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Begin your morning bright and early driving from Kahului to join Hāna Highway. At Ho‘okipa Beach Park watch the pro-windsurfers race around in the winter or swim and sunbathe in the calmer summer months. During winter, wave conditions can be extremely dangerous so read the signs on the beach.
If you’re a confident driver, continue along the Hana Highway, also known as the ‘Road to Hāna’. With over 600 hairpin turns and 54 narrow bridges, the famous Road to Hāna is a bit tricky. Slow down and enjoy the ride, there’s a surprise around every corner. Plan at least 3 hours each way.
The Wai‘ānapanapa State Park is located just a few minutes’ drive past Hāna Airport, where you’ll see a beautiful black sand beach and great coastal hiking trail.
Re-join the Hāna Highway and continue heading east for 10 minutes until you reach the town of Hāna. A magical little hamlet of simple homes and quiet gardens, Hāna’s isolation is the source of its charm. Make sure to fill up your car with petrol here as you won’t find any petrol stations until you drive back past Hāna on your way home.
Haleakalā National Park stretches from upcountry Maui, down the mountain’s flanks all the way to the ocean in the east and to our next stop, the Pools of ‘Ohe‘o. A 30 minute drive along the highway from Hāna, the Pools of ‘Ohe‘o is made up of dozens of beautiful pools fed by fresh water streams from Maui’s famed Haleakalā volcano.
The Kīpahulu side of Haleakalā National Park features lush rainforests, a visitor centre and various hiking trails. If you decide to hike, be prepared for hot and humid weather year round. Kīpahulu is an important cultural site where you will discover waterfalls and coastline views. You might even spot sea turtles, monk seals and dolphins!
Head back towards Kahului, driving west along the southern coast of Maui. Follow the Hāna Highway, which soon becomes the Piʻilani Highway and drive up through scenic Upcountry Maui.