The Road to Hana

101 Things to Do (Maui) - - Contents -

60. The Drive to Hana 61. Hire a Driver for the Jaunt to Hana 62. De­tour for Ke‘anae Penin­sula 63. Take a Breather 64. Walk Through a Lava Tube 65. Hear Hana’s Story 66. Go Be­yond Hana 67. Stroll Through a Pan­danus For­est 68. Laze by a Moun­tain Pool 69. Leg­end and Leisure 70. Fol­low the Path of the An­cients 71. Talk Story in Ki­pahulu

60. The Drive to Hana

Life is a jour­ney, not a des­ti­na­tion, and the same could be said of the road to Hana. With zigs and zags that travel over 56 one

lane bridges and snake around more than 617 hair­pin curves, this scenic drive truly is a heart-pump­ing ad­ven­ture that’ll leave you breath­less with an­tic­i­pa­tion for what lays around the next turn. But in or­der to ap­pre­ci­ate the nat­u­ral beauty of all you’ll en­counter along the way, it’s best to take things nice and slow. Among the un­writ­ten rules for Hana are:

• Don’t be in a hurry, or you’ll miss the panoramic beauty

that dis­tracts and de­lights from both sides of the road.

• Switch driv­ers half­way through the route so each per­son

can ap­pre­ci­ate the stun­ning vis­tas.

• Don’t ex­pect a big pay­off once ar­riv­ing in sleepy Hana (un­less you’re treat­ing yourself to a lux­ury stay at the new

Travaasa Hana)— it’s a tiny cat­tle town with merely a gen­eral store, gas sta­tion and post of­fice.

Al­though the Hana Air­port is only 53 miles from the Kahu­lui Air­port, the drive and its dis­trac­tions can be an all-day event.

Get an early start. Pa‘ia is a good place to fill your gas tank and stock up on soft drinks and snacks.

The road to Hana is cer­tainly a photo op­por­tu­nity: wa­ter­falls, trop­i­cal jun­gle, checker-board fields of green taro patches, black lava rocks rimmed with white foam lodged against

tow­er­ing cliffs in an ocean of the bluest blue. Even at a vex­ing 15 mph, this is a drive that over­whelms the senses, tempt­ing one to just pull off the high­way and stare.

En­hance the drive with the Hana CD Guide. It pro­vides nar­ra­tion co­or­di­nated with maps, a trop­i­cal flower guide, plus a photo beach guide and a Hawai‘i DVD. Avail­able at the Shell

Ser­vice Sta­tion on Route 380, this guide is a great tool for your

drive to Hana, and makes a won­der­ful sou­venir as well.

• Hana CD Guide

61. Hire a Driver for the Jaunt to Hana

Though the road to Hana can be ne­go­ti­ated by al­most any­one in pos­ses­sion of a driver’s li­cense, there are eas­ier ways to get there. You can spend a few bucks and take a pri­vate tour in a limo; you can take in the view from re­clin­ing cap­tain chairs in a

12-pas­sen­ger van; or you can mo­tor in and hele (go) out on a

com­bi­na­tion limo/he­li­copter tour.

Some com­pa­nies go to Hana and points be­yond, then re­turn the way they came via Hana High­way. Oth­ers go full cir­cle,

re­turn­ing to civ­i­liza­tion around the back­side.

Carey Town and Coun­try Li­mou­sine of­fers pri­vate Hana road tours in its Limo-Trek. The day be­gins at 8 a.m. with a ho­tel

pick-up in ei­ther a new Lin­coln Nav­i­ga­tor or a stretch li­mou­sine.

Af­ter lunch, the tour continues be­yond Hana to Tedeschi

Win­ery for free wine tast­ings. Carey Town and Coun­try also of­fers a fly-drive pack­age.

Nav­i­gat­ing and show­ing off the won­drous sights along the

road to Hana is some­thing that The Maui Tour­ing Com­pany spe­cial­izes in. And, they do it in style. Start­ing with a morn­ing

pick-up in a Cadil­lac Es­calade, guests are then treated to a con­ti­nen­tal break­fast in a sunny Pa‘ia town cof­fee house.

Next, tour Ho‘okipa to wit­ness surfers chal­leng­ing the waves (and maybe see some green sea tur­tles). Then, it’s off on a Hana road trip ad­ven­ture! Once in Hana, guests are then treated to a

gourmet lunch at the five-star ho­tel, Travaasa Hana. The Maui Tour­ing Com­pany then leaves Hana via the less-trav­eled “back­side” of the road to Hana, mak­ing one last stop at Tedeschi

Win­ery, where guests can en­joy a free wine tast­ing be­fore

head­ing back to Pa‘ia.

