The Road to Hana is one of Hawaii’s most iconic drives, and it’s easy to see why. Our day started at 8am after a quick breakfast and just like that we were scrambling into the van, foreign conversation floating past me. Once settled, we began the journey, our driver far too confident in his ability to navigate the tiny twisted roads. Blaring his horn as he swung around corners in an attempt to warn others of our imminent approach.
Our first stop on the Road to Hana was of course a snack stop at the best banana bread shop in Hawaii, Aunty Sandy’s. They sell tasty banana bread by the loaf, served freshly baked and still warm from the oven. You can enjoy the addictive bread on the tables under the sun, wondering the rocky coast line, or behind the wheel as you venture on.
I’m not ashamed to admit it but I ate my entire loaf of banana bread before getting back to the car.
3o minutes later, after passing multiple picturesque falls and hiking trails we arrived at the Black Sand Beach. As made pretty clear, it’s famous for it’s charcoal pebbled beach disappearing into the aqua waters. What most people are unaware of is the cave swimming opportunity tucked away in the jungle behind the beach.
The mouth of the cave is frequented by tourists but unbeknownst to many of them the crevice at the back of the cave is actually a tiny opening to a net work of tunnels running through the water. Although it is a relatively short and simple cave swimming experience, I would only suggest going with someone who knows what they are doing. It was dark, cold and quiet and I had a blast! However, I wouldn’t recommend going if you’re claustrophobic or scared of the dark.
Next stop on the Road to Hana trip was lunch! Hooray, one of my favourite activities. Hawaii is full of amazing road side food trucks and Bruddah Huts BBQ Grill did not disappoint. We pulled over for a good old traditional Hawaiian BBQ fare which was very reasonably priced, and ate at the communal road side tables.
After lunch we wound our way down to the Red Sand Beach, which I think was the most beautiful place we visited that day. Walking along the dirt path, hugging the rugged cliff line, you turn a corner and the beach suddenly opens up in front of you. Towering red cliffs hug the beach and burnt red pebbles litter the shoreline. It was perfect for swimming as the rocky outcrops not only created a calm lagoon to splash in but also made for great rock jumping for the more adventurous souls.
After cooling off and exploring the beach we headed towards our final stop for the day, the 7 Sacred Pools and waterfall hike on the edge of the Haleakala National Park. Here we did more cliff jumping into the pools followed by a 2 hour round hike to the falls, arriving back to the car at dusk.
It was a full on day of activities and adventure (just what I love) and it’s the perfect way to see some of what Maui has to offer.