If you’re pondering what to see in Hawaii, there’s an almost endless list of natural attractions, spectacular destinations and historical sites to consider.
The volcanic origins and ongoing activity of the island archipelago mean the landscape is dramatic and almost unrelenting in its beauty. From Kauai’s ancient red soils to the dramatic Kalaupapa Cliffs on the island of Molokai, and lava-weeping volcanoes, Hawaii’s natural wonders unfold on every island.
Meanwhile, gain an insight into the historical significance of Hawaii as a military outpost. Explore Pearl Harbor and pay homage to those who lost their lives on the day war in the Pacific officially began.
Bear witness to one of the most significant sites in American history at Pearl Harbor. This is where America was drawn into World War II and is also the site where conflict with Japan ended. Now, the USS Arizona Memorial stands above that ship’s final resting place. A host of parks, museums and memorials pay homage to the conflict, giving you further insight into the events of Pearl Harbor.
Kualoa Ranch is a 1,600 hectare private nature reserve that features history, adventure and popular culture all in one fascinating destination. Located on the island of Oahu, it’s a working cattle ranch with the additional attractions of zip-lining, food tours, and horseback riding. It’s also where action-packed Hollywood films like Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and Skull Island were made.
Featuring stunning coastal views and superb hiking trails, Diamond Head Crater is one of Honolulu’s defining features. This 300,000-year-old volcanic crater encompasses 192 hectares and was formed during a brief but explosive eruption. If you enjoy walking, you can enjoy the popular hiking trail to the summit of Leahi. Reach the top and get a glimpse into the geological and military significance of Diamond Head.
Located a short distance from Maui, Molokini Crater is a great snorkelling and scuba diving destination. This partially submerged volcano crater rises from 100m below sea level to form an islet about 45 metres above the water surface at its highest peak. The waters around it are renowned for their clarity, and with around 250 species of fish calling it home, it’s an important marine reserve.
Bursting forth from the land and the sea, Hawaiian volcanoes are a distinctive feature of the Hawaiian island landscape. At present there are five active volcanoes in Hawaii, three of which are located in the popular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. This region features black basalt beaches, volcanic deserts and the almost continuous eruptions of the world’s most active volcano: Kilauea.
Located on the North Shore of Kauai, Na Pali Coast is a breathtaking mix of ocean views, rugged green mountains, and cascading waterfalls. This place holds special significance to Hawaiians and has been announced as a state wilderness park. Explore on foot and take on the challenging 18km Kalalau hiking trail (if you want a really active holiday), or access the Na Pali Coast by boat and kayak.
Waimea Canyon State Park is regarded by many as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Located on the western side of Kauai, it features a 16 kilometre canyon that is a staggering 900 metres deep in places. The Waimea Canyon also boasts a unique history. It was formed by the steady erosion of the Waimea River, and the collapse of the volcano that formed Kauai.