• Carey Town and Coun­try Li­mou­sine (808) 572-1800 or (855) 572-1800

• The Maui Tour­ing Com­pany (808) 214-5804

62. De­tour for Ke‘anae Penin­sula

The Ke‘anae Penin­sula is an iso­lated and wildly beau­ti­ful place where the surf pounds against jagged lava rocks that edge a gnarly coast­line. Turn left on Hana High­way, a half-mile past mile marker 16. This is a de­tour that won’t dis­ap­point and, as luck would have it, boasts pub­lic re­strooms.

Ke`anae was al­most de­stroyed in 1946 when a tsunami hit the area, killing 20 chil­dren and four teach­ers. The only struc­ture left stand­ing was the Ke‘anae Con­gre­ga­tional Church, which re­mains to­day. The church, which dates to 1860, is the cen­ter­piece of this pre­dom­i­nately Hawai­ian com­mu­nity, where taro fields and free-range live­stock dot the land­scape.

The Ke‘anae Land­ing Fruit Stand is a tempt­ing stop for smooth­ies and banana bread.

Nearby Ke‘anae Ar­bore­tum is lo­cated in a trop­i­cal for­est set­ting on lev­eled ter­races built hun­dreds of years ago by Hawai­ians for taro cul­ti­va­tion. A short, rel­a­tively flat as­phalt walk­way trav­els through the ar­bore­tum, but no guided walks or fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able.

To find the ar­bore­tum, take High­way 360, a lit­tle more than half a mile past mile marker 16. Park­ing is on the side of the road near the ar­bore­tum sign.

63. Take a Breather

As you ap­proach the half­way-to-Hana point at mile marker 16, watch for a fruit and re­fresh­ment stand ap­pro­pri­ately called “Half­way to Hana” and check out the banana bread, which is baked by the pro­pri­etor and comes with a glow­ing rep­u­ta­tion. An­other quick stop off the high­way is the tiny vil­lage of

Nahiku, one of the wettest spots along the north­ern coast of East Maui and once the site of the Nahiku Rub­ber Com­pany, a short-lived ven­ture that went down the tubes in 1912. It seems the con­stantly wet weather made for poor con­di­tions for craft­ing la­tex.

To­day, Nahiku is best known for its cof­fee shop, smoked fish stand and a gallery. It’s lo­cated off Hana High­way on Nahiku Road be­tween Wailua and Hana.

64. Walk Through a Lava Tube

Wannabe spelunkers, take note: Hawai`i is one of the world’s best places for lava tubes, and Hana boasts the largest one on Maui. Even bet­ter, you don’t even have to break any laws to get there—in­stead, Hana Lava Tube of­fers an af­ford­able self-guided tour com­plete with a flash­light, hard­hat and pitch-black cave. Walk­ing the wind­ing trails of this an­cient sub­ter­ranean

river of lava is fun, safe and easy. Liq­uid rock ooz­ing un­der

cooled sur­face flows cre­ated the pas­sages 1,000 years ago, which in turn cooled into myr­i­ads of beau­ti­ful sta­lac­tites,

sta­lag­mites and flow­stone. The tem­per­a­ture in the cave av­er­ages 60 de­grees Fahren­heit year-round, and bats and mos­qui­toes are nowhere to be seen. A smooth cin­der path­way through the cave makes it easy to nav­i­gate.

While there, vis­i­tors who have a lit­tle spare time or are afraid of the dark also can check out the Red Ti Botan­i­cal Gar­den

Maze, which also is on the property. Hana Lava Tube, lo­cated at 205 Ula‘ino Road in Hana, of­fers self-guided tours Mon­day through Sun­day.

• Hana Lava Tube (808) 248-7308

65. Hear Hana’s Story

The Hana Cul­tural Cen­ter & Mu­seum, de­vel­oped by lo­cal res­i­dents to tell the story of this unique Hawai­ian com­mu­nity, over­looks Hana Bay and is home to a tra­di­tional Hawai­ian

vil­lage, a his­toric court­house, an old jail­house and a mu­seum. The vil­lage pre­sents an op­por­tu­nity to glimpse Hana’s past and present. In the vil­lage, there are repli­cas of four tra­di­tional thatch struc­tures, or hale (which sounds like “hall-eh”), as well as an eth­nob­otan­i­cal gar­den. The struc­tures rep­re­sent early Hawai­ian life, with hale of liv­ing, meet­ing, cook­ing and ca­noe build­ing/stor­age spa­ces.

