Drive to Hana

Hana is a town on the east coast of the island of Maui. It is a long way from most of the populated parts of the island. The distance isn't great if you can fly, but the driving has to follow the many ins and outs of the coastline. The main road from Kahului to Hana follows the northern coast, and is paved all the way. However, it isn't very wide, often being only one lane, and it has many one-lane bridges and very many sharp corners. In some places there is a rocky cliff going up on one side, and a rocky cliff going down on the other side, you can't see around the corner, and there could be a dump truck coming the other way. Other places are through tunnel-like tropical rainforest. It is a very interesting drive.

If you continue north from Hana, you can get all the way around the mountain (Haleakawa), but you will encounter some non-paved road that is even narrower. It isn't on such a steep slope, however, so isn't really as dangerous to drive on. Eventually you cross a boundary and hit very new pavement. You end up back on the highway that goes upto the peak, having gone within 5 miles of places like Wailea, but been unable to get to them. Apparantly there used to be a road down that was much quicker, but the landowner has closed it off. Personally, I think the government wants to keep the traffic down, and so doesn't want there to be a faster route. In truth, I think that is fine.

We did the entire route around the mountain, back to Wailea, in a day, with some long stops in various places. However, it was a long day, and our driver was very glad to stop driving. You can take tour buses to Hana, which can give you a better view, and no driving, but you have less control of where you stop and for how long.

I took a lot of pictures on the trip, since so much of what I saw was interesting and different to me. I've divided them up into the trip out (heading east from Kahului to Hana) and the trip back (heading south from Hana around to the Kaleakala highway).

Trip Out
Trip Back

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