The Surfing Goat Dairy shop sells more
than 25 different cheeses, as well as
snacks and beverages.
A goat dairy, a lavender farm and a winery might not commonly be
associated with Hawaii. But on the island of Maui, the amazing
bounty of its Upcountry region can be enjoyed in a series of
agricultural tours circling the slopes of Haleakala Volcano.
“Look at that goat. Oh! Look at those things,” were the words
that escaped from the ten-year-old in my company upon arriving at
the Surfing Goat Dairy. In all, more than 100 goats reside on the
Owners Eva and Thomas Kafsack, both from Germany, bought the
property in 1999 and opened their dairy five years ago. The state
of Hawaii has only two other goat dairies, both located on the Big
Located about 20 minutes from central Maui and the Kahului
airport (about 35 minutes from south Maui and around 50 minutes
from west Maui), Surfing Goat Dairy is open seven days a week. The
daily tours cost $5 per person and do not require reservations.
Special tours include the Evening Chores & Milking Tours, three
days a week at $10 per person, while the $25 monthly Grand Tours
include a sampling of their national award-winning cheeses produced
on the farm, during an extended two-hour tour.
When we took our tour, two baby goats, called kids, had been
born over the weekend and three more kids were born that day. We
walked to the different pastures where the goats were separated by
age and sex: the first-time mothers from the pregnant mothers, and
the 3½-month kids from the nine-month teens. The seven-year-old
billy goat with his 11-inch horns intact stood his own ground.
The most memorable moments occurred during the milking and
feeding when about 10 goats trotted up a ramp to be milked by
machinery while they ate from the food trough below. Their goat
milk was instantly pasteurized for the cheese making.
And in the petting area, strewn with surfing boards for the
goats to play on, children swept up the kid goats into their arms
with stares of delight.
The Surfing Goat Dairy shop sells more than 25 different
cheeses, as well as snacks and beverages. We tasted the delicious
lilikoi (passion fruit) goat cheesecake and the fresh garlic chives
chevre. All items are available for mail order.
After the first stop on our journey, we headed higher up the
slopes of the volcano, driving another 20 minutes on Kula Highway
to Alii Kula Lavender Farm. At 4,000 feet elevation, the panoramic
views of the distant West Maui Mountains and the ocean shorelines
below were stunning.
Lavender is not a native plant to Hawaii, but its calming
properties suit the healing spirit of Maui. More than 45 varieties
are grown in the cool climate and volcanic soil of the ten-acre
farm, but it is not the 25,000 lavender plants alone that define
this enchanting garden.
The property was once a protea flower farm and more than 125
varieties of the protea flower remain, alongside many other
exquisitely maintained Hawaiian plants and flowers. The meandering
paths through the garden lead to several breathtaking resting
Several different tours
are offered. The 2½-hour Tea Tour, at $35 per person, includes
lavender herb tea and scones and a 45-minute guided walking tour of
the lavender fields, including information about how they grow,
their variety and background and the items that can be made with
The extended Lunch Tour, for $60 per person, includes a culinary
demonstration of a lavender-infused lunch preparation. The gourmet
meal, prepared by Paul Lamparelli of Fed Well Catering, included
lavender lemonade, lavender-seasoned chicken salad, blue marlin
with lavender-infused oil and vinegar sauce, lavender rolls and
All tours require 24-hour advance reservations. Other seasonal
tours include wreath making, gardening classes, holiday
celebrations and special events.
If a tour is missed, visitors have the option of following a
self-guided map to wander through the gardens and stop in at the
Studio Gift Shop. Among the variety of 75 lavender-inspired items
on sale are lavender truffles, fudge sauce, coffee, jams, love
potions, aromatherapy pet shampoo, shaving gel, eye pillows,
scented note cards and cloth embroidered lavender toilet-paper
Continuing the journey on Kula Highway, only about seven miles
farther, but on an increasingly curving roadway, the vistas open to
the green pasture lands and groves of eucalyptus trees and cook
pines surrounding Ulupalakua Ranch.
By now, visitors may realize that everything seems able to grow
on Maui like magic, even vineyards. The 20,000-acre ranch is home
to Maui’s Winery, also referred to as Tedeschi Vineyards. The
winery, a labor of love for the owners, was established in 1974 on
the former sugar plantation grounds and current cattle ranch
The winery is open seven days a week and offers three daily
tours at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. No reservations are
required for the free tour.
The 20-minute guided walking tour of the grounds includes an
overview of the winemaking process and a peek at the bottling,
barrel storage and fermenting rooms. It ends with a private wine
tasting for the group.
All the wines are locally made, some out of pineapple, a popular
The winery distributes two red wines with surprising complexity;
three white wines, including a nice blush; two sparkling wines, one
well-worth its higher price; as well as specialty wines, including
a Raspberry Framboise.
The wines can be sampled and purchased in the Kalakaua Cottage
tasting room, located in a former historic cottage of Hawaii
monarch David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. The tasting room
features a Hawaiian-style 18-foot-long mango tree bar cut from a
single tree, and provides another opportunity to buy Hawaii
specialty foods and gifts.
Loading back into car at the end of the day, drunk on the scents
of the lavender sachet hanging from the rearview mirror, but
certainly not on the wine-tasting buzz, we can say that Maui’s
Upcountry magic provided a fun time for the whole family including
Alii Kula Lavender
Daily tours are $35-$60 per person. Special events offered.
Travel agent commission negotiable.
Maui’s Winery Tedeschi Vineyards
Free daily tours offered and private tours available for 20-75
people. Special events and weddings offered.
Surfing Goat Dairy
Daily and weekly tours are priced at $5-$10 per person.
Monthly Grand Tours are priced at $25 per person.
Special events and gourmet meals offered.
No travel agent commissions, but agents can be placed on a
preferred sales clients e-mail list.