. Sweet summer breeze, palm trees, ukulele music: this is Hawaii. Grab your grass skirt, slip on your flip flops and prepare to dig your toes into the warm Hawaii sand. Hawaii actually refers to several islands clustered together in the North Pacific Ocean, far from anywhere else. Hawaii is a unique and beautiful place, and a popular tourist destination for thrill seekers, surfers, honeymooners, explorers and those interested in studying biology and volcanology. Hawaii shares many similarities with Austrailia in the sense that it very much promotes an outdoors lifestyle.
An island in the middle of the ocean, Hawaii is particularly interesting geologically. With white sands and crystal clear waters, the island looks like a paradise from some kind of story book. The state is the most recent to have joined the United States (in 1959), and despite its size has population of over one million permanent residents. It is also the only state in the USA that grows coffee. Whether you want to brave some of the world’s best waves or go diving deep in the multi colored coral reefs that surround the islands, don your hiking boots and explore the mountains or just chill on the beach under a palm tree, sipping a mai tai cocktail and the sea lapping at your toes, Hawaii has something for everyone.
Where to Stay
Hawaii is comprised of eight islands: O’ahu, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, Ni’ihau, Maui and the island of Hawai’i (the Big Island). The islands are interconnected and accessible to one another by ferry. Waikini is one of the Island’s most popular tourist destinations; home to Honolulu beach, known for its beautiful seafront villas and the white sands of the bay. There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in Hawaii, with much of it designed to cater for the many celebrities who visit the island. If you’re on a bit of a tighter budget however, Wimdu gives you the opportunity to rent out a private villa from a Hawaiian local.
Things to see and do
There is a good chance you are heading to Hawaii for the stunning scenery, fantastic beaches and laid back island culture. Hawaii is a haven for outdoors adventure, with impressive mountains, roaring waterfalls, spectacular marine life and tropical rainforests alongside powder white sands. Here you can explore an array of wildlife and get lost in the greenery that surrounds you. Whether you’re an experienced surfer, or you’ve never tried it before, this is the place to take to the water. Rent out your gear from the local shop and stake out your spot on the sands; Ho’okipa beach is for the pros. You can also try other water sports here too, such as banana boating, snorkeling and canoe boating. If you’re looking for adventure away from the water, then a guided tour out to one of the two main national parks (Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) is definitely a must. Here you will be able to explore the geological effects caused by the volcanic eruptions many thousands of years ago. You can hike across the ancient lava flows and tread your way around the currently active volcano.
The food in Hawaii is an varied mix of flavours, inspired by the Americans, early Polynesians, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans and Portuguese, but the style itself is distinctly Hawaiian. Start your day with a strong espresso and a quiche on the beach at one of the local beach huts. For lunch, tuck into a famous Hawaiian teriyaki burger and side of red potato frittata. For dinner, wander down to the sea where the locals tend to catch fresh fish. Alternatively, you can always head to one of the food markets and pick up some traditional Hawaiian deli to take back to your villa and do your own thing.
Hawaii is the only US state entirely surrounded by water. The Hawaiian coastline is approximately 750 miles long. The easiest way to travel around Hawaii is by ferry, and it’s eco friendly too. Many vehicles on the island have actually been converted to biodiesel though. You can also hire harper trucks, beach cruisers, mopeds and bikes through the Hawaii bike exchange programme. There is also a 3X daily bus service across the islands that runs between Ocean View and Pahala.