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Old 01-21-2013, 10:02 AM   #16
Lisa71
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We drove once and once we did the tour where you fly back via helicopter and it was amazing!!!!!!!! We stopped and were told what was native and what not and fed a few mongoose as well !
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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I highly recommend the book Maui, Revealed by Andrew Doughty and Leona Boyd.
I'd second this recommendation, with one caveat... they describe some off-the-beaten-path destinations that are, IMO, kind of crazy for most visitors (especially in their "adventures" section).

We started one of the unmarked hikes that they recommended, but we quickly turned around because we felt unsafe. We hike all over the world, run trail races, ski the backcountry, etc., so we're not wusses. Stick to the more popular or less-adventurous spots and you can't go wrong.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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Another vote for the Maui Revealed book. We've taken the Road to Hana twice last year and love it. We pack stuff for sandwiches and drinks and buy fruit and banana bread at the stands.

This waterfall is across the street from the rest stop about halfway.

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Old 01-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #19
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We took a tour bus when we were there. They picked us up and dropped us back off at our hotel. It was a full day tour and lunch was included. The driver grew up in Hana. She was an awesome tour guide. Best part of a tour is everybody gets to enjoy the drive.

Having just spent 2 weeks on Kauai and being the driver I missed out on a lot of scenery. Enjoy your trip
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 PM   #20
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For anyone prone to motion sickness, I'd think twice. While it's nice in many ways, it's a long day and my group didn't think it was worth it at all.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:57 PM   #21
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We've done it twice-- once the right way and once through the back way from the other side (which voids your rental car agreement, btw).

I wouldn't do it the "right" way again. It was fun, once in a lifetime, and we never made it to the 7 pools. We stopped ALOT and jumped into random waterfalls. If you're not planning on stopping, then don't bother. The actual town of Hana and the 7 pools (which we finally got to on our 2nd trip) are not that spectacular. The black sand beach is worth stopping for.

Plan your dinner at the Hana Hotel to refresh yourself for the drive back. It's dangerous at night since every bridge is a one lane and you have to pull over to let oncoming traffic pass. There's dozens of bridges.

I would not take a tour, since you can't stop at your leisure. With the motion sickness you might just want to.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:59 AM   #22
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FYI...most car rentals make you sign a waver that you will not take the car on that road. We chose not to go after talking with the rental agency.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #23
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FYI...most car rentals make you sign a waver that you will not take the car on that road. We chose not to go after talking with the rental agency.
That's not true as I understand it. What they generally state is that you can't take the vehicle on unimproved roads.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #24
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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.

We have done it twice. We loved it. We took our own car and drove and then turned around we did not go all the way around (this was 8 years ago the roads may have been improved)
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:26 PM   #25
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We did this earlier this month and loved it. I wouldn't take a tour.. pretty easy drive as long as you watch for cars on the other side of the bridges and take some motion sickness pills. It literally went from bright blue to pouring rain in about 5 minutes when we ate lunch and then never stopped raining, but we enjoyed it a lot.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:16 AM   #26
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This is the way I feel about the road to Hana:

If you have the time to do it, take your rental car and do it. The point of it is to enjoy the journey, not the destination. We've been to Maui six times. We did the drive once back in 2009 (on our 3rd trip there) when we had 12 days on Maui. It's not a difficult drive. The point of the drive is to stop and enjoy the sights along the way, not drive it straight through. Definitely get the Maui Revealed book, it will take you through it basically mile marker by mile marker. We ran into many tour buses along the way. I was glad we did it on our own. We got to decide if we wanted to linger at a waterfall or move on and see the next. We packed some sandwiches, some drinks, sunscreen and the camera and hit the road.

In our 3 trips since, we haven't felt the need to spend an entire day in the car doing the trip again. We probably won't be doing it on trip #7 in May either.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:04 PM   #27
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We did the SkyTrek Hana with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and Temptation Tours. They flew us in and drove us out. If you do anything in the sky or sea do it early in the am. Winds pick up as the day goes on. Relaxing way to go and they give you lunch. Check with your hotel or timeshare tour desk for who they recommend.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:35 PM   #28
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That's not true as I understand it. What they generally state is that you can't take the vehicle on unimproved roads.
Yup. In my post I meant to say that we voided the rental agreement by going the back road. The back road "ends" at a beach on the other side of Hana. There is literally no road, but rocks and sea. You can drive it if there is low tide.

We didn't do this intentionally---we went to Maui winery and decided to drive up to Hana thinking that there was a road. It was more fun this way...but a little scary for the 2 miles where there was literally, no road. I have a picture somewhere. I'll dig it up.

If you take the "right" road, it does not void your rental agreement.

Shhh...don't tell Alamo.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #29
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Yup. In my post I meant to say that we voided the rental agreement by going the back road. The back road "ends" at a beach on the other side of Hana. There is literally no road, but rocks and sea. You can drive it if there is low tide.

We didn't do this intentionally---we went to Maui winery and decided to drive up to Hana thinking that there was a road. It was more fun this way...but a little scary for the 2 miles where there was literally, no road. I have a picture somewhere. I'll dig it up.

If you take the "right" road, it does not void your rental agreement.

Shhh...don't tell Alamo.
We haven't been that way since the road was washed out a few years ago. However, we did drive all the way around I'm thinking 2002 or so. IMO the road qualified as an improved road at that time though it certainly wasn't the interstate. I can't speak to the condition now. My point was that the wording didn't prevent the trip and at that time and IMO, the trip around past the pools and Lindberg would not have violated the contract with that wording.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:00 PM   #30
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We haven't been that way since the road was washed out a few years ago. However, we did drive all the way around I'm thinking 2002 or so. IMO the road qualified as an improved road at that time though it certainly wasn't the interstate. I can't speak to the condition now. My point was that the wording didn't prevent the trip and at that time and IMO, the trip around past the pools and Lindberg would not have violated the contract with that wording.
We took it the year of the big fire in Kahului...where they shut down the roads all day. It was probably like 2005 or 2006. I remember on the map they handed out they dotted out that road that was washed out meaning that was not a road so it would have been a "no no" as far as Alamo was concerned.

We talked to some locals near the winery who told us it was driveable. It was...it was just (as you said) washed out. It would have been dangerous if the tide had come in though...and you know in Hawaii it comes in fast so probably in hindsight (and now having had 2 kids) it wasn't the best decision. But my husband and I were still living dangerously at the time
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