Located on Maui’s south-central coastline, this scenic wetland area encompasses about 700 acres and is home to a variety of Hawaiian waterbirds including the black-necked stilt and Hawaiian coot. The Refuge is the site of habitat restoration projects as well as local environmental education, bird watching, photography, and other wildlife-oriented activities.
The Reserve was established in 1992 and is a natural basin for the 56-mile watershed in the West Maui Mountains. A boardwalk over ponded areas allows close-up viewing of native Hawaiian waterbird species as well as migratory waterbirds who come from as far away as Asia, Canada, and Alaska. The ponds were initially created by entrepreneurs beginning an aquaculture catfish venture which closed in 1995. Subsequently the ponds were restored by the Fishand Wildlife Service.
Need To Know
The public is allowed to visit the Reserve for wildlife observation from Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 4 pm. Visitors are allowed access along the Kanuimanu Ponds levees providing a leisurely walk that will also accommodate wheelchairs though it is a bit bumpy. Mornings are best to avoid strong sun and winds. Due to the lack of shade it is recommended you bring sunglasses
sunscreen, and water.
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Reserve is located about one mile north of Kihei on Mokulele Hwy. (Hwy. 311) at the junction of Piilani Hwy. (Hwy. 31) & Mokulele Highway. Look for the entrance road at Milepost 6. Phone: 808-875-1582.