The Road To Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Eighty-Four Kilometres, 600+ bends, & 56 One-Lane Bridges. Hawaii’s Most Spectacular Drive
On the Piilani Highway/Kalama Park Road in Kaupo, Maui, Hawaii. March 7, 2103
The last full day on my first visit to the Hawaiian Island of Maui was spent taking a trip on the Hana Highway, an 84-kilometre (52-mile) stretch of Hawaii State Routes 36 and 360 which runs along the northern shore of the island to the quaint town of Hana in the remote east of the Island. Large portions of the road are literally carved into the coastline of northern Maui making it one of the most spectacular drives in the world. I dispensed with my hire car for the day & left the navigation of the roads 600+ curves & 56 one-lane bridges to Tim, one of the friendly Valley Isle Excursions Team, giving me more time to appreciate the sights & attractions en route.
— davidMbyrne.com (@ByrneDavidM) March 7, 2013
– Dangerousroads.org commenting on Maui’s Hana Highway
The Road To Hana
The outside world only discovered the little village of Hana in 1926 when the narrow coastal road, carved by pickaxe-wielding convicts, opened. The mud-&-gravel road, often subject to landslides and washouts, was eventually paved in 1962 when tourist traffic began to increase – now more than 1,000 cars traverse the road each day. There are wilder, steeper, and more dangerous roads, but in all of Hawaii no road is more celebrated than the Hana Highway which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 2001.
Valley Isle Excursions Road To Hana Tour
The Valley Isle Excursions Road To Hana tour not only skirts the island’s north shore en route to “Heavenly Hana” but it also continues beyond the town, effectively circling the bulk of the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. With some 13 stops en route photo opportunities abound – stunning coastal scenery, magnificent seascapes, lush rainforest, & waterfalls are never too far away. This is a pictorial recap of some of the highlights of my Valley Isle Excursions Road To Hana tour.
The Windy Road (To Hana) (Map Pointer A)
Rainbow Eucalyptus (Map Pointer B)
Hana Highway Coastline Vista (Map Pointer C)
Black Sand Beach (Map Pointer D)
Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located in the 120-acre Wainapanapa State Park, just off the Hana Highway on the outskirts of Hana itself near the eastern tip of the island. The beach, the sand of which is actually small, smooth, lava pebbles, is set among lava cliffs. A small sea arch, sea caves, and even seaside lava tubes can be seen in the area, too.
– Valley Isle Excursions
(For Sale at) Wailua Falls (Map Pointer E)
Wailua Falls, which were featured on the opening credits of the television show Fantasy Island, is a 34 metre-high (113 ft) waterfall that feeds into the Wailua River. Paths lead to the base of the falls where there are pools for swimming. In ancient times, Hawaiian men would jump from the top of the falls to prove their manhood. People still leap off the falls today, although it is illegal to do so, not to mention dangerous.
Swimming at Oheo Gulch in Haleakala National Park (Map Pointer F)
Charles Lindbergh’s Grave, Palapala Ho’Omau Church (Map Pointer G)
– Charles A. Lindbergh, as inscribed on his gravestone
Located in the Kipahulu area of the island, the grounds of the 1857 Palapala Ho’Omau Church is the final resting place for the aviation pioneer Charles A. Lindbergh. Born in Michigan in 1902, Lindbergh found fame as a result of his May 1927 solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic, making him the first person in history to be in New York one day and Paris the next. Lindbergh loved Maui & his final wish was to be buried here. So, & when on his deathbed, he flew to his home in Kipahulu, where he died in August 1974.
Kaupo – Paniolo (Cowboy) Country (Map Pointer H)
– Dangerousroads.org commenting on southern Maui’s Piilani Highway
Maui’s Winery at the Ulupalakua Ranch (Map Pointer I)
Kula Highway Vista (Map Pointer J)
Valley Isle Excursions Road To Hana Tour
I was a guest of Valley Isle Excursions on their Road To Hana tour but all pictures & opinions expressed here are my own. To find out more about the Road To Hana tour, including much more information on the tour highlights mentioned here, check out the Valley Isle Excursions website.