If heaven had a highway…
… this phrase perfectly describes what I want to introduce. Way To Hana is something you have to experience visiting Maui. Even more, this particular site in companion with Haleakala Crater should convince you to change your plans and if you didn't schedule trip to Maui in your Hawaii vacation I hope you would change your plans after reading my descriptions and watching pictures.
First of all the vehicle. A lot of people rent quite expensive 4WD cars fallowing myths that this way is very demanding and you need at least high clearance to pass it. The truth is, as usual, in the middle. The way is demanding, but for the driver, not the car. It means there is almost no straight distances, it's a constant curve with large number of narrows to one line especially on the bridges so you have to drive very carefully, slowly, trying to focus on the road, especially that surrounding environment is trying to disturb you all the time by its beauty. Anyway the road is smoothly paved far behind the Hana and you can drive any kind of car, but I would advice convertible to have a better contact with the nature.
Second important advice is the time of your trip. Way to Hana is located on
the Eastern Coast so the sun operates the best during the morning. If you
want to take the best pictures and see everything in the best lighting, you
should start your trip as early as possible. I would advice to pass Kahului
before 8 am.
Third advice is to schedule your trip for more than one day. There are so many interesting spots worth seeing that It's impossible to visit them all in one day. As I know there are few Hotels in Hana, additionally 2 campgrounds both located in extremely beautiful places: Wai'anapanapa and O'heo Gulch. Additionally staying overnight allow you to admire sunrise in one of the best places you can do it, like O'heo Gulch.
Hana is a small city placed on the East shore of Maui Island. It will sound strange, but this famous city is not really interesting itself. The whole beauty and popularity of this place is in the way you are getting there - the journey, not the destination. So don't be in hurry, don't speed up because there is nothing on the end. Take your time and enjoy every yard of the highway pulling over as frequently as possible and visiting as many trails (usually very short), beautiful spots, scenic points as you can. Of course I won't describe even quart of them here. To avoid missing any gorgeous place you should buy a good guidebook. I can recommend the one I bought: "Maui Revealed" by Andrew Doughty & Harriett Friedman.
Below are listed links to the 'must see' places on the way to Hana and behind,
that I've been to and strongly recommend to visit if you are there.
© 2005 Konrad Balabuch. All rights reserved.