Free camping on the beach on Maui, Hawaii

We rented a car for a few days, bought a tent in Walmart and went free camping. Free camping is free camping on public land.

Can you do it on Maui? Absolutely. Is it legal? meeeeeehh. Ish.

It’s tolerated and if you stick to a few rules, you’ll be fine. Ask me in comments if you want advice.


This is the view when we wake up in the tent – I mean, holy smokes. The night before we actually very seriously feared that the tide would swallow our tent!

When you wake up, you’re in the middle of the obscenely beautiful landscape that is Maui. You’ll be enjoying this view all day and all the beaches are spectacular!

So what are you waiting for? Hawaii doesn’t have to be so expensive.

Contact me on your favourite social media or here in the comments if you want advice or just want to chat




  • Megan

    July 15, 2020

    I’m in need of some advice for long term beach camping. Any ideas where that can be done legally and safely for a single female ocean dweller. Hawaii is very high on my list of locales but also intrigued by Puerto Rico or any carabesn island with decent surf. Thank you for your advice.

    • Thor

      January 17, 2021

      Hey There Megan!
      First of all, absolutely sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Your comment got lost in a spam filter.

      Alright, free camping on Maui is possible. Many people do it long term – however it’s not officially legal so you would have to accept being told to uproot and move occasionally.
      When we were there, road 30 between olowalu and maalaea was semi-permanent camping. What many people do is to put up the tent after dark so they can’t be spotted from the road.

      If you’re not interested in pirate camping there are loads of very safe and beautiful camping spots with amenities like kitchen and toilet all around the island and they’ll cost you around $25 per night or something similar – so not exactly cheap – depending on your budget.

      Another option that we haven’t explored is simply asking someone if you can camp on their private ground for a fee. It might be worth a shot?

      In general I hope you know of the app call iOverlander – it’s so valuable. It has community based reviews of so many locations – from Walmart parking lots to official camping spots.

      Hope this helps you. And please! Get back to me if you have updated information or have found the perfect spot. We might have to check it out 🙂

  • Diana

    March 14, 2022

    Hey Thor,
    I’m going to Maui in April and looking into car camping sites around Kahului and Paia on the way to Hana. I car camped at Kaulahao Beach in 2019 and it was fine but not sure if things have changed.


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