Hana, Maui, Hawaii: Dramamine and Orchids – the Perfect Pair!

Photo by Sheree Zielke The road to Hana may be a cruel drive for those who suffer from motion sickness, but for orchid lovers, it might be the pathway to Nirvana.

Driving the road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii is a trip that can’t be committed to lightly. Replete with narrow roads and endless curves, driving to Hana is not for the squeamish.

But it is the way for orchid lovers to reach one of the prettiest places on Maui.  You might even see Oprah Winfrey’s land.

Read on . . .

If you love exotic flowers but you get car sick easily, you will probably need to take a Dramamine pill before heading off on your Hawaiian adventure.

Be sure to get an early start because it takes several hours to drive to and from Hana.  Tack on a couple of hours so you’ll have time to spend at a lovely hideaway garden center, too.

Just before reaching Hana Town, you’ll find Hana Tropicals, a family farm run by husband and wife team, Krista and Ian Ballantyne.  The pair made a wild decision to leave their corporate worlds in Lake Tahoe to raise orchids in a Hawaiian rainforest.  They’ve never looked back.

They offer walking tours through their orchid greenhouse, their gardens, and their trees, including palms and huge banyans.  Classes in making Hawaiian flower leis are available, too.  Future plans include two miles of jungle trails through the rainforest in their backyard.

The grounds include a store with snacks and souvenirs, as well as a picnic area with tables.  The Ballantynes make it very easy to spend an hour or two in this lush sweet-smelling environment.  Talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, thinks so, too; she owns 500 acres of land nearby.

If the idea of making the hair-raising drive doesn’t sit well with you, van tours are available through local travel agencies.  Choose these trips wisely.  Many tour companies have staffing troubles, and send out drivers with very little tour guide experience.

While a van tour takes the driving out of your hands, it also limits your freedom: freedom to stop and enjoy the view; freedom to take a snapshot; freedom to relax.  But you will get there, safely.

However, if you don’t mind being part of the long winding chain of the more than 600 rental cars that travel the road to Hana everyday, then you are in for a memorable experience.

Driving the road to Hana in the daylight is not so bad; driving after sunset, in the dark, is a knuckle-biter. You’ll wind up back on the main highway, four hours later, stressed and exhausted.  And wishing you’d never heard of an orchid.  Just be sure to start your drive to Hana early in the morning, and leave Hana in mid-afternoon.

Have you driven the road to Hana?  Did you enjoy yourself?  Any good tips?

Sheree Zielke

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3 Responses to “Hana, Maui, Hawaii: Dramamine and Orchids – the Perfect Pair!”

  1. Leigh says:

    Here’s some advice: don’t go in the morning. Being behind all those cars is maddening. Go in the afternoon, and stay a few days. There are many bungalow and studio rentals available through vrbo; call one and stay. Go to Koki Beach. Go to Hamoa Beach. Walk through town at night. Stop by the roadside stands run by families or larger organic farms like Ono Farms. Go to Wainapanapa Stare Park; spectacular (and free). Hana is much more than a drive. Really. And, if you DO drive…notice all the dry streambeds and dearth of waterfalls. Large battle with EMI (East Maui Irrigation) and much of the upstream water is now diverted, to the loss of taro down below.

  2. Sheree says:

    Excellent advice. Thanks for taking the time to share this additional information, Leigh. And you are so right about the traffic, but if you go very early, the traffic isn’t as bad.

  3. Jacob Gan says:

    You blog reminds me that it is time to take another trip to Hawaii and Hana in particular.