Free Camping in Maui

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Camping in Maui Part 2: Free Camping in Maui

What’s better than camping in Maui? Free camping in Maui. Yep, I’m cheap, but I also just like to get away from the crowds and create our own adventures. We found a couple awesome, beautiful, free places to camp, did some boogie boarding, hiking (pig hunting without killing any pigs), spearfishing and made some killer beach sushi.   We’ll tell you all about it, but first check out the video:

We hiked south of La Perouse bay along the shoreline, in and out of lava fields and forest and found a perfect place to pitch our tents for the night.   free camping in maui - camping south of la Perouse bay It was totally quiet except the sounds of the waves and perfectly dark except for the stars. In the evening and early morning you will have this place all to yourself. The diving and spearfishing can be amazing with good water clarity and was ok with limited visibility (still good enough to get dinner). This is a reasonably popular hiking route and so it’s not a place to set up and sprawl. It is, however, a great place to explore and throw together a quick camp for the night. You could easily hike along the trail and find a half dozen or more places to pitch a tent.

free camping in maui - south of la Perouse bay

The other great place we found for free camping in Maui was along the southern shore between Kula and Hana.

free camping in maui - south side beach

It’s about an hour drive from the airport at the mile 30 marker. You’ll pull off on the south side of the road into a grove of kiawe trees. There is a black boulder beach which offers an amazing view but will not likely allow easy water access. The diving and spearfishing can be great off the lava flows to the east (drive to a gated, but not locked, 4×4 road just a minute up the road). There are a number of “camping areas” spread out nicely so you are likely to have an area to yourself. I loved this place because it was so easy (you drive right to your spot) and was still very quiet and private.

free camping in Maui - camping on the south shore

Ok, the beach sushi (my name for it) is my interpretation of this recipe from Dana at

free camping in maui - beach sushi

With limited kitchen equipment, a beach towel and Ziploc bag were sufficient for the mechanical portion of sushi roll construction. We added tempura fish into the roll and topped it with raw black durgeon (one of our go-to reef fish).

free camping in maui - beach sushi rolls

What to bring?

If you’re thinking of joining the gridlessness nation next year in maui, consider Rose’s camping essential list:

  • Swimsuits x2
  • Shorts and tee shirts x2 (you won’t need any, or have room for, additional cloths)
  • Flipflops/Crocs
  • Light coat
  • Travelling pillow (or, if you’re tough, just roll up your light coat)
  • Tent (full fly if you’re going to Hana)
  • Thermorest
  • Light sheets (no sleeping bag necessary)
  • Table cloth
  • Spices (for all your fish)
  • Two-cup measuring cup and spoon/fork (one per person, the only dish you’ll need)
  • big knife (fish, bread, pineapple etc)
  • Cooking pot
  • Little propane or backpacking stove (a lot of cooking can be done with charcoal briquettes, but a stove is pretty handy for boiling water, rice, noodles etc)

This is Important: Consider owning a good cooler with wheels and a handle. Pack your camping gear in the cooler and check it at the airport as one of your bags. Once in Maui, spill the contents of your cooler into your rental and fill cooler with ice and drinks. Enjoy.

Did you already see our first instalment of camping in Maui?  If not, check it out here.

Let us know what you think of Free Camping in Maui.  Got questions on how it works, what to bring etc?  Leave us a comment below and we’ll tell you what we know.  Feel free to try out the fancy like or share buttons below.  If you like it, subscribe, you’ll get the next off grid adventure video emailed right to your doorstep.

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