— Hawaii —

About Hawaii, Pacific

Located more than 5178 kilometres off the west coast of America, this tropical paradise of turquoise bays, white sandy beaches, lush tropical vegetation and balmy sunshine all year round, is renowned as one of the world’s most famous vacation playgrounds.

Most of the 132 islands in this beautiful archipelago are no more than tiny atolls, the summits of a chain of submarine volcanoes that stretches almost to Japan. Hawai‘i is full of contrasts and extremes and it has 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones.

Capital and major centres
There are six major islands to visit in Hawai’i. These are Oahu, with the city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawai’i; Mau‘i, the second largest island with the world’s largest dormant volcano; Kaua‘i which is known for its magnificent scenery and vegetation; Hawai‘i Island or the Big Island where Captain Cook is buried, and the ancestral home of Hawai‘ian royalty; and Moloka‘i and Lãna‘i, located off the coast of Maui.

The people
There are 1.4 million people of mixed races living in the Hawai‘ian archipelago. Hawai‘i’s religions are as diverse as its cultural heritage. The official languages are Hawaiian and English. The diverse culture of Hawai‘i is expressed through language, music, art, theatre, dance, film and food.

The first inhabitants of Hawai‘i were Polynesians who arrived between the fourth and fifth century with plants and animals. Captain James Cook was the first European. He landed in 1778 to find a structured society with chiefs ruling each island. In 1920, Hawaii became a major tourist destination with the first non-stop flight from the US mainland. In 1959 it became an American state and Honolulu is now the 11th largest city in the USA.

The sights
On Oahu, see Pearl Harbor and visit famous Waikíkí Beach. Hike to the top of one of Hawai’i’s most recognised landmarks, Diamond Head, for panoramic views of Waikíkí and Honolulu. Hire a car or jump on the local bus to explore the beautiful beaches on the famous North Shore.

On Mau’i the main attraction is Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano reaching approximately 3000 metres. The best time to visit Haleakala is at sunrise. A drive along the stunning Hana highway is also a must while on Mau’i.

On Hawai‘i Island, there is Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Parker Ranch, which is the third largest working cattle ranch in the US. There is also a space centre named after Hawai’i’s first astronaut, Ellison S. Onizuka. Visit Akaka Falls State Park and take a scenic self-guided walk that features two amazing waterfalls, Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls.

Kaua‘i has Waimea Canyon and a number of magnificent botanical gardens. A sailing trip or helicopter ride along the breathtaking Napali coast is also highly recommended.

Molokai is home to historic Kalaupapa National Historical Park where victims of Hansen’s disease were exiled in the 1800s. Today, the serene Kalaupapa National Historical Park is a place of preservation and education and is only accessible by mule ride, hiking tour or airplane from the small commuter Kalaupapa Airport.

The smallest inhabited island in Hawai’i is Lãna‘i. It’s best dive spot, Cathedrals, has dramatic coral formations creating pinnacles and caverns rising from a depth of 21 metres to the surface. Kaunolu Village is an archaeological site featuring the largest surviving ruins of a prehistoric Hawai‘ian village.

Where to stay
Hawai’i has accommodation to suit all budgets, and travellers can expect to find hundreds of hotels and condos in every category from luxury to budget. Camping is available in National, State, City, and County Parks.

Getting around
If you are considering visiting all of the islands, it is recommended that you allow a minimum of three weeks. The domestic airlines, Hawai’ian, Mokulele Airlines and Island Air help to maximise sightseeing time. Helicopter sightseeing tours are popular and give you a chance to see places that may otherwise be inaccessible.

On the ground there are limousines, taxis and coaches available. Oahu is the only island with a bus service with an extensive route that covers the entire island. In addition, there is a ferry from Lãna‘i to Mau’i and from Moloka’i to Mau’i. Renting a car or jeep is extremely popular in Hawai’i, although it is not necessary in Honolulu as it has a good public transport network.

Driving is on the right-hand side and, as most islands have only one main road, it is difficult to get lost. Night driving is not quite as enjoyable, as roads between towns are not lit and can be narrow.

Hiring a bike is a great option for visitors as it allows you to get off the beaten track and visit smaller towns.

Food and entertainment
Experience a traditional Hawai’ian feast or luau, which usually includes dishes like poi, ground from the taro plant, kalua pork, an entire pig wrapped in ti leaves and baked in an underground oven or imu, poke, marinated raw fish, shellfish, or octopus, along with Polynesian-style entertainment and a hula performance.

Aside from the Pacific Rim or Hawai’i regional cuisine, which is a fusion of food and techniques from all of the countries and ethnic groups that have historically had an influence on Hawai’i, Hawai’i boasts many international restaurants serving various Asian and continental cuisines. There are also fast foods of every kind, and doit-yourself is popular as most condominiums have cooking facilities.

