Palapala Ho'omau Church was built in 1857 and still stands along Maui's lush coastline, famously known as the burial ground of prominent aviator, inventor, explorer, author and activist Charles Lindbergh.
Forty-one years after his infamous non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, Charles moved to Maui and settled in the remote area of Kipahulu, seeking privacy, beauty and simplicity. In the late 1960's, he spoke out for the protection of both blue and humpback whales and the effect of supersonic transport planes on the environment. After being diagnosed with cancer in 1974, he decided to live out his final days on Maui, and even sketched a simple design for his grave and coffin before his death later that year. You can find the grave of both Charles and his wife under the shade of a Java plum tree at the limestone coral church.
To get here, drive eight miles south of Hana just past the 41 mile marker and turn left when you see a sign for Maui Stables. Stay to the left and you'll see the church a little further down the road. When you arrive, make sure to take a look at the window painting inside the church, which shows a Polynesian Christ dressed in feather capes that were normally reserved for Hawaii's highest chiefs.
Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy lunch in the adjoining park while overlooking the cliffs and serene views of Maui's East coast. If you're an early riser, this church is also known as the first building to meet the sunrise on Maui. Catch it for an unforgettable view and make sure to read Charles' inscription, which beautifully states "...If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea..."
When walking around this area, please be respectful of the land and the people that use the church on a regular basis. This is a special place for those that live here.
Road to Hana Palapala Ho'omau Church sources:
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