Imagine hiking through one of the most biologically rich areas in Hawai'i that is also home to hundreds of plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. This becomes a reality
just one day per year, when LifeFest Kapalua offers fewer than a dozen individuals the unique opportunity to hike into Pu'u Kukui Preserve, the largest private preserve in the state.
Regarded as the most exclusive hike in Hawai'i, the one-day Pu'u Kukui Nature Walk will be held,
weather permitting, on Friday, September 23, 2005. In the
morning participants will be flown via helicopter from Kapalua
to the 5,788-foot Pu'u Kukui summit of Mauna Kahalawai (a.k.a
West Maui Mountains). The hike will take place on the 16-inch
wide, 2-mile long Pu'u Kukui Preserve boardwalk where participants
will descend to approximately the 4,500-foot elevation mark.
The interpretive tour will focus on the unique natural communities
of the Hawaiian mountain bogs and cloud forests, and the
rare native flora and fauna found there. Discussions will
also include details on the innovative management agreement
with the State of Hawai'i's Natural Area Partnership Program
and specific operations designed to preserve the natural
biodiversity and watershed capacity of the area.
As hikers weave their way through the
Pu'u Kukui bogs and cloud forests on the constructed boardwalk,
a Maui Land & Pineapple Company field naturalist will educate
participants on the area's natural history and how it is
being preserved for future generations. Spanning 8,661 acres,
P'u Kukui Preserve is home to 12 of Hawai'i's 150 distinct
plant communities, nearly 300 known species of native plants
- including seven on the nation's Endangered Species
List - and hundreds of different insect species, many of
which scientists have yet to identify.
"The preserve is home to a host of plant and animal species that exist nowhere else on the entire planet," said Randy Bartlett, Preserve Manager for Maui Land & Pineapple Co. "Our mission is to protect these native Hawaiian species by conserving their
natural habitat as it has evolved and existed prior to man's (even Polynesians) arrival on these islands."
"The Pu'u Kukui hike is a once-in-a-lifetime
experience we are honored to offer during LifeFest Kapalua,"
said Karin Sagar, Vice President of Marketing for Kapalua
Land Company, Ltd. "It's a unique opportunity to understand
the fragile ecosystems and our efforts to protect the environment
for generations to come."
The cost of the Pu'u Kukui Nature Walk
is $1,200 per person and reservations are on a first-come
basis with a limit of eleven (11) participants for the September
hike. The fee includes helicopter transportation to and
from (unless precluded by unsafe weather conditions) the
site with spectacular views, a gourmet lunch packed in your
commemorative backpack, beverages and snacks. A portion
of the entry fee benefits the Pu'u Kukui Preserve management
program. This excursion is limited to adults in good physical
condition 18 years and older. For complete information and
a hiking application, please download the
following forms and fax back to (808) 669-2063.
For those nature enthusiasts who would
prefer a moderate hike, LifeFest Kapalua is offering the
Kahakuloa Cultural Experience which will take participants on
an incredible journey north of Kapalua to the historic village
of Kahakuloa. The 5-hour tour includes an exploration of
Nakalele Point, incredible lava formations, blow hole and
green turtle watching and a hike through the Kahakaloa valley
where participants learn about the ancient Ahupua'a
farming system still intact and operating today. The cost
of the cultural tour is $100 per person and limited to 24
participants. It includes a continental breakfast and a LifeFest Kapalua t-shirt.
The Kahakuloa Cultural Experience and the Pu'u
Kukui Nature Walk will be held in conjunction with LifeFest
Kapalua, Hawai`i's premier health and wellness event
scheduled September 23-25, 2005. LifeFest Kapalua features
three empowering days of inspiring lectures, workshops and
panels with the country's most renowned fitness and
wellness experts; the island's largest Health Expo;
a Power Walk; a long-distance Hawaiian canoe race; the 4th
Annual Maui Medical Update CME Program for health professionals;
the Plantation Pau Hana (closing reception); and interactive
workshops with Hawaiian health practitioners including:
Pulo'ulo'u, a traditional Hawaiian sweat-lodge; and
E ala E, a traditional Hawaiian awaken the sun ceremony.
For more information on LifeFest Kapalua,
or to register for the hikes, email firstname.lastname@example.org;
or phone (866) 669-2440.
Download the following
forms to sign up for the Pu'u Kukui Hike:
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