Story by Lehia Apana
California has the Pacific Coast Highway, Italy has the Amalfi Coast, and Australia has the Great Ocean Road. Hawaiʻi’s answer? The Road to Hāna.
This famed drive is a destination in itself: fifty-two miles of snaking roads, single-lane bridges, and enough blind turns to give you chicken skin. The reward is arriving at one of the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers, whose isolation has preserved its rustic beauty and endless charm. Getting there is where the fun starts.
I’ve made this journey often, yet still leap at any chance to drive it again. This time, my mission is to prove that big adventures can be found on a small budget. My boyfriend Brad and I load the car with a tent, sleeping bags, and a cooler full of edible essentials. Rather than spend money on a hotel or a bed and breakfast, we’ll rely on Mother Nature’s accommodations, trading in fine dining for paper plates, then entertaining ourselves with the nightly sky show.
But first, we have to make it there.
The 50-something mile drive from Central Maui to Hana may seem short, but if you do it right, it could take all day. Those in a rush can make it there within 2 to 3 hours.