In an island chain as beautiful and picturesque as Hawaii, it can be hard to proclaim that a scenic drive that doesn’t hug oceanside cliffs, or go through tunnels carved in the mountains, is one of the best drives in the state. But that is exactly what we’re saying about Maluhia Road, a stunningly magical tunnel of trees located in southern Kauai near Koloa.
The Holo Holo Koloa Scenic Byway serves as the gateway to Kauai's southern shore, and is full of magnificent views and gorgeous stops, including a stretch of highway covered in a canopy of eucalyptus trees.
The original 500 trees were planted more than a century ago - in 1911, as a gift to the community from Walter McBryde, a local pineapple baron, who had leftover trees from a landscaping project on his estate.
There are some, however, who don’t believe this story and instead think that the trees - imported from Australia - were planted by the Knudsen family to solidify the boggy roadway, or that the trees were planted in order to form a windbreak for nearby sugarcane fields.
Regardless of the tree tunnel’s origins, it is easy for everyone to agree that the result is a positively stunning, dense, green corridor - and perhaps one of Kauai’s most scenic drives.
The trees were stripped down to bare branches during Hurricane Iniki’s 225 mile per hour winds, but have since made a nice recovery, and are back to being the beautiful tunnel of foliage they once were.
In Hawaiian, Maluhia translates to “peace” and “serenity,” two words that aptly describe your experience on this picturesque drive.
Featured in most comprehensive Kauai guidebooks, Maluhia Road is also known as Route 520, and affectionately referred to as simply Tree Tunnel Road.
While we understand the urge to pull off the road and take an Instagram-worthy shot standing in the middle of the road, we urge you to take caution, and stay out of the road for your own safety as well as that of other motorists.