Spring Break to Maui: The Road to Hana

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Spring Break to Maui: The Road to Hana

Million Mile SecretsSpring Break to Maui: The Road to HanaMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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.

TheRoadtoHana
On The Road to Hana

Trip Report Index:

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
  • jackets
  • lots of water
  • snacks
  • swimsuits
  • towels

We had breakfast at Kihei Caffe

The Road to Hana
Breakfast At Kihei Caffe

And then started our drive to Hana.

The Road to Hana
Dairy Road

Our first stop on Hana Road was the Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand.

The Road to Hana
Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand

Not much of a view besides trees and bushes, but they sell smoothies and fruit.

The Road to Hana
View Of Trees And Bushes

Our next stop was the Waikamoi Nature Trail, which is a 30 minute loop through the forest.

The Road to Hana
Waikamoi Nature Trail

We were greeted by a chicken as soon as we got out of our car.

The Road to Hana
Chicken Greeting

Of course, it brought up the age old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  But it wasn’t telling!

The Road to Hana
Chicken Thinking About Crossing The Road

We followed the trail…

The Road to Hana
Start Of The Waikamoi Nature Trail

..some of which were made of roots!

The Road to Hana
Trail Of Roots

There were beautiful views along the way…

The Road to Hana
Beautiful Views

Everything was so lush and green!

The Road to Hana
Lush And Green Landscape

…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.

The Road to Hana
Shhh, Trees At Work

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.

The Road to Hana
Cars Parked On The Road To Hana

On one occasion, we saw a waterfall feeding a natural swimming pool.

The Road to Hana
Waterfall And 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.

The Road to Hana
Large Rocks

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.

The Road to Hana
View From Kaumahina State Park

We also saw about 10 cats and 5 chickens that have made the park their home.

The Road to Hana
One Of 10 Cats

The entire drive was just beautiful, with lots of windy curves.

The Road to Hana
Curves On The Road to Hana

Our next stop was Honumanu Bay, or a black rock beach.

The Road to Hana
Honumanu Bay

The bay was gorgeous, but we didn’t jump in for a swim.

The Road to Hana
No Swimming for Us

We decided to take an unnamed road to see where it went…

The Road to Hana
Venturing Down An Unnamed Road

…and we were happy to find the gorgeous views it supplied.

The Road to Hana
Gorgeous Views

Whatever bay the road led us to was beautiful, but there were too many large rocks so I couldn’t swim.

The Road to Hana
Large Rocks Meant No Swimming

 

The Road to Hana
Rocks & Water

The crashing waves were so peaceful, I could have stayed here for hours, but we had only driven about half-way.

The Road to Hana
Enjoying The Peaceful Crashing Waves

At around 1 pm, we reached the half-way point: Ke’anae. Ke’anae is a small village with gorgeous views.

The Road to Hana
Views From Ke’anae

We also stopped to get banana bread.

Not a lot of churches can say they have this kind of view.

The Road to Hana
Views From Kinea Church

We continued driving, passing Nua’ailua Bay.

The Road to Hana
Nua’ailua Bay

The views were enticing so we decided to see what else Ke’anae had to offer.

The Road to Hana
Lush Views

We first went to the Ke’anae Arboretum.

The Road to Hana
Keanae Arboretum

We saw the natural rainbow colored eucalyptus and smelled the lemon eucalyptus.

The Road to Hana
Rainbow Colored Eucalyptus Trees

There was also lots of bamboo and huge trees to admire.

The Road to Hana
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.

The Road to Hana
Huli Huli Chicken

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.

The Road to Hana
Banana Bread

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.

The Road to Hana
Is That a Church?

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.

The Road to Hana
Chicken Curry

Our final stop was the Wai’anapanapa State Park.  We saw old caves that had a sad legend tied to it.

The Road to Hana
Wai’anapanapa State Park

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.

The Road to Hana
Pai’iloa Beach

Turn one way and you have a black rock beach, turn the other way and you have green landscape.

The Road to Hana
Opposite View From The Beach

And then sometimes you get a little bit of both: black rock beach and green landscape.

The Road to Hana
Black Rock Beach And Green Landscape

There’s also a cave nearby that you can enter and see beautiful view on the other side.

The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana

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!

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I have actually been on the Hana Highway 3 times in my life… I love driving the back way out of there (even tho they say you shouldn’t) It is certainly one of the most scenic roads in the world!

Daraius,

Can I ask what kind of camera did you use for these pictures? Gorgeous pictures.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Vanessa – Thanks! Emily takes most of the pictures. We have a Nikon D5000 and a Cannon S100.

Looks like you had a great day even if you did not go all the way around. The Kihei cafe is definitely my choice for a good breakfast prior to hitting the road (although it’s often packed). No matter how you go, every visitor to Maui should take a day to make the journey to Hana!

@Daraius: as of right now, only one saver award business class is available. Would it be risky if I booked one seat now and hope that another seat would come up? Any ideas when they release seats? I just realized united doesn’t even have a economy saver eat available on the same flight…

Love all the postings on Hawaii — now I want to go! Quick question: I tried getting two award business class seats on United and no availability, but they do have availability for January. Should I book one first and then wait and see if the next seat would come up, or is that risky? Or, should I book an economy award for one seat and then try to upgrade later? I don’t want to risk not getting two seats and then having to cancel and pay $200 to redeposit my miles. Any suggestions?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@minsy – If 2 seats on the same flight is the most important criteria, I’d book 2 seats. If you book 1 in business and 1 in economy, you will have to pay the change fee to move from economy to business.

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