The next day, after the loop along the Honoapiilani Highway, we headed towards the Eastern tip of Maui.
We embarked onto Hwy 36 – Road to HÄna, through lush, tropical rainforest.
Starting from Paia, the distance to Hana is about 42miles (68km) with approximately 620 curves and crosses over 59 bridges – 46 of which are only one-lane wide.
Being a tropical rainforest means there are a lot of rain. And we happened to pick a particularly rainy day to make the drive.
Hiking through some redwood forest.
There are quite a few fruit stands along the way, it is a great way to try fresh, ripe produce. Just drop some money in the jars provided!
Making a detour into Keanae, it was really windy that day and we stood for about half an hour just watching the waves.
Keanae from above, you can see the grid of taro fields below.
Lots of beautiful curves/lookouts along the way, but it is often difficult to find a safe spot to pull-over.
Coconut Glen’s Ice cream made with coconut milk. Bowls and spoons are made with coconut shells. It was delicious!
Arriving at Hana we wandered around town and bought some groceries. Then we went to Koki beach to watch the waves.
Next day we continued on towards Haleakala National Park.
Hiking the PÄ«pÄ«wai Trail (4-mile round trip) in the Kipahulu Forest Reserve.
At the base of the Waimoku Falls watching the water tumble for 400ft.
A lush bamboo forest, you can hear the leaves rustling and the bamboo creaking in the wind.
After the hike, the typical route is to turn back and take the same route, but we decided to try the trail on the back side of the Haleakala.
For the first 12 miles the road is unpaved and often only wide enough for 1 car. We were worried how the heavy rain would affect the road conditions.
But it is a spectacular drive winding along the coast and overall much less traffic.
Farms of the local Hawaiians. They all drive pick-up trucks and 4x4s.
Finally arriving at the Upcountry region for our next stay!
Enjoying a meal at Kula Bistro, a very popular local restaurant. Highly recommended!