Aloha! If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii and wondering about the distance between islands, you’ve come to the right place. Specifically, we’re going to dive into the details on how far Honolulu on the island of Oahu is from Maui.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The straight line distance between Honolulu, Oahu and Kahului, Maui is approximately 104 miles across the Alenuihāhā Channel.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the distance from Honolulu to Maui by air and sea, recommended travel options, average travel times, and tips to plan your ideal Hawaii island hopping adventure.
Distance from Honolulu to Maui by Air
Direct Flight Distance and Time
The direct flight distance from Honolulu on Oahu to Kahului on Maui is about 100 miles as the crow flies. This short distance across the Alenuihāhā Channel makes for a very quick interisland hop by plane.
There are frequent daily flights between Honolulu International Airport and Kahului Airport operated by Hawaiian Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, and Makani Kai Air. These flights take approximately 25-30 minutes gate-to-gate.
The actual in-air flying time is only about 15-20 minutes once the aircraft levels off at cruising altitude. Depending on the aircraft size and type, the average flight speed is 350-450 mph. Smaller planes fly at slower speeds compared to jet aircraft.
This means you can leave Honolulu and be enjoying Maui’s beautiful beaches and landscapes in under half an hour on a direct, nonstop flight. With the short distance and frequent flights, flying is by far the fastest and most convenient way to get between Oahu and Maui.
Connecting Flight Options via Oahu or Kauai
While direct flights from Honolulu to Kahului are fastest, you can also get to Maui from other islands by connecting through Oahu or Kauai.
Connecting in Honolulu adds only a brief layover before hopping over to Maui. Flights from the Island of Hawaii (Big Island) or Lihue on Kauai will first fly into Honolulu before continuing on.
The total travel time is usually only marginally longer with a connection, adding approximately 30-60 minutes in Honolulu. This includes the time to deplane, transfer between terminals, and reboard.
Connecting between the islands without backtracking to Honolulu is also possible through Lihue Airport on Kauai. Flights will route through Lihue to reach Maui from either Honolulu or the Big Island.
While connections add a bit of time, they provide more options and flexibility in routing and scheduling when traveling interisland.
Checking all the airports can help find the best timed and priced itinerary, especially if coming from an outer island.
Distance from Honolulu to Maui by Sea
Cruise Ship Route
Cruise ships sailing between Oahu and Maui take a similar sea route to ferries, but take longer due to their slower speed.
The voyage follows a southerly heading west of Molokai before turning north to reach Maui. Major cruise lines like Norwegian, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean offer 7-night interisland Hawaiian cruises with Honolulu and Kahului as the main Oahu and Maui ports.
These cruises make multiple port stops, so only a portion of the trip is the route between Honolulu and Kahului. From Honolulu, the ships may stop first in Nawiliwili on Kauai before continuing on to Maui 2 days later.
The total cruise time just between Honolulu and Kahului is around 11-12 hours for a large cruise liner traveling at 20 knots (23 mph). Smaller premium lines can cover the distance in 9-10 hours.
Cruise ships offer a relaxing way to island-hop Hawaii while unpacking once in your cabin. You also get to enjoy onboard dining, entertainment, and amenities during the sea days.
Taking a ferry is a popular method for traveling between Oahu and Maui without flying. The main ferry route is operated by the Hawaii Superferry between Honolulu Harbor and Kahului Harbor. This high-speed ferry can complete the crossing in just 1 hour and 45 minutes. There are 2-3 daily roundtrips available.
The Expeditions ferry offers a slower 5-6 hour ride between the same harbors, with stops on Lanai included along the way. Ferries allow you to bring your own vehicle and transport more luggage compared to flying. Departures are available out of Honolulu year round, while service from Maui runs seasonal schedules.
Other ferry companies like Maui Cruising offer small boat charters making the Oahu-Maui crossing for special occasions and events. These boutique cruises can take 8-12 hours depending on the vessel and route selected.
Ferry travel provides beautiful views of the ocean and islands not visible from airplanes high above. Keep in mind ferry rides are impacted by ocean conditions like storms and high waves.
Driving Distance and Directions from Honolulu to Maui
Since Oahu and Maui are separate islands, you cannot drive directly between Honolulu and Kahului. However, you can take your vehicle on the ferry to travel between the islands:
From downtown Honolulu, take H1 west to H201 heading to Barbers Point. Continue to Kalaeloa Harbor, which has the ferry terminal for vehicle transport between islands.
Drive your car onto the ferry to cross the Pailolo Channel over to Maui. The ferry ride takes around 2 hours.
Once arriving in Kahului Harbor on Maui, drive your vehicle off the ferry and head southwest on Hana Highway. Take this for under 10 miles before turning onto Honoapiilani Highway toward Kahului town and points further north.
This route allows you to bring your own rental car or vehicle when visiting multiple islands. Just be sure to make ferry reservations well in advance, as vehicle space is limited.
Driving on the islands themselves is easy, but you’ll need to take the ferry between Honolulu and Maui since they are separated by ocean waters.
