Hawaii’s Ranch Lifestyle – Kula, Maui
Vast expanses of range and pasture land that blanket the upper slopes of Haleakala continue to remain, for the most part, undeveloped. A significant portion of this pristine acreage is maintained as ranch land by kamaaina families who acquired the properties more than a century ago.
The largest of the ranches, Haleakala, Kaonoulu, and Ulupalakua, represent a combined total of approximately 60,000 acres extending from sea level to just below Haleakala National Park at approximately 10,000 feet.
Prior to European contact, Hawaiians farmed sweet potatoes and dry land taro on the slopes of Haleakala and cultivated sandalwood and koa trees, an enterprise that is being re-introduced today. In the mid 1800s, the newly arrived Europeans began growing crops to supply merchant ships, as well as sugar cane and cotton. The transition from farming to ranching occurred around the turn-of-the-century, when the pastures of “upcountry Maui” began supporting large herds of beef and dairy cattle, as well as sheep. The Kula area became the epicenter of horse and cattle ranching on the island, and remains so today.
Some of the land of the three major ranches in recent years has been dedicated to conservation, watershed, and forest preserves. Selected parcels have been released for ranch estates. Buyers of these properties are assured that the privacy and seclusion they seek are protected by the agricultural zoning that prevails throughout the area.
Currently, a 52.697-acre ranch estate at Kula is being offered by Realtor Wendy Rice Peterson of Sotheby’s International Realty and Broker Billy Jalbert of The Maui Real Estate Team at $4,975,000. The property, which includes an 875-square-foot cottage, a large barn with a garage and workshop, and a private well, consists of two parcels of 38 and 14 acres which are completely fenced. The owner who planned to cultivate a koa forest on the property named the ranch Kulakoa.
“The climate and altitude, approximately 3,000 feet above sea level, are nearly perfect for livestock and growing koa, and in fact several large areas have already been prepared for planting,” said Peterson, a member of kamaaina ranching families and resident of the area. “Some of the great features are its massive well-water system that provides water from the top of the property to the bottom, a photo-voltaic system with battery storage and generator back-up, a charming custom cottage, a large free-standing garage and agricultural workshop, and the infrastructure in place for a new custom home.
“A buyer could further subdivide, share the water, cultivate crops or income-producing trees, such as koa and ohia, raise animals, or just complete what will become one of Maui’s most private and beautiful estates. It is just the right size to accommodate diversified uses at the pleasure of the new owner. This property is actually centered on the slopes of Haleakala with incredible bi-coastal and mountain views. It is very peaceful and private…you rarely hear a passing car…just breezes in the trees, and birds in the distance,” Peterson said.”
She added that the location is also ideal in terms of its proximity to schools, restaurants, shopping, and numerous options for outdoor recreation. The resorts and beaches of Wailea are approximately a 40-minute drive, and cultural opportunities are available just down Haleakala Highway in the towns of Makawao, Kahului, and Wailuku.
The property is being shown by appointment only.