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Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Singapore, Singapore
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Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Me: inexperienced driver with new license in the US, avoid Hways and drive on back roads.

Here's the plan: Possibly revisit Kuai after 6 yrs on a solo vacation and stay in NShore- town of Haneli. Planning to take the shuttle from Lihue airport all the way to Haneli and back.

Just wondering if it's realistic to rent a car from Princeville airport. I am NOT planning on seeing the whole Island again. Just want to be able to go to the beaches and do short 10 mins drive from Haneli town to beaches and to Kee Beach and short hikes on nature trails (incl. along the Napali coast hiking trail). I understand Kee Beach is only 10 mins away from Haneli and Princeville.

Questions I have:

Is the drive from Princeville airport to Haneli - Kee Beach going to be on a narrow road with hair raising twists and turns? Don't wanna deal with the feeling of falling off a cliff! I remember the ride from Poipu to NShore being a hilly, costal drive. But hoping last portion from Princeville to Kee Beach would be flat?!!

Didn't think it would be possible to go to Kaui wout a car but after doing much research it's seems doable since it's a second time visit. Planning to stay in the town of Haneli so I think I would be okay if I don't drive if I take a tour or two. Last time I drove by I was wishing I had stayed there!.

Please help! Can't find any info on this topic, anywhere!

Edited: 22 March 2011, 07:18
Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Also do any flights go directly to Priceville airport? Or is it just a base for the helicopter tours etc?

San Diego...
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2. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

The shuttle flights into P-ville airport from Oahu went bye bye about a decade ago from what I remember.

The roads around Hanalei are very rural in character with speed limits about 35 MPH. There's some winding spots on the way to Ke'e but nothing really scary IMO. If you take it easy, you'll be fine.

As for being an inexperienced driver, I'd say you'll fit right in. Keep one eye on the road and both on the other drivers here. We seem to have an odd mix of Mr./Ms. Magoo, jacked up trucks in a hurry and mainlanders who haven't quite gotten into go-slow mode on vacation yet.

You might want to just grit your teeth and take the drive up from the airport. It's just 30 miles and virtually all of it is 2 lane. Max speed 50 and plenty of traffic to just tuck in behind and follow.

Santa Rosa...
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3. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

The road from Hanalei to Ke'e is mostly flat but it is a little windy with a few one-lane bridges.

Are there car rentals at the Princeville Airport? If so and if they are a distance from where you're staying how would you get to them? The road from the airport to the north shore is pretty simple, what some would consider a back road. You might want to reconsider just picking up your car there.

California
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4. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

There IS a car rental place at Princeville Airport (Avis) but you pay a big premium for that location.

It would not make sense to wait until you get to Princeville to rent. You would need to take a shuttle ($60-80 each way) from Lihue.

The drive to Ke'e is fine as long as you go slowly and observe the one lane bridge ediquette. There are a few hair pins turns and it can be a bit scary in the pouring down rain, but everyone drives slowly so no worries there.

You will want a car. Just rent it at the main airport. I don't drive around the entire island when visiting either. I mostly hang in Princeville and North, but I can't imagine being without a car to get groceries, explore beaches, go out to dinner etc.

This site has great deals. It will be cheaper in the long run.

http://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/

Oregon
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5. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

I don't think of road from Poipu to North Shore as hilly coastal drive. Not sure what you may be remembering, but is that why you choose not to drive from airport to north shore?

Poipu to Lihue is through some rolling low hills but road is good. Road from Lihue to north shore is similar. neither are on the coast. except for a few short sections. You may be remembering road to Waimea Canyon then on to Na Pali coast view which is .in hilly area and could be scary.

As far as Hanalei to Kee I really do not like that road much. the two longer single lane bridges can be a bit scary. And a few others take care crossing. You really have to watch to make sure no one is coming. One time the ford near the end was full of water from recent storm. I chose to not put rental car through it. It does kind of hang on the hillside above the ocean in a place or two. and much of it is narrow and a few curvy sections.

to me road from Lihue to north shore is much simpler drive. for a nervous driver I would suggest paying taxi to make the drive to Kee over paying shuttle to get from airport to north shore. Then if you are comfortable drive your rental to Kee

I spent my work life working in the forests of the NW driving a lot of single lane roads in steep country, but most people on those roads were experienced driving them. That is not true of road to Kee.

But I do drive it and will again.

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Different strokes I guess but I find the road from Hanalei to Ke'e very simple and easy going and don't have a problem recommending it to a newer driver. The only elevated part is the one curve beginning at the west end of Hanalei Bay. After that it's clear sailing at a nice slow pace.

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Thanks for the wonderful feedback everyone. I think I may skip the car rental altogether. I'll be happy enough to sit on the beautiful Hanali Bay beach in Kauai and do a few nature tours. Better not to add the extra stress of driving. I was intitially planning to ask the cab driver to drop me off at Priceville airport where I would pick up the car.

I wish there was place in the US as gorgeous as Kauai closer to the midwest!

Oregon
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8. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Sorry if my post made you decide that. I suggest you reconsider. Not sure where you drive now. to call them back roads. but the road to North shore could be similar to your back roads. Only through the town of Kapaa is it busy. from the airport going north you miss the town of Lihue

Santa Rosa...
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9. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

Meye, I think you should reconsider and go back to Plan A. Picking up a car at the Princeville airport is just fine. You'll pay a little more but it is probably worth it to you so you don't have to drive from the airport. I again say that I have no qualms recommending the drive to Ke'e for a newer driver. It's a small 2-lane road , flat, some small wiggles in it, cars going maybe 30-35 mph and less as you get closer. I see nothing scary about it. The one-lane bridges are no big deal. They're not at all what comes to mind when we hear the word bridges. The typical one is maybe 4-5 car lengths long and just directly over a small creek. They're only wide enough for 1 car so the rule of thumb is common sense common courtesy. The car that arrives there first goes first. No big deal. At that point you're driving maybe 25 miles per hour only.

I'm just trying to give you an accurate picture in your mind of this road.

Healy, Alaska
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10. Re: Ques 'bout driving around in Haneli fm a novice driver

I think one very positive thing about driving on Kauai is that traffic is slower . . . if everyone follows the posted traffic signs. Even as an experienced driver, I pull over for those locals who want to hurry past me. The good thing about that for an inexperienced driver is that you don't have to feel that pressure like you would when the speed limit is 70 and you have cars behind you, bearing down and making you feeled pressured. You can relax and take your time. I can't imagine being in Kauai without a car, especially on the northshore . . . I think you would find it much easier than you are imagining. Good luck! :)