Painted Forest - Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees


Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

The enchanted and iconic Road to Hana features an overwhelming abundance of sights, smells, and unreal beauty as it winds down to the sleepy town nestled in the middle of the rainforest in south Maui. Located near the beginning of the curvy trek is the "painted forest" of rainbow eucalyptus trees, a stunning site that drivers often miss as they fly past on their way to other, more talked-about destinations. However, this unique display of painted trees in Maui is worth slowing down the car for. If space is available to pull off to the side of the road, take a moment to walk amongst the trees and be pulled in by their distinct, one-of-a-kind beauty. 

Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree, Maui

Eucalyptus trees may look like painted, but they are all-natural. These trees with spectacular colours are also known as Mindanao Gum or the Rainbow Gum tree. Here's more you must know about rainbow eucalyptus trees in Maui:

  • Details – Amazing Trees with Rainbow coloured bark
  • Location – Early on the Hana Highway, located in two groves
  • Mile Marker – 6.5 – 6.5 (+0.5)
  • Parking Spot - Roadside, there is no specific parking spot
  • Facilities – None
  • Time Needed – Quick Stop, need just a few minutes
  • Cost – Free

Important Note - Very easy-to-miss spot, so be watchful

Visiting Details

These colourful trees are next to the highway, so park your car alongside the road and take a few minutes to watch them. You will find one large grove here, which features around 20 Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. Further up the highway, you will find more trees looking so mesmerising that they will surely leave you amazed.


Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree, Maui

Rainbow Eucalyptus in Maui originate from a southern island in the Philippines and thrive only in warm, humid climates. The outer layer of the tree's bark peels away to reveal the vibrant green layer underneath. As time passes, the bright green slowly fades to a darker green and then to blue, purple, pink, orange, and maroon before returning to brown and beginning the process. Each tree displays a "rainbow" of colours simultaneously because different layers on the same tree peel away at different times, revealing multiple brushstrokes of various colours.
Heading toward Hana, the painted forest will be on your left just before mile marker seven along Hana Highway. A very small shoulder to the right allows cars to pull over, but only a couple of cars can pull over at a time. If there is no room, be careful not to stop or interfere with traffic flow. Continue ahead to the next pull-off and walk back.

Must Visit Location

Road to Hana

While driving on the Road to Hana, watch for these trees and don't miss them! Maui's Rainbow Trees are a true beauty and much more colourful than you can expect them to be. No doubt these trees grow in many places worldwide, but in Mauii, they are different, a little more vibrant and breathtaking. In short, the eucalyptus forest in Maui is a worthwhile stop that will add beautiful pictures to your camera from your Maui trip.


Hana Highway, just before Mile Marker 7


From Paia, head south on Highway 36 (Hana Highway). The painted forest is on the left (makai) side, approximately seven miles down the road.


Loading Map


Rainbow Eucalyptus trees are typically found in tropical forests. These captivating trees, known for their stunning multicolored bark, thrive in regions with warm climates and ample rainfall. They are commonly spotted in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and recently, certain parts of Australia.

The trees get their colorful bark from shedding in parts. Over time, different layers peel off, showing bright shades. It's like a slow, natural paint job. This happens because the tree doesn't shed all at once. As some parts age, others fall away, revealing a vibrant mix of colors. It is worth noting that factors like sunlight, soil quality, and climate do influence the colors these trees have.

Rainbow Eucalyptus trees are often found in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Australia. They grow best in regions with warm, wet climates similar to their native habitats. These countries provide the ideal conditions for these trees to thrive and showcase their vibrant multicolored bark. Attempting to grow them in different types of climates might not yield the same striking results.

Yes, Rainbow Eucalyptus trees have practical uses beyond their striking appearance. Their wood is valuable for making paper, furniture, and construction materials due to its strength and durability. Additionally, the leaves of some eucalyptus species, including Rainbow Eucalyptus, contain oil that has medicinal properties and is used in traditional remedies.

Rainbow Eucalyptus trees usually grow quite tall. Some of them can reach heights of around 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 meters). In terms of width, their canopy can spread out to about 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) and even more. These trees are known for their impressive height and the colorful peeling bark that adds to their unique charm.