A beginner’s guide to the Islands of Hawaii

Jurassic Park landscapes, laid back vibes and doing the hula – it could only be Hawaii! Volcanic beaches, epic surf, lush rainforest and extremely friendly locals, this tropical cluster of islands is an all-year round destination. 

It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to fly between the islands, each one possessing its own unique identity to win you over. Want to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, get amongst Hawaii’s surf scene and more? Read on to find out which Hawaiian Island is your perfect match. Tropical shirt at the ready!

Kauai

Known as The Garden Island, Kauai is made up of lush green jungle, impressive waterfalls and like a lot of Hawaii those oh-so-dreamy beaches. And with a tiny population of only 65,000, you really get that desirable ‘own slice of paradise’ sensation.

Kauii is home to one of the world’s most spectacular and unique coastlines, the Na Pali Coast, with towering sea cliffs and cascading waterfalls (seriously, Google it). To get up close and personal with this coastline, set off on a hike along the Kalalau Trail, take a sunset boat trip, or if you’re splashing the cash catch an open-door helicopter ride to experience a whole new perspective to this natural wonder.

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Maui

Maui is an addictive combo of jaw-dropping scenery, picture-perfect beaches and a vibrant food and drink scene. Kickstart your trip with a wander along the historic Front Street, grab a Pina Colada and dig into delicious food overlooking those rolling Hawaii waves.

Explore the dramatic black sand beach of Waianapanapa on a day trip along Hana Highway. A bit of an adventure junkie? Go cliff jumping at Waioka Pond (known as the Venus Pools) and take the scenic hiking trail that finishes at Twin Falls.

No Maui trip is complete without a visit to Haleakala National Park. This moon-like landscape genuinely feels like you’ve landed on a different planet. Head to the lookout point at sunrise for impressive panoramic views or if you’re feeling active, go hiking along the Sliding Sands Trail. Top tip – get there early to have the place to yourself!

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Oahu

Oahu is the most populated Island of Hawaii and attracts the highest number of visitors each year. Indulge in a little glamour and lounge at Waikiki Beach before hitting up the area’s buzzing night scene. Walk off next day’s hazy head with a hike up the popular trail to Diamond Head and take in sweeping views of Honolulu.

For an easy-going chilled out atmosphere, drive up to the North Shore stopping off for a feast at one of the iconic shrimp trucks YUM. The North Shore is home to some of the best surf opportunities in the world – sit back and watch the pro’s as they hang ten or grab a board and have a surf lesson of your own!

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Big Island

The perfect destination for someone seeking adventure, active volcanoes, those all-important white sandy beaches and TURTLES! The big island is BIG, so you’ll need to spend more time here than other islands if you want to see it all.

A must see is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, an international biosphere reserve and World Heritage site. It’s a chaotic landscape of geological marvels and endangered ecosystems, all marshalled by gangs of feral pigs.

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Get to know the local marine life as you kayak with dolphins, join a night dive with majestic manta rays in Kona and see turtles in Kiholo bay.

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