Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii
With 620 curves and 59 bridges, Maui’s Hana Highway (or Road to Hana depending on which you fancy) is one of those drives that – as cheesy as it sounds — just leaves you breathless. And just a little bit dizzy too.To give you an idea of the assorted zigs and zags you can expect to encounter along this “tropical slalom,” take a look at this image from Google Satellite:
It’s the type of drive that makes everyone a Sunday driver. Except the locals of course. They’re easy to recognize along here; they’ll be the ones passing you at lightning speed. After all, to them it’s just another road.
Even though the highway is only 109 kilometres (68 miles), it can take anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours to maneuver depending on how slow you take it. And like a good wine, you’ll want to take this one slow. Not only for safety (many of the bridges are only one lane), but also for the sites. There are plenty of them along the way.
There are more than a few waterfalls, like this one at Twin Falls.There’s also no shortage of turnouts along the highway to take photos.All while at times you may have the road to yourself…Sometimes you’ll run into Maui’s version of a traffic jam.
The stop at Keanae Peninsula allows you to see some pretty cool rock formations compliments of recent lava flows.
If you’re keen to see one of the only black sand beaches on Maui, then stop off at Wai’anapanapa State Wayside Park.And if you need a rest before you head back, you can do no better than staying at Travaasa Hana Resort & Spa – voted #1 Resort Spa in Hawaii by readers of Condé Nast Traveler.
A lot of people do the drive to Hana as a day trip from other parts of Maui. I think that’s a bit of a mistake. Even if you don’t want to splash out at Travaasa Hana, there are other options available if you want a few days to explore the area at a more leisurely pace. Wai’anapanapa State Wayside Park offers camping and cabins. Word has it you can even camp on Oprah’s land (she owns acres of the stuff around here.) Just ask at the Hana Ranch. I think her pal Gail man’s the desk.
Note: My trip to Maui was made possible through the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau but they did not ask that I write a favourable review, or take my sweet time driving the road to Hana.