One of the best trips you can take while on Maui is the Road to Hana. Over 600 curves and 50 one lane bridges, all surrounded by natural beauty. It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss!
As soon as the mile markers change to zero (where Hwy 36 switches to 360) you can see the changing vegetation and it just gets thicker and greener. There are a few usual suspects along the road that really catch people’s attention, and it’s great to be able to share that some of these beauties are actually invasive species. African Tulip is a prime example. Giant beautiful orange blossoms that color the valleys and line the roads, this tree is highly invasive and is outcompeting some of our native flora. It’s important to talk about invasive vs. native (with wildlife as well) because it greatly affects island ecology. There are conservation groups across the island trying to get a handle on invasive species and their work is incredibly important.
Waterfalls, bamboos forests (invasive), Rainbow Eucalyptus trees and more! The Road to Hana is packed with beautiful sights and sounds. The history that surrounds it all is also fascinating. Hawaiian myths and legends reflect the rich Hawaiian culture that once thrived on all islands. Today, many natives want a revival of the culture, the language, the life. When you drive the Road to Hana, you can see water flowing from higher elevations down to the sea and you can imagine the people of the past, working the land in their ahupua’a, constructing hale, building their own community with aloha.
When you finally get to Hana, try to think about the recent past that was once bustling with sugar cane activity. For those who don’t know, “Hana” means work in Hawaiian, and this was definitely a working town. From the first plantation in 1849, the industry grew quite substantially, well, until West Maui took over the sugar scene and workers moved in that direction. I try to picture Hana alive with boats and workers and operations. The Hana today is so quiet, it’s difficult to imagine that time.
Black Sand Beach and Red Sand Beach are both amazing spots out that way, as are the multiple fruit and banana bread stands, Hana Bay, Venus Pools and Wailua Falls. There are so many other great things about the Road to Hana!!
If you really want to see it all, contact us for more details. We offer private Road to Hana tours at great rates and we’ll make sure you have an experience of a lifetime!