The mu­seum con­tains more than 560 ar­ti­facts, more than 600 books, a bot­tle collection and some 5,000 pho­to­graphs from the Hana District. A gift shop of­fers a se­lec­tion of greet­ing cards cre­ated by more than 120 lo­cal artists and pho­tog­ra­phers.

Built in 1871, the Old His­toric Court­house was re­fur­bished in 1989 and is still used for county court. The Old

His­toric Jail­house, also built in 1871, was ren­o­vated in 1997. Lo­cated at 4974 Uakea Road near the turn-off to Hana Bay, the cen­ter is open Mon­day to Fri­day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., ex­cept Christ­mas and New Year’s Day.

66. Go Be­yond Hana

Pi‘ilani High­way, just out­side Hana, is a tight, moun­tain­hug­ging road with blind turns, one-way bridges and heart­stop­ping views from sheer cliff drops. The drive may be risky, but it’s worth the draw of Maui’s off-the-beaten-path won­ders.

Watch for Wailua Falls, a 95-foot cas­cade lo­cated about 5 miles past mile marker 45 on High­way 31. Makahiku Falls (clock­ing in at 185 feet) is a half-mile hike up the Pipi­wai Trail, which also takes hik­ers up­stream along the Pools of ‘Ohe‘o and

an­cient Hawai­ian taro farm sites. Fur­ther along the way are sev­eral small set­tle­ments, in­clud­ing Ki­pahulu and Kaupo. Fi­nally, you will pass the fa­mous ‘Ulu­palakua Ranch and Tedeschi Win­ery be­fore ar­riv­ing

back in “civ­i­liza­tion.”

67. Stroll Through a Pan­danus For­est

The 464-acre Ka­hanu Gar­den is sit­u­ated in one of Hawai‘i’s last re­main­ing na­tive pan­danus forests. A botan­i­cal and cul­tural re­search fa­cil­ity, the gar­den’s plant collection grows in the shade of an an­cient Hawai­ian tem­ple.

Ka­hanu Gar­den boasts the world’s largest collection of ‘ulu (Hawai­ian for “bread­fruit”), with more than 120 va­ri­eties from 18 Pa­cific is­land groups, in­clud­ing In­done­sia, the Philip­pines and Sey­chelles. It also fea­tures a Ca­noe Gar­den, which show­cases 24 species of plants brought by an­cient Poly­ne­sians on their ocean voy­ages to Hawai‘i.

Hale o Pi‘ilani Heiau, a lava-rock place of wor­ship built be­tween the 13th and 16th century, is a no­table his­toric

at­trac­tion on the premises. Ka­hanu Gar­den is lo­cated off Hana High­way on ‘Ula‘ino Road. Guided tours are avail­able be­tween 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

on Satur­days; self-guided tours are sched­uled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mon­day-Satur­day. Call (808) 248-8912 for reser­va­tions.

68. Laze by a Moun­tain Pool

Hawai­ian leg­end has it that gi­ant mo‘o (lizards) live in

moun­tain pools. Be­fore go­ing for a swim, make an of­fer­ing to the res­i­dent mo‘o by drop­ping a flower or small tree branch into the wa­ter. Ask his per­mis­sion to en­ter, and see if the flower dis­ap­pears. If it does, skip the swim—the mo‘o is warn­ing you to stay away. Heed the leg­end when swim­ming at the pools of ‘Ohe‘o

Gulch, lo­cated off Route 31 about 10 miles past Hana. But more im­por­tantly, heed any signs that may be posted around the pools.

Warn­ing: There are no life­guards on duty, and the wa­ters can be dan­ger­ous. When in doubt, skip a dip in the pools and ad­mire from dry land.

Though reg­u­larly re­ferred to as the Seven Sa­cred Pools, there are ac­tu­ally more than 20 pools carved from vol­canic rock and fed by ‘Ohe‘o Stream. The chain of pools is con­nected by

pic­turesque wa­ter­falls and short cas­cades.

69. Leg­end and Leisure

Take in a day at a beau­ti­ful state park just out­side of Hana. Mean­ing “glis­ten­ing wa­ters” in Hawai­ian, this spot fea­tures a nat­u­ral stone arch, a blow­hole and hik­ing along two sec­tions of the old King’s High­way.

