Hawaiian Islands

All the places you’ll go: Hawaiian Islands

Aloha! Chances are you know what this word means ‘hello’, but did you also know it means ‘kindness’, ‘love’ and ‘compassion’? These are values important to native Hawaiians, and no doubt to the thousands of visitors who fall in love with this beautiful island state.

This modern paradise has it all – beautiful beaches, adventure sports, amazing shopping – heck, it even has active volcanoes. You can get up close to these at the enormous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii’s Big Island, which has two active volcanoes, a lava tube, rock carvings and over 200km of hiking trails through diverse landscape from rainforest to volcano craters.

What we love

There’s an island for every activity… You can beach bum or whale watch at some of the world’s best beaches on Hawaii’s second-largest island, Maui, love life with the locals on Molokai, luxe it up on Lanai, or get your outdoor adventure fix on Kauai.

Or just go straight to the most populated island, Oahu, home to legendary Waikiki Beach, world-class shopping, Pearl Harbour’s museums and memorials, and Hawaii’s historic Iolani Palace, home to Hawaii’s last ruling monarchs.

This is where big wave surfing began. You can surf or take a surfing lesson on any of the islands at any time of year, but if you want to catch some seriously big waves head to Oahu in November and December. This is the time to see the pros in action at some of the world’s best surfing competitions.

Don’t miss

  • Learn to make and gift a flower lei (only with a kiss!), or watch a hula dance
  • Viewing the volcano’s most recent activity from Kalapana, the town partially destroyed by Lava in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
  • Shopping at Ala Moana Center, one of America's largest outdoor malls, or grab a bargain at Waikele Premium Outlet
  • Freshly grown and processed Kona coffee on Big Hawaii Island
  • Whalewatching at the old capital, Lahaina (one of the best places in the world to spot humpback whales)
  • The otherworldly Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods)
  • Getting married on a Hawaiian beach… or maybe just watching one of the many beach weddings performed at this romantic destination!

Getting there

As Australian tourists flock to this island paradise in record numbers, the Sydney Morning Herald reported in August 2014 that Qantas, Jetstar and Hawaiian Airlines are all increasing air capacity between Australia and Honolulu. We like the sound of that!

Where to stay

Start with choosing an island and then narrow down the many accommodation options from there… Oahu is a popular choice because it has a bit of everything. The Hawaii Islands website has information about accommodation. 

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