How Long to Drive Across Hawaii
Hawaii, often referred to as paradise on Earth, is a dream destination for many travelers. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, it comes as no surprise that tourists flock to these islands year after year. One of the best ways to explore everything Hawaii has to offer is by driving across its various islands. However, the question that often arises is, “How long does it take to drive across Hawaii?” In this article, we will explore the approximate time it takes to drive across the major islands and provide answers to frequently asked questions about driving in Hawaii.
Driving Across the Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and most diverse of all the Hawaiian islands. Driving across this island can be an awe-inspiring experience, as you will encounter diverse landscapes ranging from active volcanoes to cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches. The driving distance from the northernmost point of the island, Upolu Point, to the southernmost point, Ka Lae, is approximately 93 miles. It takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours to drive this distance without making any stops. However, it is highly recommended to plan for additional time to explore the many attractions along the way, such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Akaka Falls State Park.
Driving Across Oahu
Oahu, the most populous island in Hawaii, is famous for its vibrant city of Honolulu, stunning beaches like Waikiki, and historical landmarks such as Pearl Harbor. The driving distance from the northernmost point of Oahu, Kaena Point, to the southernmost point, Makapu’u Point, is approximately 70 miles. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to drive this distance, depending on traffic conditions. However, keep in mind that the island’s small size and heavy traffic in urban areas can significantly impact travel time. It is advisable to plan your itinerary accordingly and allocate extra time for visiting attractions like the North Shore, Diamond Head, and the Dole Plantation.
Driving Across Maui
Maui, known as the Valley Isle, is renowned for its pristine beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and the iconic Road to Hana. The driving distance from the northernmost point of Maui, Kahakuloa Head, to the southernmost point, La Perouse Bay, is approximately 50 miles. It takes roughly 1 to 1.5 hours to drive this distance without any stops. However, exploring Maui is not just about getting from point A to point B. The Road to Hana alone can take an entire day, with its numerous waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, and lush rainforests. It is recommended to plan a few extra days to fully enjoy all that Maui has to offer.
Driving Across Kauai
Kauai, often called the Garden Isle, is known for its dramatic cliffs, emerald valleys, and stunning coastlines. The driving distance from the northernmost point of Kauai, Kilauea Point, to the southernmost point, Kaena Point, is approximately 65 miles. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to drive this distance, depending on road conditions and traffic. However, similar to the other islands, Kauai’s beauty lies in its hidden gems, such as the Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Hanalei Bay. It is advisable to allocate extra time for exploring these natural wonders and experiencing the island’s laid-back atmosphere.
FAQs about Driving Across Hawaii:
Q: Do I need a special driver’s license to drive in Hawaii?
A: No, if you have a valid driver’s license from your home country or state, you can drive in Hawaii.
Q: Can I rent a car in Hawaii?
A: Yes, there are numerous car rental companies in Hawaii, making it convenient for tourists to explore the islands at their own pace.
Q: Are there any toll roads in Hawaii?
A: No, there are no toll roads in Hawaii.
Q: What is the speed limit in Hawaii?
A: The general speed limit on Hawaiian highways is 55 mph, unless otherwise posted.
Q: Are there any specific driving rules I should be aware of in Hawaii?
A: Yes, it is important to be mindful of the “aloha spirit” and practice courteous driving. Additionally, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile device while driving in Hawaii.
In conclusion, the time it takes to drive across Hawaii depends on the specific island and the stops you plan to make along the way. While it may be possible to drive across an island in a few hours, it is advisable to allocate extra time to fully enjoy the natural beauty and attractions each island has to offer. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination when exploring the enchanting islands of Hawaii.