For years, we’ve heard about the beauty of Road to Hana, a narrow, winding road that wraps along the southeastern coast of Maui. So when we planned a day to take the road to the Haleakala National Park, I knew this day would make for a memorable drive.
Road to Hana is a 42-mile stretch of highway that hugs the cliffs of Maui’s south shore. (Helpful hint: Pack a lunch and fill up with gas! Towns are few and far between.) Breathtaking sights adorn this sometimes desolate road due to the sky-high cliffs that are met with the bright blue skies above and deep blue waters below. It’s the ideal road for a slow Sunday drive, if your drive includes over 600 turns, thick jungles, fields of volcanic rock and waterfalls at almost every turn. It was the Maui I had waited to see, although I got a glimpse of it during our helicopter tour of the island the day Shane proposed. My tendency to get motion sickness ensured I took the front seat, so I had a front row view of the most unique part of Maui I had seen to date.
We made a picnic as soon as we arrived to the national park, and then started off on our 2-mile hike up the mountain to reach Waimoku Falls, the spectacle of Road to Hana. To reach the falls wasn’t an easy feat. We hiked up rocks, over bridges and through a dense forest of bamboo that emitted a green glow of natural light before rounding the corner and seeing the falls. We first saw this magnificent 400 ft. waterfall from the air, and now we had the chance to see it from ground up. The clean air cooled and a light rain started to fall as we walked toward the falls to marvel at the natural wonder.
Instead of driving back the way we came (near the Kahului Airport), we went full circle back to civilization and continued on through the small town of Hana. The Hotel Hana-Maui offered us a nice break from the road as we stopped for appetizers and drinks before heading back to Wailea. It’s an all-day adventure, but one that will be well worth your time.