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3 Maui Whale Watching Places

Whales are one of the many great things about winter in Maui. Every year, winter storms sweep through the North Pacific and cool down ocean temperatures while the waters around Maui remain warm, often hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is this ideal for Hawaiian travelers, but humpback whales, false killer whales, pilot whales and more congregate around these warm waters to wait out the winter and to breed, calve and nurse their young.

This means from around mid-October to mid-May, there are few better places in the world to go whale watching than Maui. This amazing and unparalleled experience is hard to describe to newcomers. Adult North Pacific humpback whales reach measurements upwards of 50 feet long and weigh around 40 pounds. Yet despite this girth, they are nimble and athletic, often hurling their bodies over 40 feet out of the water.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Whale Watching Trip This Winter

1. Book a whale watching cruise.

There is simply no better way to get an up-close-and-personal whale watching experience than by boat. Plus, with tours going out just about every time of day, there really is no excuse not to add this to your Maui travel itinerary. The reason boat whale watching tours are so incredible is the Hawaiian law that says boats can neither approach a whale within 100 yards nor leave an area if a whale comes within 100 yards. So what many captains will do is anticipate where sighted whales are headed and place the boat strategically in their path. Oftentimes, the whales will come over for a visit and put on fantastic displays to the wonder of those aboard.

2. Underwater viewing is just as amazing.

If you enjoy snorkeling, swimming or diving, then you have access to another wonderful type of whale sighting experience. Actually, it's not a sightseeing experience, but a hearing one. If you put your head under the water and stay as quiet as possible, you can often hear the haunting songs of the humpback whales.

3. Be smart about where you watch from land.

If you want to watch whales frolicking in the distance while you lounge on the beach, consider these suggestions. The first tip for whale watching by land is to scan the ocean surface for spouts of steam. Chances are if you wait long enough, those spouts of steam will turn into the sleek curves of whales popping in and out of the water. Good places to watch for whales include:

  • Maalaea Bay
  • Makena Beach Park
  • D.T. Fleming Beach
  • McGregor Point Lookout

Book a Maui Helicopter Flight & Catch Sight of Whales From Above

Finally, if you want a totally different perspective of the frolicking whales, then book a helicopter flight. Tours like Molokai Voyage are perfect because part of the tour includes soaring over the Pailolo Channel between Maui and Molokai where you’ll have a great chance at sighting these gigantic ocean mammals playing in their natural environment. To learn more about this or other Maui helicopter tours, contact us today!


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