Emily: On our second last day in Maui, Daraius and I woke up early for the “Road to Hana” day long excursion. The Road to Hana is supposed to be one of the most scenic drives in Hawaii.
It is a 40 mile stretch of highway with winding roads, lots of one lane bridges, several waterfalls by the side of the road, hiking trails, and swimming holes.
We completed the entire drive in 1 day, but we should have stayed in Hana for 1 night for a less rushed trip.
Trip Report Index:
- Introduction and Planning
- Alaska Airlines First Class & Getting Locked Out of Our Car!
- Hyatt Regency Maui, Ocean Suite
- Hyatt Regency Maui
- Eating Around the Hyatt Regency Maui
- Activities Around the Hyatt Regency Maui
- Hyatt Regency Maui Ocean Front Room
- Grand Wailea – Terrace View Room
- The Grand Wailea
- Grand Wailea Spa
- Eating Around the Grand Wailea
- Activities Around the Grand Wailea
- The Road to Hana
- United Flight From Hawaii
- Blog Giveaway & Conclusion
We set the alarm for 6:00 am, actually got out of bed at 6:30 am and were out by 7:30. We took a day pack with:
- sun screen
- bug spray
- hiking shoes
- lots of water
We had breakfast at Kihei Caffe…
And then started our drive to Hana.
Our first stop on Hana Road was the Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand.
Not much of a view besides trees and bushes, but they sell smoothies and fruit.
Our next stop was the Waikamoi Nature Trail, which is a 30 minute loop through the forest.
We were greeted by a chicken as soon as we got out of our car.
Of course, it brought up the age old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But it wasn’t telling!
We followed the trail…
..some of which were made of roots!
There were beautiful views along the way…
Everything was so lush and green!
…and Daraius and I saw wild pigs searching for their breakfast (luckily it was not us!)
There was a “Quiet, Trees at Work” sign to remind us to be contemplative.
My hiking shoes came in handy here because the trail got a little wet at times and was full of rocks, but Daraius was fine in sandals.
The road to Hana is a two lane road, but there are places to park along the road.
On one occasion, we saw a waterfall feeding a natural swimming pool.
There was even a rope to swing into it with. Neither Daraius nor I were feeling very adventurous though, so we kept walking and climbing over large rocks to see the next view.
There was an even larger waterfall and swimming hole. It was gorgeous!
Our next stop was the Kaumahina State Park. There are clean restrooms here, in addition to a gorgeous view of the coastal scenery.
We also saw about 10 cats and 5 chickens that have made the park their home.
The entire drive was just beautiful, with lots of windy curves.
Our next stop was Honumanu Bay, or a black rock beach.
The bay was gorgeous, but we didn’t jump in for a swim.
We decided to take an unnamed road to see where it went…
…and we were happy to find the gorgeous views it supplied.
Whatever bay the road led us to was beautiful, but there were too many large rocks so I couldn’t swim.
The crashing waves were so peaceful, I could have stayed here for hours, but we had only driven about half-way.
At around 1 pm, we reached the half-way point: Ke’anae. Ke’anae is a small village with gorgeous views.
We also stopped to get banana bread.
Not a lot of churches can say they have this kind of view.
We continued driving, passing Nua’ailua Bay.
The views were enticing so we decided to see what else Ke’anae had to offer.
We first went to the Ke’anae Arboretum.
We saw the natural rainbow colored eucalyptus and smelled the lemon eucalyptus.
There was also lots of bamboo and huge trees to admire.
We stopped at another large lookout area with lots of other cars and marveled at the views. The other view we appreciated was the Huli Huli chicken shack. The cook offered us chicken fresh off of the grill, and it was very tasty.
We only had a little taste because we heard Jen’s Thai food near Hana was good, and wanted to save our appetite.
That was a mistake because Huli Huli Chicken was the best food out of all of the half way points, and Jen’s is open later and would have made a great return stop on our way back from Hana.
After the lookout and sampling chicken, we took the Ke’anae road to visit the Ke’anae Peninsula. There are spectacular views of waves crashing into huge rocks, and we even saw a whale off the coast.
You can also buy local banana bread and other snacks at some stalls by the road.
After visiting the Ke’anae Peninsula, we saw a pull off with what views, so we got out. It was the Ke’anae Peninsula Lookout, and it gave us a beautiful view of the jet black lava coast and patchwork taro plantations.
Our next stop on the tour was the village of Nahiku. This small shopping street has a great café with cute little gifts and souvenirs. We stopped to eat at Jen’s Thai food, and ordered a papaya salad and chicken curry.
The papaya salad was so nice! Daraius didn’t seem as excited with his chicken curry.
Our final stop was the Wai’anapanapa State Park. We saw old caves that had a sad legend tied to it.
We also saw several lava caves draped with ferns. The water was a bit too chilly for us to swim, but we saw others jump in!
We went to Pa’iloa Beach which is supposed to be the prettiest (albeit small) black sand beach in Maui. It was beautiful, and I especially liked the smooth black rocks on the ground.
Turn one way and you have a black rock beach, turn the other way and you have green landscape.
And then sometimes you get a little bit of both: black rock beach and green landscape.
There’s also a cave nearby that you can enter and see beautiful view on the other side.
On our way back, we stopped at Jen’s Thai for another papaya salad. It was so good (or we were hungry) we decided to have it as our dinner as well, and then drove back to the hotel.
We did not want to be out at dark with the windy roads, so made it a point to turn back from Hana at 4 pm.
The Road to Hana was our favorite activity in Maui!