Aloha! And welcome to Hawaii, also called paradise. The entire Hawaiian archipelago of 137 different islands spreads over 2,400 kilometres in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are all formed from volcanic activity, and some are still developing – it’s a fantastic sight to see.
Hawaii conjures up romantic tropical fantasies, where holiday dreams come true. Hawaiian culture is woven into the world's imagination with fashion, Polynesian princesses, music, cuisine and an envious lifestyle on a South Pacific warm breeze. It truly is a destination of a lifetime!
Let’s start at the top. Kauaʻi is sometimes called the ‘Garden Island’. This isle is the oldest and the fourth largest in the chain. Emerald clad valleys cover it with steep green mountains towering from the jagged shoreline. No wonder it inspires movies-sets including Jurassic Park and Elvis's romantic dreams. Hiking is excellent in the Kokee State Park where birdlife is prolific and a real drawcard for nature lovers.
Oahu is the third-largest Hawaiian island, and home to Honolulu. There are the famous touristy beaches like Waikiki, home to the imposing, extinct volcano, Diamond Head. And the renown 'North Shore' where the winter waves draw surfers from around the world.
You don't need to surf to enjoy Oahu's beautiful beaches, also check out Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Waimea Bay Beach Park - there are many others. Explore the variety of restaurants as a mixture of cultures converge. From beach shacks to the five-star, Oahu has it all. Waikiki has the most resorts, best bars and clubs in all of Hawaii and excellent shopping. Even non-history buffs will be drawn to Pearl Harbour, where 2,402 American lives were lost, and the event launched the USA into WWII.
Maui is the second-largest and known as the ‘The Valley of Isles’. It’s recognized for its beautiful beaches, and during winter whales play just offshore. Try and catch a sunrise at Haleakala, stroll through historic Lahaina town, or drive the spectacular scenic road to Hana. Maui has developed into a destination on its own.
Big Island or Orchid Isle is the largest and youngest. Volcanoes still spew lava across the ground and out to sea. Watch your boots don’t start smoking as you walk close to fresh lava. Its an island with a bit of everything from sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains: 11 of the worlds 13 climatic zones are on this one island.
There are waterfalls, rainforest, and an opportunity to swim with giant manta rays. Locals welcome you especially if you are keen to try a homemade liquor shot and there are plenty of local beers and cocktails like the Blue Hawaiian, Hawaiian Honeybee and Hawaiian Volcano, perfect to finish off a day.
There really is no wrong time to visit Hawaii. The best weather is generally from April to May and September to October. Holidays can get very busy, and the rates go up. November is the quietest month.
The most rain falls from November to March, and while June to November is hurricane season, they are infrequent. Surfers: winter brings the best waves, especially on North Shore beaches.