Read More: Can You Drive From Honolulu To Maui?
Tips for Driving to Maui
Driving from Honolulu to Maui can be an exciting adventure, but it’s important to be prepared. Here are some tips to make your journey smoother:
If you plan to drive your car to Maui from Oahu, keep these tips in mind:
- Reserve your ferry tickets and vehicle space well in advance. Walk-on passenger tickets are easier to arrange last minute.
- Prepare your car to be securely parked on the ferry for 2+ hours. Secure any loose items.
- Review the ferry boarding process so you know where to line up and when to arrive.
- Pack an overnight bag in your car in case you want to rest or spend the night before catching the return ferry.
- Get an oil change and check your tires, brakes, and wipers before an interisland drive.
- Pack snacks, drinks, and emergency kits like chargers in the car for the drive.
- Fill your gas tank before boarding the ferry. There are limited gas stations near harbors.
- If possible, avoid driving directly off the ferry during rush hour traffic.
Taking the ferry allows you flexibility to explore both islands at your own pace. With planning and preparation, driving your own vehicle between islands can be an easy part of a Hawaii trip!
How Far is Maui from Oahu as the Crow Flies?
As the crow flies, Maui lies approximately 80 miles southwest of Oahu across the open ocean waters of the Alenuihāhā Channel. More specifically, it is about this distance from Honolulu on Oahu to Kahului on the north shore of Maui.
While the air distance is only 80 miles, there are no direct bridging routes that span this gap. You cannot simply walk, drive or boat directly between the two islands in a straight line due to the deep ocean separating them. Travel requires routing through transportation links like air or sea vessels.
Oahu and Maui are two of the most visited islands within Hawaii’s archipelago. Oahu hosts the capital and largest city Honolulu, while Maui is famous for tropical resorts and sandy beaches along its leeward coasts.
Despite their proximity, the islands offer very different landscapes, vibes and activities.
Maui has a more laid-back pace focused on nature and seclusion. Oahu conversely has a lively urban energy centered around Waikiki. For visitors, it’s easy to island hop thanks to frequent flights and ferry services connecting Honolulu and Kahului.
Understanding how close Maui lies off Oahu’s southwest shore helps characterize the geography of Hawaii’s islands. The archipelago stretches in a sequence across 1,500 miles in the central Pacific Ocean.
Oahu and Maui are two of the closest major islands to one another, which today facilitates easy travel between them for both residents and tourists.
While you can’t walk directly between the islands, knowing the 80 mile straight line distance gives perspective on how quick and convenient modern transportation makes accessing both Oahu and Maui on a Hawaii trip.
Planning Your Inter-Island Hawaiian Adventure
When traveling between Honolulu and Maui, it’s important to plan your trip ahead of time to make the most of your inter-island Hawaiian adventure.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here are some key factors to consider when planning your trip.
Best Time to Visit Maui
Maui’s climate is generally warm and pleasant throughout the year, making it a popular destination for tourists. However, the best time to visit Maui depends on your personal preferences and what you want to experience during your trip.
The peak tourist season in Maui is from December to March, when the weather is cooler and the island is bustling with visitors. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of April to May or September to November.
During these times, you can still enjoy the beautiful weather and take advantage of lower hotel rates.
It’s also worth noting that the weather can vary across different parts of the island. The western and southern parts of Maui tend to be drier and sunnier, while the eastern and northern areas receive more rainfall.
Depending on your planned activities, you may want to consider the weather patterns when choosing the best time to visit.
Top Things to Do on Maui
Maui offers a wide range of activities and attractions for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax on the beach, there’s something for everyone on the island.
1. Explore the Road to Hana: The Road to Hana is a scenic drive along Maui’s eastern coast, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls, lush rainforests, and stunning coastline. Be sure to make stops along the way to swim in the pools beneath the waterfalls or take a hike through the bamboo forest.
2. Visit Haleakala National Park: Haleakala National Park is home to Maui’s highest peak and offers incredible opportunities for hiking, stargazing, and witnessing breathtaking sunrises or sunsets. Don’t forget to dress warmly as temperatures can be much cooler at higher elevations.
3. Snorkel or Dive in Molokini: Molokini is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater located off the coast of Maui. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling and diving due to its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. Don’t miss the chance to explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside tropical fish.
4. Relax on Maui’s Beaches: Maui is known for its beautiful beaches, and spending time on the golden sands is a must-do. From the popular Kaanapali Beach to the secluded Hamoa Beach, you’ll find a beach that suits your preferences. Take a dip in the clear waters, soak up the sun, or try your hand at water sports like surfing or paddleboarding.
These are just a few of the many things to do on Maui. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, Maui has something to offer everyone.
Whether you’re flying, sailing or even driving between islands, we hope this overview on the distance from Honolulu to Maui helps you plan your Hawaiian island hopping getaway. Let the spirit of aloha be your guide and enjoy the beauty of Oahu and Maui.
Safe travels and enjoy your upcoming trip to paradise in Hawaii!