Hawaii Island Guide 2018
Say Aloha to Hawaii this year!
We know it as a greeting, bright and tropical, meaning love and kindness, but the spirit of Aloha is something else entirely. Something intangible. It’s a feeling that lives and breathes, the significance of which can only be understood on the Hawaiian islands themselves. But which island to choose? This sun-lover’s paradise spans 8 main islands and many more islets and atolls within its archipelago. From historical and cultural highlights, to astounding natural beauty and dramatic landscapes that have to be seen to be believed, it’s a hard decision to make. That’s why we’ve put together your go-to Hawaii Island Guide for 2018 to make sure you enjoy the very best of Hawaii holidays!
Hawai’i: The Big Island
We’ll start with the youngest island, larger than all the others combined and still growing. On Hawaii you can see the primal forces of creation at work, in a thriving, diverse ecosystem. From fiery depths to lush tropical rainforest, this is the island for nature-lovers. In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park you can experience the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea, up close. Learn about the sacred forces of creation and destruction in the visitor centre, then come face-to-face with the fiery glow in Halema’uma’u Crater. On the opposite side of the island at Hilo, you can see the vivid life and beauty the volcanoes have helped create. Wander under towering banyan trees and through rich rainforest to Rainbow Falls, so named for the spectrums of colour and light that bounce around the mist. Downtown there’s also plenty of shops, restaurants, museums and historical sites.
Maui: The Valley Isle
The second-largest island is all about unforgettable experiences and adventure. The Iao Valley in central Maui is rich in culture, history, and scenic beauty. Venture beyond the guarding peaks into 400 acres of lush rainforest that was the site of the Battle of Kepaniwai, where King Kamehameha I defeated Maui’s forces in his quest to unite the islands. The valley offers easy hiking, great views, and is overlooked by a 1200 foot rock outcropping called the Needle. For your next adventure, hop over to Lahaina Harbour to chart a course through the Au’au Channel and watch humpback whales as they play, breed and calve in Maui’s warmer waters, or take a van tour along the Road to Hana, 64 miles of show-stopping scenery hugging the curves of Maui’s rugged eastern coast. Discover emerald-cloaked cliffs, black and red sand beaches, and waterfalls bursting from every curve in the road.
Kauai: The Garden Isle
The oldest, northernmost island is a place to explore and connect with ancient Hawaii. See firsthand how ancestral land management practices can be adapted to conserve and restore the ancient beauty of the islands at Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Near Haena Beach on Kauai’s north shore, this unique treasure is home to endangered plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Take a self-guided tour through taro gardens and ancient lava terrace systems—these gardens would be worth the visit if only for the stunning sea views. Continue to honour this ancient connection to the land at Waimea Canyon, a geological wonder of rugged crests, crags, and deep gorges in a phenomenal range of colours. Or experience the sacred Na Pali coast from air or sea, where the sheer size and beauty of the soaring cliffs and plummeting falls of this ancient coastline can be best appreciated.
Oahu: The Gathering Place
Oahu is well-named, home to the state capital and the majority of the population, and a meeting point for a diverse melting-pot of cultures. It’s where you’ll find the last piece of the Aloha puzzle, the key to understanding the spirit of Hawaii: its people. Honolulu is glamorous and buzzing with cultural landmarks and architectural must-sees, like Iolani Palace or the statue of King Kamehameha I (you’ll remember him from Maui). Chinatown is the place for street art and indie galleries, dim sum and local seafood delicacies, temples, lei-making, and plazas bursting with life and fun. Nearby Waikiki is where the cityscape meets all-important surf culture, where you can watch the pros tackle the swells or take a lesson yourself on the famous beach. It’s a vibrant neighbourhood of designer shops and hula shows, cocktail bars and laid-back beach vibes. A playground for Hawaiian royalty, where all are welcome and the sense of belonging is infectious, where the spirit of Aloha thrives.
Inspired for your own Hawaiian escape? Contact us for more 2018 travel tips or to book today!
Post by Alana Eising
Alana is a writer and a wanderer who almost always wishes she were somewhere else. That’s why she writes about the fabulous places she’s been, and all the destinations left on her bucket list.