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    Beginner's Guide to Hawaii

    Beginner's Guide to Hawaii

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    There is no place in the world like Hawaii. Whether you’re a new visitor to the islands or you’re planning your annual return trip, there is always something new to discover.

    With six unique islands offering individual experiences, there really is something for every traveller in Hawaii. We invite you to learn more about each of the islands below. With the strong Australian dollar, now is the perfect time to start to plan your individual Hawaiian getaway.


    Kauai – Island of Discovery

    Kauai astounds with its physical beauty, its geological drama, its cliffs and rivers, beaches and waterfalls. Most visitors on Kauai are looking for rejuvenation and relaxation. No doubt this is due to the combination of environment and traditions found throughout the island. Filmmakers have captured these alluring qualities of Kauai in movies including South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, The Thorn Birds, Fantasy Island, Outbreak, Tropic Thunder, and numerous other movie and TV productions through the decades. Why is Kauai such a favourite of travellers to Hawaii? They love Kauai’s beauty, adventure and 80 kilometres of white-sand beaches. Whether you’re in the air, in the water, or on land, you’ll find yourself immersed in intense visual drama and mega-doses of adventure. There is no building higher than a coconut tree and Kauai is cupid’s playground, tailor-made for romance. Kauai’s allure as a romantic destination is proven time and again by the couples who return year after year. Whether planning a wedding and honeymoon, anniversary, vow renewal or couple escape, this is an island where couples create joyful memories for a lifetime.

    Top things to do on Kauai

    • Mountain Tubing
    • Zip lining
    • ATV Riding
    • Visit Aimee Canyon
    • Pali Coast Dinner Cruise
    • River Kayaking

    Oahu – The Heart of Hawaii

    Imagine a paradise where pristine beaches meet azure skies and lush rainforests are framed by perfectly arched rainbows. Couple this with world-class dining, dancing and lots of beautiful people. Oahu is the perfect destination, mixing the heat of the tropics with the hip of an urban metropolis. The spotlight shines on Oahu as the hippest Hawaiian island, where adventure, dining, nightlife, and even sleeping, are done in style.

    Nature, culture and adventure abound on the energizing island of Oahu with an array of sea, land and air activities, as well as arts and cultural attractions. Oahu offers visitors tropical beauty and contemporary excitement that is within close proximity and suits all levels, ages, interests, and budgets. Oahu also offers the traveller more than just shopping, nightlife and hotels – there are many opportunities to explore pristine beaches and lush mountains, experiences which can only be found by travelling off the beaten path. So hire a car for the day or catch the local bus and explore the island.

    Top things to do on Oahu

    • Visit the North Shore and Haleiwa Town
    • Spend a day Polynesian Cultural Center
    • Movie Set tour at Kualoa Ranch
    • Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
    • Surfing Lesson WaiWaikikiach
    • Pearl Harbor Day Tour
    • Guided tour of ‘Iolani Palace – the only royal palace on US Soil

    Maui – The Magic Isle

    Repeatedly at the top of the “best island” surveys of consumer travel magazines, Maui possesses a magic that lingers in the heart and grows. Why do people love Maui? It’s neither too big nor too small – it’s manageable. It has remote wilderness and glamorous resorts, 21st-century comforts and rural neighbourhoods, and people who melt your heart. It’s endowed with staggering natural beauty. And it’s culturally diverse.

    From November through May, Maui welcomes the humpback whales, arriving to mate and give birth and provide joy and entertainment for their viewers. Maui’s south and west coastlines provide abundant opportunities for watching this endangered species, and various operations offer whale watching excursions aboard both power and sail boats.

    Maui, Molokai and Lanai, each visible to the other across a channel, make up the cosy triad of islands called Maui County – Maui Nui. The proximity of these islands to each other conjures up adventures aplenty. You can hop on a ferry, small plane or catamaran on Maui and spend the afternoon snorkelling on Lanai or hiking the lush valleys of Molokai with a Native Hawaiian guide.

    Where to stay? Take your pick: luxury hotels with sunset views, intimate bed & breakfasts clinging to upland slopes, or spacious condominiums for the family with all the amenities of home. While luxury resorts line Maui’s south and west shores, moderately priced accommodations abound in neighboring resort areas, and in Upcountry and Central Maui.

    Top things to do on Maui

    • Watch the sunrise in Haleakalā National Park
    • Spend an afternoon exploring Lahaina
    • Drive the Road to Hāna
    • Discover the wonders of Upcountry Maui
    • Whale Watching Tour
    • Zip Lining
    • Snorkelling at Molokini Crater

    Hawaii – The Big Island – Island of Adventure

    Of all the islands, Hawaii’s Big Island is the most ecologically diverse, with natural environments ranging from the desert plains of Kālu to the rain forests above Hilo, to sometimes- snow-capped Maunakea. Big Island is home to Hawaii’s only World Heritage Site – Volcanoes National Park. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park perpetuates the island’s native Hawaiian culture and protects numerous and significant archaeological sites – tangible reminders of an indigenous people forever linked to the land. Outdoor adventure is practically everywhere you look on Hawaii Island. Hikers can walk in sand and snow and across a steaming volcanic crater – all in one day. Snorkellers can float among sun-spangled reefs teeming with a rainbow of reef fish and scuba divers can go deep for a meeting with manta rays at night. Hawaii Island is overflowing with untold adventure stories. The ocean is pretty deep on Hawaii, but not compared to the heavens. At the 13,796 foot summit of Maunakea, stand next to the planet’s most powerful astronomical observatories. Take a sunset tour to the summit, be dazzled by a sky shimmering with more stars than you have probably ever seen.

    Top things to do on Hawaii – The Big Island

    • Stargaze atop Maunakea
    • Snorkelling at Kealakekua Bay
    • Visit Volcanoes National Park
    • See white, black and green sand beaches
    • Snorkel or dive with giant Manta Rays
    • Visit Hawaii’s longest drop waterfall – ‘Akaka Falls

    When to go

    Any time of year is a good time to visit Hawaii. The average temperature here is between 24°-29.5° C.
    Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 24°-31° C) Winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler (20°-26° C).
    Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round. Whale watching season begins in late December and ends in early May. Peak whale watching months are between January and early April. November through February is big wave surf season on Hawaii’s north shores.

    Getting there

    Direct flights to Hawaii are available from Sydney to Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar and Qantas. Connecting flights are available from 19 Australian cities with Qantas and Virgin Blue. Hawaiian Airlines provides 117 daily flights among the Hawaiian Islands.

    Fast facts

    Population: 1,295,178 (Jul 2009)
    Languages: The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian, although Hawaiian is not commonly spoken.
    Local Time: Hawaii is at GMT-10 hours.
    Currency: US Dollar
    Exchange Rate: $AUD1: 1.01USD
    Visas: Australian and New Zealand passport holders require travel authorisation via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travelling to the USA by air or sea for less than 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). A fee of US$14 applies to new ESTA applications ad renewals. Electricity: 115/120 volts at 60 cycles (60 Hz) per second

    Plan your trip today with your local, personal travel manager.


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