As an artist who sees my body as a canvas for creative expression, the idea of a tree who uses its bark to create brilliantly vibrant artistic (and ever-changing) masterpieces makes me sublimely happy. And that is exactly what the Rainbow Eucalyptus does.
Over the weekend, I went down to Hana to play in waterfall pools, hike through my favorite bamboo forest, and appreciate the fantasyland beauty of the Rainbow Trees.
The Road to Hana (aka my road) is a curvy, narrow, winding road that weaves a magical path 64 miles down the coast to the sleepy rainforest town of Hana, with 620 curves, 54 bridges, ginger-scented air, beaming flower faces bigger than your hand, lush jungle, rugged cliffs, and a seemingly endless number of waterfall pools to relax (or freeze) in along the way. Sound like paradise? It is.
The painted forest of Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees (Eucalyptus Deglupta) is located near the start of the journey, just before mile marker 7 along Hana Highway. These magnificent trees are native to Papa New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and survive only in warm, humid climates (just like me!)
To let out their inner artist, the trees shed their outer layer of bark to reveal a vibrant green layer underneath. As time passes, the bright green slowly fades to a darker green, and then on to blue, purple, pink, orange, and maroon before returning back to brown and beginning the process all over again. Also like me, the trees dislike symmetrical perfection and different layers of bark peel at different times to create a “rainbow” of colors all at one time on the same tree. Genius.
I love finding things in nature that seem almost too crazy to be real. Their mere existence makes the world a decidedly happy place, despite the ugly that has managed to creep its way in alongside all of the beauty in the world. To be able to live in a place that still has so much raw, natural beauty is a massively huge gift… and inspiration. Mahalo, Maui.
How to Find It: First, get yourself to Maui. The Road to Hana begins in the eclectic town of Paia in Maui’s upcountry. From Paia, follow Hana Highway (Hwy 36) past Haiku and on towards Hana. The Painted Forest will be on the makai (ocean) side of the road just a bit before mile marker 7.
** Like these images? You can now bring a piece of Hawaiian Magic (captured with Gypsy flair) into your own home. Most images in my blog posts will be available for order in print or canvas form via my Gypsy Photography Shop on Etsy. Click on an image in a blog post that you like to be taken directly to its shop listing, or browse all of the art pieces on the main Storefront. Perfect for gift giving… just in time for the Holidays!!
Road to Hana Tips:
– Start your journey with plenty of gas in your tank
– Allow a full day for Adventuring to and from Hana
– Drive with Aloha. It’s Maui, not the Mainland.
– If a local wants to pass, let them. Just imagine making that commute every day amidst 1000 tourists cars 🙂
– Drive carefully so you don’t ruin a tow-truck driver’s day
– Stop at one of the roadside stands for Banana Bread
– Keep the windows down so you can enjoy the enchanting scent of rainforest, ginger, and tropical flowers…or better yet, rent a convertible
– DON’T HIT A COW
– Remember… It’s about the Journey, not the Destination. Take your time so that you can fully enjoy every single one of the 620 curves and 54 bridges 🙂