The island of Maui is around 727 mi². Visitors are able to drive around the entire island in a single day, though they will need all of the time between sunrise and sunset to make the trip.
The exact amount of time it takes to drive around Maui will depend on the number of stops you, a visitor, make, and the amount of time you spend at each stop. On average, the complete drive around the island takes between 10 and 12 hours.
You might have heard of the very popular Road to Hana adventure that tourists do when in Maui. The Road to Hana takes you through many of the best tourist destinations, and adventurous drivers can continue beyond the Road to Hana to complete a full loop around the island of Maui.
That means, to circle Maui all you have to do, to start, is follow the Hana Highway. But once you go beyond the Road to Hana the roads get a little trickier. Let’s look a little more into the journey.
The Road to Hana and Beyond:
The Road to Hana is one of the most renowned tourist attractions on Maui island, at a little over 64 miles long, and taking travelers from Kahului to Kalepa.
Then, there’s the road beyond Hana, which is another 44 miles or so, for a grand total of 108 miles to complete the loop around Maui.
This Hana Highway is a bumpy road in places, but it is accessible to tourists and visitors. Be aware that the Hana Highway does narrow to a single lane in places, including multiple one-lane bridges, and stretches that twist around cliffs.
With all of the corners, twists, and turns, in some places it’s hard to see what’s coming around the next bend. That’s what makes the Road to Hana an adventure!
And if you plan on treating the Road to Hana as an adventure it’s worth taking more than a day to fully experience the route.
Doing so will let you stop at more tourist destinations, and explore all of the things to see at your leisure, instead of being rushed to complete the route.
Is Maui easy to drive around?
As with most destinations, if you follow the rules, and pay attention to the road, then driving around Maui is fairly easily. Remember, Maui is a not-so-big island. There aren’t many directions to travel in, nor there are that many roads to confuse drivers.
The challenge driving around Maui is that the environment and the road are very different from what most tourists are used to. Roads narrow down to a single-lane in many places, and there are bridges, cliffsides, and tight corners.
And tourists have to watch out that they don’t become distracted by the beautiful scenery surrounding them. Always pay attention to the road, and park the car before enjoying the sights!
If you’re worried about driving, we recommend going to Maui during the low season, so that there are fewer tourists and therefore fewer cars on the Hana Highway. This will make the drive a lot calmer, and a lot less stressful!
Can you drive a rental car around Maui?
Yes, you can drive a rental car around Maui and there are several car rental companies to choose between.
Renting a car while visiting Maui is a great way to ensure you have the autonomy to go wherever you want, and it will save you not only time but also money, as you won’t have to pay for taxis to ferry you around.
However, car rental companies often have agreements on where on the island you are allowed to drive the car, and what is included in the insurance.
Most car rentals allow tourists to drive the Road to Hana, but they might not cover issues or problems if they drive beyond the Road to Hana, as those areas have narrower and wilder roads that aren’t as recommended to tourists. Car rental companies don’t want banged up cars.
Tips and tricks to drive around Maui in a day:
Driving a car around Maui is perfectly doable, and you can go around the entire island within the day if you follow the Hana highway.
But to help you along the way, here are our top tips:
- Make sure the car’s gas tank is full. Around the larger towns, such as Lahaina and Kahului, you will have no trouble whatsoever in finding a gas station. But once you leave the larger towns there are very few gas stations around, so it’s best to fill up whenever you see a gas station so that you’re never caught without gas.
- Always watch out for one-lane bridges. These are usually the biggest challenge for tourists. The general rule is that the car that reaches the bridge first has priority.
- Always check the weather reports before setting off on a drive around the island. Watch out for potential weather changes or issues such as flooding—a common occurrence.