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Old 01-20-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
yeahdisney
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Maui road to Hana tour, recommendations.

What tour would you recommend for the road to Hana. For those who have driven it, do you wish that you would of took in a tour instead so you too could of seen the sites? Thank you from DH - the driver to be. D
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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To be honest we did it almost 15 years ago on our honeymoon. I can honestly say I would never ever do it again. But again I did it once. The trip is mostly exactly what it says "the road" they go down to one lane, the locals drive so fast, its SCARY. We had a convertible and DH drove and I made him put top up just to make me feel more secure.

Now it was beautiful, there are water falls, and when you get to Hana there is the black sand beach. We did not go to what I think is called the 7 pools or something, we just had enough. The town to me is definitely a place you would go to if you wanted to disappear from the general public.

I personally am glad we drove. We had control. We stopped at the grocery store had them pack us a picnic lunch, and we set our own pace...

Take the bike ride to and excuse the spelling I believe it is Halleakula...

But again, I guess if we hadn't of done it, I might've regret it, but I will not do it again. So many other things to see and do in my opinion. And the Road to Hana is a pretty much all day deal...

Good luck...
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:19 PM   #3
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The hana trip is definitely an all day adventure. You will see some beautiful country but it's a loooong trip.

As for the Haleakala bike trip, I think they have greatly reduced the number of those trips available. We did it seven years ago - travel to the top of the volcano around 3am to watch the sunrise and then bike down the mtn. We were dressed in layers (very cold at the top - think 20's) including full motorcycle helmets provided and minimal pedaling involved for the trip down over miles of switchbacks. Close to the bottom, our group was pulled over to allow backed up traffic to pass. DW was at the front of our bike group (arranged by height) and her bike slipped off a 6" shoulder down a 15' lava embankment, resulting in a 1 hour ambulance trip and a 3-day stay in intensive care at the Maui Memorial Hospital in Wailuku with a concussion and multiple contusions with months of recovery once we returned home. I was chewed out by the ER docs for attempting such a trip. This was on the first day of our trip. The staff was great and very compassionate but the adventure was not in any of the guide books.

If you do not suffer from motion sickness, try an airplane ride from Maui over the lava flows on the big island. Spectacular views, but the motion sickness issue is for another post. Don't ask...

If you want to see Haleakala, try the bus trip up and back. The view at dawn is spectacular. If you can find a bike trip, avoid it at all costs.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by WebmasterDoc View Post
The hana trip is definitely an all day adventure. You will see some beautiful country but it's a loooong trip.

As for the Haleakala bike trip, I think they have greatly reduced the number of those trips available. We did it seven years ago - travel to the top of the volcano around 3am to watch the sunrise and then bike down the mtn. We were dressed in layers (very cold at the top - think 20's) including full motorcycle helmets provided and minimal pedaling involved for the trip down over miles of switchbacks. Close to the bottom, our group was pulled over to allow backed up traffic to pass. DW was at the front of our bike group (arranged by height) and her bike slipped off a 6" shoulder down a 15' lava embankment, resulting in a 1 hour ambulance trip and a 3-day stay in intensive care at the Maui Memorial Hospital in Wailuku with a concussion and multiple contusions with months of recovery once we returned home. I was chewed out by the ER docs for attempting such a trip. This was on the first day of our trip. The staff was great and very compassionate but the adventure was not in any of the guide books.

If you do not suffer from motion sickness, try an airplane ride from Maui over the lava flows on the big island. Spectacular views, but the motion sickness issue is for another post. Don't ask...

If you want to see Haleakala, try the bus trip up and back. The view at dawn is spectacular. If you can find a bike trip, avoid it at all costs.
That is HORRIBLE! But what you said so makes sense. Agreed after hearing your story, take the bus..
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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We've been to Maui a number of times and finally decided to do the road to Hana on our trip last year. A disboard friend recommended that I rent a Gypsy Guide for the drive and it was worth every penny. It really made the drive so much more interesting. Here's more info:

http://www.gypsyguide.com/maui/where/road_to_hana.php

I can get car sick on windy roads so I took a dramamine and it helped a lot (my dh did all the driving) although my daughter did get car sick on the way back. There's a great fruit stand on the way with all kinds of wonderful organic tropical fruits that is worth stopping for. The mangos were some of the best I've ever had, but we also got some very strange exotic fruits that were very tasty.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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I am happy that the first time we did the road to Hana my Dad was the driver so I actually got to see things. The next two times making that drive I was the driver and will say that you do miss quite a bit. At that time the thing was to rent a tape to play along the drive that took you from point to point. I don't know what options there are now but I did thing that was a good way to hear about things and did help me to at least "see" things thru the explanations. Having completed the drive 3 times I haven't felt compelled to do it on any recent trips. It's beautiful but brutal!

What I do like about driving is that it's at your own speed - aka if you find a spot you want to spend more time at you can.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by G'sMaman View Post
We've been to Maui a number of times and finally decided to do the road to Hana on our trip last year. A disboard friend recommended that I rent a Gypsy Guide for the drive and it was worth every penny. It really made the drive so much more interesting. Here's more info:

