on 26 May 2016
The epitome of tropical island paradise, Hawaii lures travellers to its sun-soaked shores with the promise of pristine beaches, stunning sunsets, lush rainforests and reefs teeming with colourful marine life. Discover how Hawaii is all this, and so much more.
Beyond the sun, sand and surf, Hawaii has a rich cultural history with deeply held traditions and customs. The “Aloha Spirit” can be felt everywhere in the warmth and grace of its people. With a steady year-round climate of 25-29°C, Hawaii is the ideal holiday destination for travellers of all ages, budgets and interests; perfect as a family escape, a romantic getaway, a health and relaxation retreat or an action-packed adventure holiday. Each of Hawaii’s six main islands offers their own distinct character and represents her beauty in a unique and unforgettable way.
Hawaii – Big Island
Made up of five low-lying volcanoes, the island of Hawaii is the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands. Captain James Cook was the first European to discover the islands in 1778, naming them the Sandwich Islands after the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Cook was killed in Kealakekua Bay just over a year later and is buried at sea just off the coast. An island of contrasts, you’ll find red-hot flowing molten magma in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the snow-covered peak of Mauna Kea, lush green valleys and rainforests on the Hamakua Coast and beaches of black, white and green sand.
Must see: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Home to two of the most active volcanoes in the world. Watch as blistering lava flows into the sea from Kilauea, producing 230,000-600,000 cubic metres of lava per day, take the 17km Crater Rim drive that circles its caldera or walk through a 500-year old lava tube.
Gateway for international flights from Australia to Hawaii, Oahu’s capital, Honolulu, is home to one of the most famous beaches in the world, Waikiki Beach. The first hotel in Waikiki was built in 1901. Today, it’s Oahu’s main hotel and resort area with most rooms no more than three blocks back from the beach. A vibrant city, you’ll find a lively nightlife, fine dining, bargain shopping in Waikele Premium Outlets and local art and goods in the International Marketplace Waikiki.
Must see: Pearl Harbor – Five historic sites honour the events of that fateful day in December 1941 when Japan launched an aerial attack on Pearl Harbor. See the USS Arizona Memorial where you can learn about the attack, before boarding a boat shuttle out to the haunting floating memorial built over the sunken hull of the battleship, USS Arizona.
With 193kms of coastline, Maui boasts over 80 beautiful beaches, some of which have been voted the best in the world. The second largest Hawaiian Island, it has a surprisingly small population and is dotted with quaint towns, artist communities and secluded luxury resorts. A nature lovers delight, you can hike the sacred Iao Valley, see migrating humpback whales, visit the windsurfing capital of the world at Hookipa Beach or snorkel in Molokini, a stunning marine reserve in a partly submerged volcanic crater. At the end of a busy day, relax in one of many picturesque retreats for a treatment using local ingredients.
Must see: Haleakala National Park – Known for its spectacular sightseeing, hiking and biking; discover volcanic landscapes, mountainous wilderness and rare plants like the Silversword. Witness a breathtaking sunrise from atop the dormant Haleakala Crater, rising 3,048 metres above sea level.
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