Although they officially constitute one of the states of America, the Hawaiian Islands have a unique culture of their own. The state is made up of six islands that are located in the Polynesian world of the Pacific. Each have preserved its Hawaiian and Polynesian culture which the residents are so proud of. A common honeymoon destination, the volcanic topography teamed with acres of golden sand beach and pounding surf makes Hawaii a unique holiday site. Hawaii is synonymous with surfing, which is said to have originated in this Polynesian land, thus the islands are a firm favourite with surfers who come here from all over the world to engage in the ancient national sport on the state’s outstanding breaks.


English is spoken as the national language, but Hawaiian language is used in conjunction with this.

  • Aloha – A form of greeting
  • Mahalo – Thank You
  • Hula- National Dance
  • Lei – wreath worn around the neck
  • Lu’au – Hawaiian feast/festival


The currency in Hawaii is US Dollars.

  • £1.00 = $1.90 (October 2006)
  • €1.00 = $1.27 (October 2006)


Hawaii is blessed with a year round temperate climate. During the winter average temperatures are around 28 degrees Celsius, in summer reaching around 32 degrees. Rainfall increases in winter and rain showers last longer than in summer, but these do not occur frequently and winter weather is still exceptional.


Hawaii’s Big Island

[http://www.gohawaii.com/bigisland/golf World-class golf courses] can be found on the Big Island, and the Kohala Coast is the Mecca of all of these. There are twenty golf courses which are all carved out of ancient lava flows, with stunning scenery of the mountainous landscape or the Pacific. Many of these are resorts and accommodation is available on site.

The West side of the Island is the driest and offers ample opportunities for deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, schools of tropical fish can be found at Kahaluu Beach, as well as on land activities such as hiking and [http://www.naalapastables.com horse riding]. Guides can be hired for hikes, and for longer tours you can camp in the vegetation of the island or use some of the luxury accommodation available.

The Big Island is home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea. Hikes are available to the summit where accommodation is also offered in the rainiest city in America, Hilo. Thirty miles sound of Hilo is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which was opened to preserve the volcanic features of the state. Open year round for twenty-four hours a day, you can experience this incredible activity in a variety of different conditions. The Kilauea Volcano is the world’s most active, with its last eruption being in 1983 making it have the longest eruption history on record and no indication of when it will stop.


Maui is one of the most relaxed islands of the state, promoting snorkelling and sunbathing, which has lead it to become the most visited of the islands. The West Coast is lined with beaches that attract hordes of sunbathers throughout the year, and hotels have appeared to cater for these visitors.

You can avoid the hordes of tourists by travelling inland to the diverse, lush and rugged part of the island. The famous Hana Highway down the windward side of Haleakala takes you through tropical jungle with roadside waterfalls and scenic cliff views. This journey is worth taking merely for the outstanding views and contrasting scenery.

Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano and [http://www.ifa.Hawaii.edu/Haleakala The Haleakala National Park] is orientated around the volcano’s crater, providing hikes across its surface as well as breath-taking views from the crater. It is best to visit the Park in the morning before the clouds set in, and sunrise, as well as sunset, expeditions are often a crowded affair. It is best to check the weather conditions before you set off, as cloud cover can often be disappointing.


The breaks at Waikiki offer opportunities for novices to try their hand at the ancient sport of the island and touts roam the beaches looking for eager participants. Long boarding is also popular here, and you will often see mature Hawaiian surfers enjoying this more laid back style. In winter months Oahu’s North Shore is a must for keen surfers, when the waves attract visitors from all around the globe and this otherwise sleepy part of the island becomes alive. The infamous Pipeline and Waimea Bay produce staggering waves which should only be attempted by the experienced.

The bombing of Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941, shocked the world and thousands of visitors come here every year to morn and pay their respects. The otherwise blithe attitude of the island accentuates this shocking disaster which is retold in a reconstruction played to all visitors. The visit includes a trip to the museum and to the memorial which is built over what still exists of the USS Arizona. Although this cannot be described as an enjoyable trip, it is a must to understand the devastation that happened to the island and lives of so many on that fateful day.


Molokai is one of the least developed of the islands and has managed to retain its authentic Hawaiiana. Walks along Hawaii’s longest beach, Kakahaia Beach, can be done in almost solitude. Mule rides are available down the cliffs to the old leper colony of Kalupapa, or you can journey up to the picturesque valley of Halawa for some sunset views.


Kaui is nicknamed “The Garden Island” due to its lush landscapes. Waimea Cannon and Fern Grotto are two of the most outstanding natural landmarks of the island. The waters that surround the island are idea for snorkelling, and the beaches which flank its coasts are deserted and picturesque.


Lanai is the smallest of the islands and offers you the most deserted and tranquil of destinations. Although there is not much to do here, if you wish to relax in incredible surroundings then this is the island for you.


Hawaii has one of the largest varieties of shopping available, ranging from cultural crafts to designer goods. Waikiki, on the Island of Oahu, has the best shopping in the archipelago and on the same island is the Ala Moana Shopping centre which has over two hundred and sixty shops under one roof. Due to its large tourist population, Maui also has a great deal of designer retail shops available, and all of the islands offer the opportunity to purchase Hawaii crafts.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Oahu has the busiest nightlife of all the islands, with Waikiki and Honolulu being filled with bars and clubs. However, the rest of Oahu and the other islands have a much more relaxed pace of life and a scattering of bars can be found.


The roads in Hawaii offer some of the most diverse conditions you will find, and the roads can often be hazardous. Horns are used very rarely and driving behaviour is particularly laid back, so be careful not to tail gate. Traffic on Oahu is the busiest of the islands, and occasionally gets hectic and jammed.

Double yellow lines in the road mean that overtaking is prohibited, you can only cross them to turn left. A single white line indicates that crossing could be dangerous, the wider the line is then the greater the danger.

Like the rest of America, traffic in Hawaii drives on the right, seat belts must be worn, and for drink drivers there is a 0.8 percent blood alcohol limit for those over the age of 21. Driving under the influence of drugs will also not be tolerated, although testing does not seem to be relative to the amount of drivers who do so. Occasionally police carry out roadblocks in order to test for drink driving. Speed cameras and radar have been used on Oahu, but on the other islands and in rural areas it is best to watch out for speeding drivers at night, especially as many of the roads are single lanes.

Many drivers will park along the side of the roads, and due to the relaxed attitude of many of the police they will not be moved on. However, you should not attempt to park anywhere other than designated parking areas for want of not getting a ticket. Police do not look upon tourists as favourably as they do locals.

Tourist Information

Website: [http://www.gohawaii.com www.gohawaii.com]

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