http://www.gypsyguide.com/maui/where/road_to_hana.php

I can get car sick on windy roads so I took a dramamine and it helped a lot (my dh did all the driving) although my daughter did get car sick on the way back. There's a great fruit stand on the way with all kinds of wonderful organic tropical fruits that is worth stopping for. The mangos were some of the best I've ever had, but we also got some very strange exotic fruits that were very tasty.
You are smarter than I was. We were with another couple and I was GREEN in the back seat with no motion sickness meds. The views are lovely but do allow all day.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 AM   #9
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We drove and LOVED it! We left our hotel at 5 am to be over to start early! The road to Hana is not about the drive, it is all the incredible stops along the route! If you don't stop you will have wasted your time. We geocache and planned our adventure around that! Took us to some incredible places! waterfalls, Red sand beaches (Nude bathers here so be careful), black sand beaches and beautiful little towns. We met some amazing locals. One young college age guy took a half an hour to explain to my kids about the tidal pools. Incredible! We packed lots of food and drinks and had a picnic. We also stopped and enjoyed some of the local stands! We drove past Hana to the waterfalls. We brought bathing suits and towels so we could swim when ever the opportunity presented itself and it did! We did not return to our hotel at Ka'annapali Beach until almost 10:00 that night. Lots of great memories that day! My kids were 12, 10 and 9 and they loved it! My husband also enjoys driving. We did not find other drivers bad. Everyone just has to be corteous. There is many places to pull over and let others pass. Enjoy Maui! it's my favorite place!
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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We have done the drive to Hana and it was okay. Takes a long time but there are a lot of neat things to see. My favorite was the rainbow Eucalyptus trees. Very cool! The black sand beaches were neat to see too. I believe you can see the area where the huge wave "Jaws" happens were crazy surfers risk their lives to surf a over 100' wave.

Oh, when you are driving back to town around the volcano on a dirt road and some local stops you and has a huge bag he wants to sell you. Just keep driving. Weed is plentiful on that island so they will try and sell it to you on that back road. We just rolled our window up and kept driving....

Sorry to hear about your experience WebmasterDoc, but we thought the bike trip down the volcano was the best part of our trip. We loved it and would do it again in a heart beat!
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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We drove it in a rental car. It was a fun trip to do once, but I don't think I'll ever do it again unless we stay in Hana. I'd recommend reading a guide book ahead of time and pre-planning 2 or 3 stops that appeal to you. It's easy to blow right past things or try to do too much.

We were able to swim in Oheo gulch (7 sacred pools), and it was awesome. We also did the adjacent hike to the waterfall through the bamboo forest, which was also one of the highlights of our trip. We also bought banana bread at a fruit stand, stopped at the black sand beach, bought roadside Thai food, and ate near Hana bay.

I'd recommend leaving Hana several hours before sunset. We left too late, and the drive back wasn't fun. It reminded me of driving home from work in the dark in white-out conditions with a foot of snow on the ground. We made it, but it was NOT relaxing.

Locals do drive a lot faster than tourists. Obviously, they've seen it a million times and the just want to get where they're going. If someone's behind you, there are plenty of places to pull off to the side to let them pass.

If you're not feeling up to a challenge, I don't think you can go wrong with a motor tour. It would definitely be more relaxing, and you wouldn't have to worry about where to stop, what mile marker you're on, what's safe, what's open/closed, what's private property, how to avoid offending locals, where to park, etc. Our adventure was worth it to us, but it was kind of stressful.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #12
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Oh, when you are driving back to town around the volcano on a dirt road and some local stops you and has a huge bag he wants to sell you. Just keep driving. Weed is plentiful on that island so they will try and sell it to you on that back road. We just rolled our window up and kept driving....
According to one of our tour guides, if you look like a tourist... the bags are filled with oregano anyway.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lisa Anne Colling View Post
We drove and LOVED it! We left our hotel at 5 am to be over to start early! The road to Hana is not about the drive, it is all the incredible stops along the route! If you don't stop you will have wasted your time. We geocache and planned our adventure around that! Took us to some incredible places! waterfalls, Red sand beaches (Nude bathers here so be careful), black sand beaches and beautiful little towns. We met some amazing locals. One young college age guy took a half an hour to explain to my kids about the tidal pools. Incredible! We packed lots of food and drinks and had a picnic. We also stopped and enjoyed some of the local stands! We drove past Hana to the waterfalls. We brought bathing suits and towels so we could swim when ever the opportunity presented itself and it did! We did not return to our hotel at Ka'annapali Beach until almost 10:00 that night. Lots of great memories that day! My kids were 12, 10 and 9 and they loved it! My husband also enjoys driving. We did not find other drivers bad. Everyone just has to be corteous. There is many places to pull over and let others pass. Enjoy Maui! it's my favorite place!
I totally agree!! We LOVED the road to Hana, and we took all day as well. Of course, the return trip is a bit scarier than the trip out, since on the return you are on the cliff side. We just were very cognizant of where drivers were coming toward us, and went slower.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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According to one of our tour guides, if you look like a tourist... the bags are filled with oregano anyway.
I think the dude had like a half a pound in that bag. I was like Couldn't believe it!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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We did about 3/4 of the drive on our honeymoom, about 7 years ago.

I highly recommend the book Maui, Revealed by Andrew Doughty and Leona Boyd. It has an entire section on the Road to Hana (as well as other great things), including tips on where to stop and what you will see. Neither DH nor I are big hikers, so we skipped some of the more precarious falls, but what we did see was amazing. There were spots that were very popular with tons of cars parked along the road, and others that were less known, where you might be the only one stopped.

The roads are narrow and there are no guardrails. The paths to the waterfalls are equally unguarded and most often unmarked. You're pretty much at your own risk the whole way.

Hana, itself, is a tiny little town. We did not spend time there, but have heard from others that it kind of goes with the flow. Things may be open, they may not. You just never know. Our hotel packed us a picnic lunch to take with us, and I would highly recommend bringing extra food and drink for along the way. You'll find a few stands and places to get something to eat (and restrooms) but they are few and far between. Our hotel also provided us with an audio tape or CD for our car that acted as an additional guide on places to stop and explore.

I don't think I would have liked a tour group. For one, I would have been horribly carsick in the back of a van or bus or whatever they would use. Secondly, it was nice to go at our own pace, see what we wanted to see, stop when we wanted to stop, etc.
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