Living in Hawaii, I don’t know how many times I have driven the road to Hana. I always seem to get roped into it when I have company in town, and I always seem to forget how long it actually takes. If you are going to make the trek, I have a few suggestions.
1) Get the smallest rental car you can get.
2) Leave as early as you can. The trip takes ALL day
3) Bring lots of snacks and water, because once you hit the road, there are not many places to stop along the way. Stop in Hana for lunch and provisions, to make your way back around the back side, because there is nothing for a lot of miles.
4) Be prepared for slow drivers, and crazy local drivers as well. Don’t talk on your cell phone and drive either. Turn your phones off! Bring some good music, because the radio stations go out of range. If you have small children, bring things along that are going to keep them occupied. All in all, it is definitely a MUST do at least once, while you are on Maui. It really shows the true beauty of Maui. Please be advised, this drive is not for the faint of heart. It has over 52 miles of 600 curves, and 59 narrow bridges. There are guided tour companies, that can take you in a private narrated van tour, if you don’t really like to drive yourself. There is also a drive fly back in a helicopter option. I personally advise on going the WHOLE way around. There are some great mobile apps and CD’s with mile marker by mile marker narratives.