A fresh­wa­ter pool lo­cated in a cave within the park is the sub­ject of a tragic Hawai­ian leg­end, the place where beau­ti­ful princess Popo‘alaea fled to hide from her cruel hus­band. While search­ing for her, his men saw her re­flec­tion in the pool. Popo‘alaea’s hus­band dove into the pool, en­tered the cave and killed the princess. To this day, the pool’s wa­ter is said to turn red on the an­niver­sary of her death.

Per­mits are re­quired for camp­ing in Wai‘ana­panapa. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Hawai‘i State Of­fice Build­ing, lo­cated at 54 S. High St. in Wailuku, by call­ing (808) 984-8100.



70. Fol­low the Path of the An­cients

You’ll get to know Ki­pahulu and its Na­tive Hawai­ians when you set off on a horse­back ride with Maui Sta­bles. Each tour be­gins with a tra­di­tional pule, or prayer, and na­tive

chants are used as part of the tour nar­ra­tion. This unique ride leads through a land of place names that tell hid­den sto­ries of an an­cient cul­ture, sites, bat­tle­fields and mytho­log­i­cal an­ces­tors whose deeds were larger than life.

Ki­pahulu, just be­yond Hana, is a wildly beau­ti­ful and an­cient place where people still en­gage in tra­di­tional Hawai­ian prac­tices, and their life sto­ries are writ­ten much the same as the tales of their an­ces­tors.

Guided by the be­lief that a cul­ture dies when it stops be­ing prac­ticed, these people, of­ten at great hard­ship, hold close their re­la­tion­ship with na­ture, tak­ing se­ri­ously their role as care­tak­ers of the ‘aina (land).

Maui Sta­bles is lo­cated 50 miles from ma­jor re­sort ar­eas near the pools of ‘Ohe‘o Gulch. Call (808) 2487799 for di­rec­tions.

71. Talk Story in Ki­pahulu

Lo­cated 30 min­utes from Hana, Ki­pahulu is an iso­lated

com­mu­nity pre­dom­i­nately pop­u­lated by Na­tive Hawai­ians who con­tinue to share the tra­di­tions of their fore­fa­thers.

To hear their sto­ries, take a hike through the Ki­pahulu area of Haleakala Na­tional Park. Na­tive Hawai­ian guides will tell tales of old Hawai‘i and stop at trea­sured cul­tural

sites like Ka­pahu Liv­ing Farm, where tra­di­tional taro patches have been re­stored to ac­tive pro­duc­tion.

The hike is op­er­ated by Ki­pahulu ‘Ohana, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps sus­tain the com­mu­nity’s life­style and pro­vides work op­por­tu­ni­ties for res­i­dents.

Most Ki­pahulu fam­i­lies’ ge­nealo­gies ex­tend back hun­dreds of years. Guides will share that his­tory in the most au­then­tic of ways—with per­sonal knowl­edge.

In co­op­er­a­tion with the Na­tional Park Ser­vice, Ki­pahulu ‘Ohana cre­ated a pro­gram to demon­strate how tra­di­tional Hawai­ians once lived on the ‘aina (land) and how they have adapted and evolved on it to­day. The 2-hour, 3-mile hike ($49/per­son) in­cludes fea­tures like:

1. An­cient habi­ta­tion ar­eas where stone walls and house

sites are vis­i­ble. 2. ‘Ohe‘o Bridge, with a scenic view of the fa­mous Pools of ‘Ohe‘o. 3. His­toric Kanalulu House, built in the 1920s and

re­stored in 2002. 4. Scenic over­look to the stun­ning 180-foot Makahiku Falls. 5. Rem­nants from the su­gar cane in­dus­try. 6. Ka­pahu Liv­ing Farm, an an­cient taro farm re­stored to

ac­tive pro­duc­tion. 7. Sam­pling of tra­di­tional Hawai­ian foods grown at the farm. 8. Eth­nob­otan­i­cal shar­ing about the plants seen along the route, in­clud­ing na­tive (en­demic) Hawai­ian plants, “ca­noe plants” (Poly­ne­sian in­tro­duced) that are of spe­cial im­por­tance to Hawai­ian cul­ture, and ex­otic in­va­sive plants.

A 3.5-hour hike ($79/per­son) is the same as the 2-hour trek, ex­cept it in­cludes the Pipi­wai Trail through bam­boo for­est to the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. For reser­va­tions, email tours@ ki­ or call (808) 248-8558.

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