Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii! Sea turtles, active volcanoes, unparalleled surfing, excellent coffee and spectacular views over white-crested waves. Sounds like somewhere in the movies, too perfect to visit, but in fact the Hawaiian Islands are only a quick flight from Australia! As the youngest and one of the most photogenic US state, Hawaii holidays offer visitors anything their imagination can conjure, so don’t wait to visit this island paradise. Mahalo!
Top 10 things to do/places to visit during your Hawaii holidays:
The performers might not make you get up and try your hips at the hula, but you can at least go and appreciate the masters. Treat yourself to an authentic lu’au, which are performed at cultural centres, drum ceremonies, resort dinners and specialty shows on most of the islands. In some My Hawaii holidays a lu’au is included in the price or a 2-for-1 deal is exclusive to My Hawaii guests.
Maui’s worst-kept secret is the Molokini snorkelling site. With visibility on most days ranging from 25-60 metres, Molokini has the consistently clearest water in Hawaii and offers a face-to-face swimming experience with sea turtles. Don’t fret if Maui isn’t on your list of places to visit; check out Oahu’s North Shore for more turtle-spotting spots.
Hosting more than 80 courses between the islands, golf is a popular activity when visiting. Few other places in the world offer the stunning landscape and topography of the Hawaiian courses, so pick and island and start swinging.
Find everything you want, from chocolate covered macadamia nuts to Coach and couture! With the Waikele Premium Outlets a short stint from the centre of Waikiki, Ala Moana a trolley ride down the main road, and Waikiki sparling with shops like diamonds at night, here you are spoilt for choice. Burberry, Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton sit side-by-side with The GAP, Levi’s, Vans, Sketchers and Victoria’s Secret, and with prices cheaper than Australia you might just be buying another suitcase as well just to get it all home!
Waikiki Beach is famous for being a beach, so enjoy it! Most My Hawaii hotels offer their guests exclusive use of their beach facilities, like chairs and umbrellas, so ensure you plan a day to do nothing but wriggle your toes in the sand. Cruise around the island and visit the North Shore, or pop over to Maui or Kauai if you’re seeking a more secluded stretch of sand.
‘ono, or delicious, food is a main draw to guests coming to visit. Hawaii’s mix of cultures has led to cuisines fusing Chinese, Japanese, American, Korean and other elements, and with fresh seafood and a farm-to-plate devotion on many islands, it’s easy to understand how any visit to Hawaii can become a culinary tour.
Conjure an image in your mind of Hawaii and, unless you’re picturing the opening to Hawaii 5-0 (which is Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater), most likely you’re seeing Kauai. Movies like “Saving Sarah Marshall”, “The Descendants” and “Jurassic Park” have been shot here, taking advantage of the beaches, the luscious green rain forests and the sparkling blue water. Not visiting Kauai this time? That’s ok, movie history abounds on Oahu and you can visit shooting sites of “Pearl Harbor”, “Along Came Polly” and “George of the Jungle”.
Imagine the fear during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour when you spend a day visiting the 5 historical sites. Learn about the history on board the USS Arizona and pay your respects to the fallen soldiers before taking a fast boat to the USS Missouri Memorial for a guided tour. Even non-history buffs will appreciate the solemnity and importance of these memorials and what they stand for.
Well, you can visit a royal palace, at least! Iolani Palace in Oahu, occupied from 1882 to 1893 by King Kalakaua and his family is the only royal palace on US soil. Enjoy your visit here with an audio tour and marvel at the royal jewellery and historic photographs in the basement.
Whether taking in the view of the Waimea Canyon, driving along the Napali Coast or just appreciating the blue water against the white (or black) sand, there is no shortage of diverse landscape to enjoy. Rainforests, beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls – the islands of Hawaii are a photographer’s delight. Why not make everyone at home jealous?