Sign Up for Our Monthly Family Getaways Newsletter
Punakea Palms is a family affair. Island-raised owner Kai McPhee runs the west Maui coconut farm with his wife, Megan (the couple got married on an oceanview bluff there). His father — who planted the estate’s coconuts more than 10 years ago — lives on the farm with Kai’s mom and Kai’s sister and her kids.
A similar spirit of ohana (family) extends to guests on Punakea’s two-hour tours, which offer a lively look at Hawaii’s iconic coconut.
Participants can stroll around the upcountry expanse while admiring its 250 coconut trees — some of which are as tall as 100 feet. Visitors taste-test water from just-opened coconuts in various stages of maturity, and they munch on coconut meat of differing ripeness.
The experience culminates in an outdoor exhibition kitchen, where guests get involved in making — and slurping — their own coconut milk. Everyone receives a souvenir bottle of the rich, creamy results.
“Once you put coconut milk in your coffee or cereal, it’s game over,” McPhee said. “You’ll never go back to regular milk.”
McPhee makes learning fun as he talks about the many uses of the coconut, from its oil and fiber to its health benefits. He tailors conversations to the interests of each group, and he engages youngsters, asking them to describe what they are tasting and seeing. Since tours are limited to 10 people, multigenerational groups can take over the entire booking.
Guests can also browse the farm’s new gift shop and pick up coconut-centric keepsakes, such as T-shirts, hats and cooking tools.
McPhee encourages families to bring a picnic lunch, which they can enjoy after the tour on the oceanview bluff. Plans call for the addition of a cafe selling fresh tastes from the farm.
“Personally, I have never met a coconut I didn’t love,” McPhee said. “I hope visitors feel the same way by the end of the tour.”
The DetailsPunakea Palmswww.punakeapalms.com