Almost everything that goes to Hawaii island arrives at the Kahului Harbor. In addition to cargo ships, cruise ships dock at Kahului Harbor to off-load passengers. Kahului Harbor offers great shopping and recreational opportunities and several tourist attractions.
Kahului Harbor gas a tropical wet and dry climate with dry summers and a rainy season that lasts from October through March. Temperatures range from an average high of 31°C (88°F) in August and September to an average low of 19°C (67°F) in January.
Visitors to Kahului Harbor will want to see the Maui Botanical Gardens. Open every day except Sunday with free admission, the gardens were created in 1976 to conserve Hawaii's native plants of the dry forest and coastal areas. The gardens also boast many Polynesian-introduced plants. In addition to a greenhouse, the gardens have a shade house for plant propagation, picnic tables, restrooms, and a playground. One of the Gardens' objectives is incorporating and demonstrating water conservation methods like xeriscaping.
Located about 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) east of Kahului Harbor is Kanaha Beach Park, one of the world's best surfing and windsurfing beaches. Kiteboarding has become more popular in recent years. Most of the visitors to Kahului Harbor's Kanaha Beach Park are locals, and the beach is very long so that it is easy to find secluded spots. Open from 6:30am to 10pm every day, lifeguards are on duty from 8am until 4:30pm. A camping area is open to overnight campers except for the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the month. Kanaha Beach Park has many amenities including two bathhouses with toilets, porta-potties at the campground, outdoor showers, picnic table with barbeque pits, and three wheelchair accessible volleyball courts. The Lae'ula O Kai Canoe Club uses a canoe halau at the Park.
Once a royal fishpond, the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary is located between Kahului Harbor and the Kanaha Beach Park. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to two endangered bird species: Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt. Canadian geese also stop at the large pond during their winter migration. Because it is a protected wildlife sanctuary, visitors may not fish or swim there. Admission is free, and there is a small parking lot at the entrance gate.
Surfers will find the beach at Waiehu to the immediate northwest of Kahului Harbor, although they may face competition from body boarders. Waves come in doubles-up and triples-up, and they are very thick waves. Experienced surfers report that the wave quality is "epic," and surfers should be pro or kamikaze. Swell size grows from less than a meter (<3 feet) and grows to three meters (10 feet). There is no best time for surfing. Surfers should watch for sharks, urchins, rips or undertow, and pollution.
The Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului Harbor opened in 1994 as a classic venue for the visual and performing arts and a place where community residents can gather and celebrate together. The non-profit center welcomes over 260 thousand people each year who come to attend as many as 1800 events that include hula, music and theater productions, taiko drumming, children's art, acrobatics, and storytelling.
Travelers who want to visit Kahului Harbor by sea can find a list of cruises at the Cruise Compete website.