Unforgettable is what Hawaii is. Astonishing volcanic mountains, teeming emerald jungles, and glorious coloured sand beaches come together in the birthplace of surfing. The group of islands combines an awe-inspiring experience of nature with top notch standards in accommodation, cuisine, shopping and entertainment.
Getting to know the Hawaiian islands
Visitors to any of Hawaii’s six main islands are spoiled for choice. Visit two islands? More? Which active volcano to tour? Hike or mountain bike? Track down exotic birds or migrating whales? View the towering mountains and coastal cliff faces from the water or from the air? Relax on the beach and deepen the tan, paddle a kayak or play golf? Whether it’s deciding between tackling the surf or joining the spectators to watch the big wave competitions, or choosing between sushi or barbecue, mocktail or Mai Tai, the choices are as exciting as they are endless.
Most travellers land on the island of Oahu, location of capital Honolulu and the fabulous hotel and resort city of Waikiki beach. The Aquarium and Zoo are popular with families, while surfers can ride Waikiki waves or visit the islands many famous breaks. Every kind of outdoor adventure is available to make the most of the incredible scenery.
Adventure lovers fly to Hawaii Island for the hot lava action at Kilauea Volcano. As ‘Big Island’ of the group, it has the most diverse landscape, with exotic tropical jungles, Hawaiian cowboy country, snow dusted mountains and luxury beach resorts.
Maui is a mecca for hikers, divers, surfers, beach lovers and whale watchers. Visit the sleeping giant, Haleakala Volcano, and island hop by ferry to mysterious Molokai and Lanai.
Breathtaking Kauai is home to the stunning Waimea Canyon with its laid back paddling tours on Wailua River. Or marvel at the spectacular Na Pali coast pictured at the top of the page.
Hawaii travel facts
Australian tourists can travel to Hawaii for up to 90 days without a visa, however requirements are changeable so check the US Department of State website.
Hawaii is warm to hot year round. Low season through October & November has lowest rates and fewer tourists, but can be dry and hot.
The best time to visit are shoulder months, May & September, when rates are reasonable and temperatures are mildest.
Peak season sees highest rates and biggest tourist numbers, especially around Christmas and Easter. December through February are the wettest but the best months for surfing and whale watching. June through August are hottest with an average high of 31°C.
Qantas, Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and American Airlines fly direct to Honolulu International Airport from Sydney, with connecting flights to the other islands.
Oahu’s Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is just over 30 minutes from Waikiki Beach, and connecting flights to the other islands take less than an hour. Hawaii Big Island has two airports, – Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO), and a lot of travellers who tour the island land at one and depart from the other.
Your holiday package may include airport transfers. Otherwise, local operators provide convenient shuttle services to resort areas. Car hire is available all over Hawaii, and the roads are good and relatively uncrowded.
Local currency is the US dollar. The Australian dollar currently buys approx. 0.76 USD, but check for the latest rates.