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A Driving Tour of Upcountry Maui

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Kula and Alii Kula Lavender
Fernleaf Lavender

Fernleaf Lavender, Alii Kula Lavender

Photo by John Fischer

If you have time, stop by the Holy Ghost Church. Father James Beissel and his mostly Portuguese parishioners built this octagonal church in 1894. It features a decorative hand-carved wood altar given by the King and Queen of Portugal to the Portuguese plantation workers of Maui.

As you pass the Kula Elementary School on the right, you will soon approach Rice Memorial Park on the left. Take the 2nd left after Rice Park onto Junction 377 East. Drive about 1/4 mile, and after rounding a bend, take a quick right up Waipoli Road. Proceed to the top of the road, turning right before the cattle guard onto the cement driveway. Follow the signs to the Alii Kula Lavender Farm.

Where protea once grew, Alii Chang began to grow lavender very much on a whim when a gift of a lavender plant was given to him. Amazed by how well it grew on the slopes of Haleakala, Alii soon bought up all of the lavender plants locally available and ordered more. Today 31 different varieties of lavender grow on the farm and bloom abundantly in the months of June, July and August.

Why lavender? Through the years, lavender has been known to calm nerves, relieve stress, headaches, and insomnia, ease depression, uplift the spirit and arouse passion. Lavender has a slightly earthy, fresh-from-the-fields scent that appeals to both men and women. It's one of the few floras that are the least allergenic, and so versatile it is used in lotions, candles, foods, perfumes and aromatherapy products.

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