In part 3 Manuela reports about her trips on Maui. Missed part 1 and 2? Then quickly back to the Hawaii Blog 🙂
Arrive in Maui
Our next destination is the beautiful island Mauiwhich is the second largest island of the Hawaiian Islands with an area of 1883 km². It takes its name from the demigod Maui. It is said that he had such a big paddle that he reached the sun with only one rowing movement. He is also said to have invented surfing. It is not for nothing that Maui has the best surfing conditions in the world and every year numerous competitions are held here.
Our flight and arrival at the Kahului Airport was unproblematic. For the arrival we had decided to make the trip to Hana first and since this takes a whole day, we first stayed overnight in Paia.
The small town looks like a hippie colony with pretty stores, restaurants and small galleries. There really is a unique flair of days gone by here. A few km from Paia is one of the most famous windsurfing beaches in the world, the Hookipa Beach. Here in March and November the world championships in surfing take place. This must be a great spectacle, which we were unfortunately not allowed to experience. But what the heck, Maui has so much more to offer and is scenically breathtaking.
For the trip to Hana - along the so-called "Road to Hana" you need a whole day and so you have to get up early. Since there are numerous trails on the way, you should have hiking boots, or at least sturdy shoes.
The weather along the road is quite stable in summer, in winter you have to expect some, sometimes heavy, showers. In general, it rains more often in the north than in the south. The actual Road to Hana does not begin until the intersection of Hana Hwy. / Kaupakalua Rd. At that point, there is a mile marker (MM) 0.
The Road to Hana - A road trip of a special kind:
The Road to Hana is a very special experience and a real challenge. The road has over 600 serpentines and about 60 bridgeswhich are often only one lane to drive. Hair-raising hairpin curves without evasive and overtaking opportunities really go to the nerves and I'm glad that my husband drove 🙂 Everywhere deep road abysses and I was more than once sick. But we are rewarded by the unique views of the sea and the beautiful landscape.
Some things you should know, you are not alone on the road, the road is a Highlight for numerous tourists and so cars and buses crowd here. Parking lots are often crowded and so it happens that you would like to look at something and can not find a place to park. In addition, you must constantly expect that people stop somewhere and run across the street to photograph something.
It is also very important to have a full tank of gas, because there is no gas station until Hana. We have heard that if you are unlucky, the gasoline in Hana should be sold out. In this case you have to spend the night there. Fortunately, this did not happen to us.
And off we go! Our stages on the Road to Hana
First stop Twin Falls. Here is a fruit stand with delicious fruits and even smoothies. From here a super nice walk, with great views, leads to the waterfalls. The path is about 2 km and leads through a tropical park and rainforest. After crossing a stream we are at our destination. Since there is also a small lake at the waterfall, you can swim there.
After the small detour we continue on the road. There is a turnoff on the right to a small botanical garden called Garden Eden. From here you have many great vantage points on the sea and can admire exotic plants. However, the garden costs an entrance fee and so you should consider whether the visit is worth it for you. Further it goes, past numerous waterfalls and the road gets curvier and curvier. The Ke'Anae peninsula comes into view with its rugged coastline. Huge black lava pinnacles rise up there.
Next worthwhile stop is at the MM 19 and 20. Here is the famous waterfall: Upper Waikani Falls, also known here as Three Bears Falls.
A special extra detour is located between MM 25 and 26. We took the turnoff to Nahiku Rd. on the left and felt like we were in paradise. The trees along the small road almost form tunnels. On the side of the road there are tree stumps from which giant orchids grow. You are not allowed to drive faster than 15 mph here, but we don't want to. The landscape is impressive and we are really quite intoxicated. Unfortunately we can't get to the sea and so we drive back to Hana Road. At MM 31 is Ulaino Road on the left with the possibility of a trip to Hana Lava Tube.
Continue until you reach the MM 32 to Wai'anapanapa State Park with the famous Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach. It is located just before Hana and is also popular with photographers, as the pitch black sand is something very special for photo shoots. Swimming here is too dangerous because of the current.
As a contrast and also worth seeing is the Red Sand Beach. It is located at the end of Hana and can only be reached via a small cliff path. Since it is a bit difficult to get here, there are not so many people. The red coloring of the stones and the sand and make this beach unique.
The place Hana is like a small, secluded village at the end of the world. Here, time still seems to stand still.
Two options for the way back:
- You drive the same route back
- Or: You can continue south on the Pi'ilani Hwy.
We have decided to continue, although there is then no insurance coverage with most rental car companies. The road is some KM grottenschlecht, a mixture of asphalt and deep potholes. You have to drive very slowly at times, but it is doable and there is still a lot to see.
Next stop is at Kipahulu Visitor Centeron the territory of Haleakala National Park (entrance fee!). In the Haleakala National Park, is the highest mountain of the island the eponymous Haleakala. It is covered with a Altitude of 3,055 meters almost from every point of Maui. From here you can do a really great hike on the Waimoku Falls & Pipiwai Trail. The tour is easy, even for the inexperienced, but with the right footwear. It will take you a little over an hour each way.
The trail first leads to the Seven-sacred-Pools. These consist of seven pools that are connected to each other like stairs. You can swim in them, but depending on the weather, the pools are murky or clear. In heavy rain it is not recommended, in fact it is very dangerous. The trail crosses numerous bridges and passes through another feature, the bamboo forest. We have never seen anything like this before. 😮
The bamboo is at times so dense that you find yourself in almost absolute darkness. On we go, even if the last section becomes a bit more uneven and thus more difficult. The goal is the impressive 120 meters high Waimoku waterfall. After we have seen our fill, we walk briskly back towards the car. A strenuous piece still lies ahead of us.
The Pi'ilani Hwy.afterwards is actually a narrow gravel road that leads us over 25 miles through a lunar and crater landscape. Wasteland wherever the eye looks but with a view of the impressive Haleakala volcano. Later the landscape changes again and the road gets better. We pass the area of the Kaupo and Ulupalakua Cattle Ranch. Here we make a stop to refresh ourselves.
Afterwards we return via Keokea to Kahului. A long, very exhausting but absolutely eventful day comes to an end. Now a nice shower and then a delicious meal.
That was our Road to Hana and it was definitely worth it! Let's see what else is in store for us 🙂