There is a wide range of activities for all ages including snorkelling, fishing, tennis, golf, windsurfing, sailing, and many other water-based activities including magnificent surfing. Hawai’i offers sightseeing tours, bushwalks, downhill cycling adventures, trail rides, and a range of indoor activities.

Whale watching season begins in late December and ends in early May, with peak viewing occurring between January and early April. November through February is big wave surf season on Hawai’i’s north shores.

Shopping guide
Artisans make copies of their ancient instruments made from gourds, stones, seeds, feathers, shells, lumber and bamboo. Also for sale are woven leaf hats, feather work in colourful hatbands, capes and bags, handwoven cloth, Lauhala leaves made into sandals, bags and wall ornaments. Beautiful Hawaiian applique quilts in island designs make the perfect gift.

With its warm and gentle trade winds, mild temperatures and sunny skies, Hawai’i is an ideal vacation destination throughout the year. There are really only two seasons in Hawai’i: summer from May to October and winter from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature is 29.4°C, while the average daytime winter temperature is 25.6° C.

The wettest months are from November to March, with most of the rain falling in the mountains and valleys on the windward (northeastern) side of the islands. During the winter on many north shore beaches, Pacific storms drive ocean swells towards the islands, creating The Hawaiian Islands’ legendary big waves.

Hawaiian People & Culture

Things to know about Hawaii

Things to do in Hawaii

Hawaii’s Cuisine

Hawaii’s Culture & Night Life

Activities in Hawaii

Where to Stay

Embassy Suites by Hilton® – Waikiki Beach Walk
Golden sands and turquoise seas are right at your fingertips with a stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton – Waikiki Beach Walk. Experience newly re-styled suites renowned for spacious accommodations, convenient comp... View More »
The Westin Hapuna Beach
Hapuna Beach has been consecutively ranked “Best Beach” in the world and is home to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, the Island of Hawaii’s premier destination and a hidden oasis offering recently renovated ro... View More »
Kai La’i Waikiki Beach LXR Hotels & Resorts Managed by Hilton
On the edge of Waikiki’s incredible white sand beaches sits Ka La‘i Waikiki Beach LXR Hotels & Resorts Managed by Hilton. Formerly Trump International Hotel Waikiki, the first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel... View More »
Grand Hyatt Kauai
Reflecting the island’s natural beauty, this luxury resort beckons you to unwind on 50 oceanfront acres. Celebrate in a water wonderland of multi-level pools with a waterslide and saltwater lagoon, enjoy experi... View More »
The Kahala Hotel and Resort
At the very end of one of Oahu’s most scenic drives around the iconic Diamond Head Crater landmark rests an oasis of luxury and elegance, The Kahala Hotel and Resort. Just 10 minutes from the world-class shoppi... View More »
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Where luxury and sophistication meet personalised services and style, experience a world-class beach resort in one of the most sought-after resort destinations in the world. Steps from the sun and surf of Mokapu ... View More »
Aqua Aston Hospitality
Distinctive properties in fabulous locations will inspire the perfect Hawaii holiday you seek. From full-service resorts and stylish hotels to serviced apartment resorts and comfortable properties, Aqua-Aston Hos... View More »
Prince Waikiki
Discover spectacular oceanfront accommodation and world-class service at one of the most desirable and convenient locations in Waikiki. Absorb breathtaking panoramas of the Pacific Ocean from all of the spacious,... View More »
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is an oceanfront oasis steeped in the spirit of Hawai’i Island. Exuding modern Hawaiian elegance, the resort is situated on 17 beachfront acres on ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay,... View More »
Vive Hotel Waikiki
Vive Hotel Waikiki is Oahu’s most stylish lifestyle boutique hotel, an inviting and relaxing place to call home when visiting Hawaii. Sophisticated design Warm and friendly service combined with a chic and w... View More »
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
Discover an oasis of luxury and tranquility in the heart of Waikiki Beach. The brand-new, vibrant ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor luxury to elevate your holiday experience i... View More »
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Indulge in the timeless natural beauty and serenity of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Island of Hawaii. Considered one of the most iconic resorts on the sunny Kohala Coast, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a landmark of hi... View More »
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach
Experience island bliss and beachfront elegance at Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach. The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is a luxury boutique hotel with a prime location, just steps away from the world-famous birthplace o... View More »
Waikiki Resort Hotel
Waikiki Resort Hotel is located in the heart of Waikiki, just half a block away from the world-famous white sands of Waikiki Beach and across from Kuhio Beach. The hotel is centrally located - only an elevator ri... View More »
‘Ilima Hotel
Discover exceptional value, and experience the true spirit of aloha and ‘ohana at the superb ‘Ilima Hotel. From the moment you enter the lobby, with its gleaming koa wood and paintings by the famous Hawaiian ... View More »
Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue
Escape to paradise at The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue, surrounded by lush, verdant landscapes. Stay mere moments from stunning stretches of golden sand and an array of thrilling outdoor adventures. Settl... View More »