We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

Burleigh Heads...
Level Contributor
32 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

Myself and 2 girlfriends have hired a car from Alamo (through NKT travel car rental Hawaii) for 5 days while we're on Maui. We leave for Hawaii next week - SO excitied!!!!! :)

So, basically I'm just wondering how easy it is to drive on Maui - obviously we're going to be on the 'wrong' side of the road for us. Other travellers, is it hard to get used to driving on the otherside of the road? We will have an automatic car which is great. Are the roads really busy, is there a lot of traffic?

Any tips for driving on Maui would be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks!

Trilogy Excursions
Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours, Scuba & Snorkeling, Eco Tours
Redline Rafting Co.
Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Scuba & Snorkeling
Valley Isle Excursions
Sightseeing Tours, Eco Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Cultural Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours
Blue Water Maui
Scuba & Snorkeling, Boat Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kihei, Hawaii
Level Contributor
2,022 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

I drive on the wrong side in Thailand and still not used to it, one hint I can give is dont creep out after a Stop sign. cars will be coming from the other direction, made this mistake and caught it before a collision. so lesson learned for me. not so busy roads and you will manage fine.

many small fender benders are from people seeing that first whale breech. be prepared take your time. ゆ

Camarillo...
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
4,781 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

You'll have a bit of traffic and a couple of busy (by Maui standards) intersections in the first couple of miles coming out of the airport, and then it is very easy. Maui roads are for the most part, two lane roads - no freeways, and you'll really have no difficulty adjusting to the other side of the road. The biggest difficulty will be keeping your mind on the driving with all the great scenery around you. I've driven in Melbourne and Sydney and Maui is a breeze by comparison :-)

Burleigh Heads...
Level Contributor
32 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

Thanks Keonifoxen and VCSnowbird for your replies :)

We're staying in Lahaina so our plan is to drive from Kahului airport over the top to Lahaina - once we're checked in to our condo we can start exploring the island and take the coast roads.

By reading posts I think we have done the right thing in renting a car - lots of people have said that taxis, shuttles, buses etc are very expensive and it would work out cheaper to rent a car plues we have more freedom to see Maui!

Once the initial nerves are out of the way I reckon we will be fine! I will be taking my time getting to places that's for sure :)

Thanks again!

LA
Level Contributor
10,258 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

Remember that anyone driving the car must be authorized by the rental car company.

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
4,670 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

One thing to keep in mind is that it gets VERY dark at night, along some of the main stretches of road. In particular, if you are coming down from "up country" at night, or driving to/from west maui, you will encounter long stretches where there are no streets or people or lights. Coming from the East Coast of the US, where nearly every square foot is developed, it was a bit surprising to see things truly black at night, other than a tremendous number of stars.

Maddimaddi99, renting a car is definitely the way to go, you'll get so much more out of your trip. But, when you say "over the top", do you mean around west maui in a counter clockwise direction. Please do NOT do this. That road, between Wailuku and Kapalua, is really intended for locals and your car rental probably prohibits you from driving it. It is one lane, in places, and has many blind turns. Instead, take Dairy Road (main road, right out of the airport), which becomes highway 380. Take this to 30, and drive around west maui in a clockwise direction, to Lahiana. That's all 2 or 4 lane highway and is very well traveled.

Burleigh Heads...
Level Contributor
32 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

PareoB - We should all be authorised to drive our rental car but this is something that we will definitely confirm before we go anywhere - we also have full insurances and travel insurance so we are covered should anything happen :)

grandeau - thanks for that info - i should have said the names of the roads - I just looked at google maps - yes it is dairy road (380) and highway 30 that I meant we would be taking from the airport - it's the shortest and looks the safest for us to get to Lahaina - thank you for also recommending this route :)

grandeau you also said that it gets very dark in Maui at night time - I have another question, not driving related - we are booked in for a whale watching tour from 5-7pm one evening - will this time be too dark to see the whales? should we go to the earlier one from 4:45pm??

Thanks again!!

Kihei, Hawaii
Level Contributor
2,022 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

both times are bad, I noticed whales more active before sunset but your cutting it to close. early morning and afternoon tours are best for the whales.

ゅゆゅゆ

Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
201 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

Just returned from Hawaii, where we had a hire car for two weeks. Definitely rent a car - you'll be missing out if you don't I think. Driving on the other side of the road does take a bit of getting used to (specially the mirror locations, and windscreen/indicator levers) but otherwise you really shouldn't have any problems. Just take it slowly at first. Driving in Maui is extremely easy. It would be almost impossible to get lost as there are very few main roads. The speed limits are very low, drivers are polite and law-abiding, and everything is well signposted. Getting to and from the airport is also very straightforward. The roads are in very good condition and not challenging unless you choose the road to Hana or go up the mountainm. Check the road rules before you arrive, e.g. you can turn right on a red light.

Edited: 24 January 2012, 00:23
S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
Level Contributor
10,645 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

..NOT all intersections have a right turn on red. Yes you can turn right on red AFTER you come to a complete stop and it is safe to do so, if there isn't a No Right On Red sign. Look for other cars and people in the crosswalks.

Burleigh Heads...
Level Contributor
32 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Driving in Maui - Australian Tourists

benandted - thank you for your response. It's good to hear feedback from a Aussie who has driven there too :) I am feeling much better about it..I'm super glad we have an automatic car rather than manual that's for sure haha

I have checked google maps and know exactly where we have to go now - so as long as I have a map there with me just incase we will be A OK!

barefootAR - thank you for making that rule clear, that could be a bit confusing. :)