Hawaii is an island paradise located in the Pacific, with a tropical climate and laid back atmosphere making it a relaxing place to come for a holiday. Hawaii has a very diverse landscape with stunning volcanic mountaintop’s, history, canyons, waterfalls, beaches and a plethora of ocean activities including surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. This is truly an island paradise with great sunsets and tropical flowers.
Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu, is the capital of Hawaii and gateway to the U.S. Island chain. Waikiki is the centre for all things nightlife, dining and shopping. Famous for its iconic crescent beach and turquoise waters lined with palm trees and high rise hotels and the volcanic Diamond Head Crater. The boardwalk or as it is known locally ‘The Waikiki Beach Walk’ is lined with cafés and entertainment venues, while Kuhio and Kalākaua Avenues are where you will find the main restaurants and boutiques. The Waikiki Historic Trail includes historic markers made from surfboards, inspired by Waikiki's own Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic Gold medallist swimmer and avid surfer. Diamond Head State Monument is an iconic site, making for a unique profile on the coastline with stunning panoramic views. This recognisable landmark formed when a great cinder cone on the edge of the Koʻolau Mountain Range burst 200,000 years ago, spewing magma and rock out to create the rugged ridges and craters that are seen today.
Pearl Harbor is a National Historic Landmark and an active military base. In 1941 it earned its place in history after it was attacked, with 1,177 servicemen being killed on the USS Arizona. The site is now home to several attractions that are part of the World War II Valour in the Pacific Monument, including the USS Arizona Memorial floating above the remains of the sunken ship, parts of which can be seen protruding from the water. You can also visit the Pearl Harbor Visitor Centre and the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island where you will see WWII aircraft, artefacts as well as experience landing an airplane on an aircraft carrier in a flight simulator. Other sites include the USS Oklahoma, USS Utah and the USS Missouri.
The ancestral home of the revered Kalakaua Dynasty is nestled in the midst of downtown Honolulu. This 19th Century Palace exudes of a Francophone, Italianate charm from each of its terraces and Baroque come classical nooks and crannies. Built by the Monarch David Kalakaua, who travelled to Europe, Asia and Africa in search of inspiration for his grand project. Later, the Palace was the spot where American troops first raised the stars and stripes to signal Hawaii’s annexation to the U.S.
The Honolulu Beer Works is the premier microbrewery in all of the Aloha State and is housed in a reinvigorated industrial depot, in the stylish neighbourhood of Kaka’ako. The tasting room fuses the salt-washed character of Hawaii’s surfer shacks with a cool and distinct artsy vibe.
The trailheads of the Koko Crater start on the southern fringes of the city, weaving their way up the volcanic foothills of the Koʻolau Mountains and above the waters of Hanauma Bay. The nature reserve is home to spiked cacti and sunbaked paths, offering walkers a glimpse at the rugged backcountry of the Aloha State. The trail follows the disused train tracks that climb the ridges, weaving between the scrublands and rocks before opening up to 360 degree views of the southeastern Oahu Coast and over to cliffs of Molokai Island.
The protected Hanauma Bay is quite unique, created within a crater of a Volcano and has long been a popular site with divers. Why not visit the Education Centre to learn about the area while picking up all your equipment!
Less than an hour's drive from Honolulu you will find the Polynesian Cultural Centre. The centre portrays the culture and daily life of the Polynesian Islanders in Hawaii, Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji as well as that of the Māori’s in New Zealand through music, dance, craft demonstrations and games.
The Big Island of Hawaii has a lot to offer including Volcanoes National Park with the parks centrepiece, Kilauea. Here you can get a close-up look at an active volcano system where lava seeps from fissures in the earth. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is dedicated to the history and traditions of coffee farming. Mauna Kea is the highest mountain in Hawaii with an active research facility at its Observatory. One of the most scenic spots on the island would have to be the Waipio Valley Lookout, which is surrounded by lush cliff walls and a fertile valley that opens out to the ocean. For a scenic drive head along the Hamakua Coast stretching from Hilo to the Waipio Valley.
Located on Maui, the Haleakala National Park offers access to the inactive 10,000 foot Haleakala Volcano. Views from the summit stretch across the entire island and are particularly stunning at sunrise. This dormant crater has a lunar-like landscape, where other areas are covered in subtropical rain forests. The dramatic Hana Road (Hana Highway) is a 52 mile scenic highway that winds from Pāʻia through lush forests and along the coast to the remote town of Hana. Along the route there are numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic lookouts and beaches. The Maui Ocean Centre gives visitors a close up of what lies beneath the ocean's surface. The Aquarium's centrepiece is the massive Living Reef, home to more than 40 Pacific Coral species and thousands of fish.
On the Island of Kauai, the Waimea Canyon State Park, often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ stretching over ten miles and at a depth of 3,600 feet. The best viewpoints are from the Puu ka Pele and Puu hinahina lookouts. For something a little more dramatic then the iconic Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park consists of some of the world's most dramatic landscapes and was made famous in the film Jurassic Park. The Princeville Botanical Gardens is a family run facility, growing a wide variety of exotic flowers, medicinal plants and food bearing plants.