Experience the Sweetest Pineapple in the Country on the Maui Pineapple Tour
When I was younger, I remember watching Blue Hawaii with Elvis Presley – specifically the scene where they ate fresh pineapple wrapped in parchment paper. I remember thinking to myself, “I wanna do that some day!” Well, that day had finally come! This was my third time to the Islands of Hawaii, the second time to Maui, and the first time to Maui with Frank and the boys. Plus, it was my first time to go on a Maui Pineapple Tour!
I was so excited when the Maui Pineapple Tour pitched me and asked if our family was interested in taking the tour during our visit. I am so glad we did it! We met up in a dirt parking lot where we were greeted by the tour guide, Steve. He was not only full of knowledge, but really funny and he knew how to slice the heck out of a pineapple.
ABOUT THE MAUI PINEAPPLE TOUR
The Maui Pineapple Tour is the only place in the United States where you can take a tour of a producing pineapple plantation – the Hali’imaile Pineapple Plantation! This tour is situated in the historic plantation village of Hali’imaile and takes you on an exclusive experience of Maui’s pineapple heritage. It is definitely an experience everyone who visits Maui should have. We started our tour on a bus and drove through the pineapple fields, learning about the different stages of growing pineapple.
But before we headed to the fields, we visited the packing plant. There are various stages that the pineapples go through before they’re packaged and shipped and we learned all about them. First, they are sorted by color and size. The green ones go to the mainland and the golden ones stay on the islands, since they are closer to be ripe.
Then the pineapples are placed in a large container of water, which is recycled back into the reservoir. If they float, they are kept. If they sink, they are rejected, because they may have a hole in them or be rotting from the inside. Once they pass the float test, the pineapples go through a high pressure rinse system and then are waxed.
Before going through the packaging process, the pineapples are tested for their acidity levels. The Maui Gold Pineapple is 15% acid and 85% sugar. That would explain why they are so sweet and amazing!
After seeing where the pineapples were packaged, we headed to the cooler. The cooler is kept at 50˚F and Ozone is put back into the air to prevent the growth of bacteria. From here, the packages of pineapple are loaded into trucks and shipped out.
Before heading out to the fields to taste the pineapple, we were each given a pineapple to take back with us. They were even packaged up so we wouldn’t have any trouble carrying them onto our flight. But I have to admit, we only made it back with 2 pineapples because they were just so dang yummy!! We even shared with friends and family and they said it was the best pineapple they’d ever had in their life – that definitely says something!
On the tour, we got to visit the sprawling pineapple field and see the various stages of growth of the pineapples. Did you know that all of these pineapples are planted by hand? We learned that 6,000 pineapples planted a day is equivalent to $40 an hour. Wow! The workers make piece rate – based on how many pineapples they plant. They plant the crowns and then let them dry for a month, making the plants less susceptible to mold.
It was awesome seeing the fields filled with fresh pineapple. Oh man and did they smell good!!! We learned that there are over 200 varieties of pineapple and it takes about 18-24 months to grow one. Before Maui Gold Pineapple, the company went by the Maui Pineapple Company and supplied 15% of the pineapple nationwide at one point!
After touring the packing plant and fields, it was time to bite into some sweet and juicy pineapple – yes! Steve picked out about 4 or 5 pineapples from the field and began slicing them for everyone in the group. He even brought along baby wipes for our sticky fingers afterwards. Good thinking!
ABOUT THE HALI’IMAILE PINEAPPLE LUNCH FOLLOWING THE TOUR
After the plantation tour, enjoy a locally grown upcountry lunch that is a Maui favorite on the slopes of the Haleakala Volcano. At lunch, you will be presented with a choice of freshly prepared entrées to compliment the farm and agricultural component experienced during the tour. Each entrée showcases some of Hawaii’s finest locally grown produce, and you’ll taste why they’re the locals’ favorite fruit.
MAUI PINEAPPLE TOUR TIPS
– You should wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat and non-white clothing that may get dirty. We wore flip flops and were just fine – just a little dirty at the end.
– Guests with back or neck problems should note that this tour includes driving through open fields and you may encounter uneven, bumpy terrain.
– Minimum age is 5 years old.
– Guests who are pregnant should not participate on this tour.
– Guests will check in 15 minutes prior to the tour at the Pineapple Tour Bus (located near the Hali’imaile General Store).
– The tour is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes long and includes a tour of the pineapple factory, commentary/history of Maui Gold Pineapple, driving tour through the pineapple fields, and a tasting of the sweet fruit.
– Each guest will also leave with their very own boxed Maui Gold Pineapple.
– Tours are available 7 days a week at 9:30 am or 11:45 am with lunch to follow for guests with reservations. Lunch add-on is NOT available on weekends.
MAUI PINEAPPLE TOUR FUN FACTS
– This is the only place in the United States of America where you can tour a producing pineapple plantation.
– Pineapples and “Hawaii” are synonymous and you have a chance to taste freshly picked varieties in the field on this tour.
– You’ll learn fun facts about pineapple how they’re planted and harvested, and even get tips on how to grow your own!
You don’t want to miss out on the Maui Pineapple Tour the next time you visit Maui. It’s an awesome experience for the entire family! For more information on The Maui Pineapple Tour, be sure to follow them on Facebook.