higher ground will take you up and above most of the light population. Here are just a few suggestions for how to stargaze in style on Maui.
Stargazing at Halekala Summit
Head up the Haleakala volcano summit for sunset and stay on after the sun has gone down to see the night sky light up with stars. At 10,000 feet this really is the best view of the stars on the Island. You can even book tours with an astronomer who will bring to life the night sky with their knowledge of all things celestial. You’ll need to dress warmly for this one, as it gets rather cold up there!
Hyatt Rooftop Tour of the Stars
The Hyatt Regency hotel in Ka’anapali provide their own ‘Tour of the Stars’ from atop their nine-story roof. Look through their telescopes at Maui’s crystal clear skies and learn from the experts about the intricacies of the Universe above you. Tours are at 8pm and 9pm each evening. At 10pm they even do a special adult only tour, which is accompanied by sparkling wine and strawberries to add a touch of romance to the occasion. Reservations are required.
Stargaze at sea on a Sunset sail
Why not take in the beauty of the maui skies over the pacific ocean by taking a sunset sail followed by a spot of stargazing. Most evening boat tours go out in time to watch the sun go down, with the added benefit of introducing you to the stars. Pacific Whale Foundation even do a special celestial cruise, complete with an onboard astronomer!
We hope you get a chance to make the most of the stars next time you’re in Maui. Do you have a favorite spot to stargaze? Share with us in the comments.