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“Just okay for us~”

Ho`opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill
Ranked #9 of 20 Tours in Hanalei
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 11, 2013

All of the reviews so far were right on! However, for us, we had a different experience ~
We were SO sold on this tour when Lindsey came to the condos we were staying at. Lindsey was enthusiastic and passionate about her business and history- that part of the tour we loved! We also liked the fields, seeing the birds, and the mill, all were really nice to be apart of. What we didn't like was: 1.) the length of the tour; which we were told was to be an 1 1/2 hours; was really 3 hours-too long and we had somewhere to go 2.) TOO much time in the fields-many of us went back to the bus and fell asleep 3.) Food-we didn't like the food wagon. We thought we would be eating at the farm, and then we found out it was at the wagon. Many people may like that, we do not.
I know these tours support their 501c(3) programs, however, I really didn't feel there was a lot of value for what we received. It was very expensive. Sorry to write this mixed bag of a review. This was our experience, may not be yours.
I am not one for tours and this one I felt stuck on.

1  Thank NewJersey_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 64 of 64 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2013

Well worth visiting - we got to tour taro fields and learn about how it is farmed and processed. Then on to a historic rice mill for a tour and poi tasting - tasted much better the way the locals prepare it than at the luau. Our guide was Lindsay the owner of the farm, she did an excellent job educating us in a fun way.

1  Thank traveler1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013 via mobile

A little on the expensive side, but worth it from an educational perspective (plus it is a nonprofit). Lindsey answered question after question about both the former rice farming and the current taro farming. Walking around the taro fields was my favorite. Lunch and snacks were very good, but the personalized and enthusiastic presentation by Lindsay was the best.

Thank Yankeetowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

This is so much more than the Rice Mill! First, the mechanics: this is an orientation in Hanalai, a van excurision into the taro fields and seeing the Rice Mill, then lunch in Hanalai. We got started after orienting in Hanalai with a taro smoothie that was great (I mean, I figured "who eats taro? I do, now!"), we took off for the taro fields that you can see from the lookouts above from Princeville. Im a bit of a birder and in the fields we saw many native hawaiian birds: native ducks, geese (nenes), black-necked stilts, coots (marked in white) and (red marked) hawaiian gallinules. As well as non-native birds including java sparrows, mynaws and cattle heron. We learned about the awful impact of apple snails into the taro fields (dumped from discarded aquariums and eating taro as I type) as well as all the hand work involved with all aspects of farming hawaiian taro: planting, maintaining and harvesting--after 14 months of cultivation. BTW all taro is not the same--this is hawaiian which is not asian taro. Lyndsy, a 5th generation Haraguchi taro farmer was passionate and involving, clearly enjoying sharing her hard-working passion with us, as well as the family legacy and challenges her family facing farming in what is now a government owner, wildlife refuge area, farming a vegetable (taro) that is not exactly understood by many, but a cultural staple full of protein and more.

After about 45 min in the fields, we spent about an hour in the historic Rice mill and enjoyed snacks of fresh taro balls with coconut at the end. I got some amazing photos in the fields and around the Rice mill grounds.I thought Id need a tripod but I never used it. The Rice mill has been mothballed since 1964 yet I was struck by the "artisan" approach to the hulling that would be so relevant today if milling fresh rice. Then she took us back to the Hanalai Taro and Juice Co stand by the Dolphin and we chatted with her as we ate a classic pork lunch plate. All the lunch plates were preordered and ranged from vegan to pork--your choice.

I can imagine people might see this as an expensive "activity", or be unsure (rice mill, after all)? Im a convert. This is a great way to hear on-the-ground, how family farming is under duress but important. If you love wildlife and photography, absolutely the best way to be in the fields and see an important part of hawaiian heritage! Its a cultural moment, on a family farm, with a passionate leader giving you the "real scoop". Oh, the tour is supporting the 501c3 Rice mill so you have the chance to be part of something bigger than yourself. How often does that happen on vacation!

6  Thank Gay16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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