The SUV lumbers across flowering pastures as surprised pheasants take flight. Soon we come to a fork in the trail. “We’ll take the road less travelled,” Wendy laughs. The SUV heads over hill and dale, eventually arriving at yet another gate.
“This is the upper paddock,” she explains. “The owners keep polo ponies here and lease the mid-pastures for cattle. Below that, the land is leased to grow produce.” We open the gate, drive through, and carefully close it again and head into a forest worthy of fairy tales. “I call this the ‘Hansel and Gretel forest,’” Wendy says. The name is apt; I’m truly enchanted. Soon the road gives way to pasture, the kind of heavenly green knoll where you’d expect to find Julie Andrews singing, “The hills are alive. . . .”
Wendy smiles. “I call this place ‘poet’s perch.’” She points out a gnarled old eucalyptus that offers a shaded seat where one might read, dream, or simply breathe the crisp Kula air. We clamber out of the vehicle and take in a view stretching from Pā‘ia to Molokini. Behind us, Haleakalā rises resonant and powerful, piercing the bright blue sky. The view is 360 degrees of gorgeous.
We stroll over to a picnic table that Wendy has placed there to enjoy wine or a picnic with clients, and stop to talk and take in the views.
“I grew up in a ranching family,” she tells me, “so I’ve always been comfortable on large parcels. To me, Upcountry is the heart of Maui. I think people are drawn to Upcountry because of the mana [spirit] here. It’s so peaceful.”
“You mentioned this piece is uncommon; is that because of its size?” I ask.
“Yes, and because it’s virtually untouched.”
“And what would it cost to purchase 310 acres of pristine Maui ranchland?”
“It’s offered at $8,850,000. I have another big parcel that used be in pineapple, 464 acres at a slightly lower elevation, with the potential to be subdivided into 38 sites. It’s offered at $8,250,000. And I have a spectacular 52-acre site, beautifully maintained, with a massive water system, a custom cottage and a workshop, offered at $4,800,000.”