Often described as heaven on earth, Hawaii is an archipelago comprised of eight idyllic main islands. A direct flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane will have you landing on the sandy beaches of Honolulu. Whether you are a sun seeker, history buff, nature lover, party goer or movie fan, you will find what you are looking in Hawaii. Here are ten reasons why Hawaii is one of the hottest holiday destinations for 2015.
Waikiki Beach can be found in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. This famous stretch of sand is one of the best known beaches in the world. Surrounded by high rise hotels, it’s a popular spot for sun seekers of all ages. It has ideal conditions for beginners and is home to a number of learn-to-surf schools. Meanwhile, the more experienced can conquer Hawaii’s famous big surf at Oahu’s North Shore or Waimea Bay.
Part of the fun of holidaying in Hawaii is sampling the island’s exotic foods. From rare tropical fruits to sweet sugary doughnuts, there is an assortment of food and drink to tempt the tastebuds. Shave ice is the perfect snack on a warm afternoon, while poke, a Hawaiian version of sashimi, is a staple on the menu around town. The tinned ham, Spam is also a local favourite.
Many holiday makers are torn between spending time on Hawaii’s golden beaches and lapping up a day of retail therapy. Hawaii is a shopper’s paradise with a range of glamorous shopping malls boasting all of America’s favourite brands. From luxury designers to top department stores, you will be spoilt for choice. Bargain hunters can visit the Waikele Premium Outlets mall for discounted merchandise.
Hawaii is also home to a range of historical highlights, from traditional cultural sites to modern war memorials. Take a Pearl Harbour tour and visit numerous memorials and museums or visit the royal remnants of Hulihee Palace. You’ll also find a wealth of important heritage sites around such as temples, fishponds, rock carvings and even the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay.
It is no secret that Hawaii is blessed with beautiful beaches, but the natural beauty does not stop there. You’ll find pretty scenery will follow you everywhere you go, from stunning waterfalls to the craggy cliffs of dormant volcanoes. Be sure to explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the incredible Halawaa Valley on Molokai and the soaring mountains and red canyons of Kauai.
No matter the time of year you choose to visit Hawaii, you will be greeted with warm rays of sunshine. The weather is incredibly consistent throughout the year, only deviating slightly in the winter months. Summer is the most popular time to visit, however winter is the prime season for whale watching.
Hawaii embraces friendly Polynesian culture and you will find the locals here are genuinely warm and inviting. Get into the ‘aloha’ spirit by enjoying a live hula dance performance showcasing traditional Hawaiian culture and history. Take part in a sumptuous Hawaiian feast, know as a luau, enjoy a hula lesson or get creative with a lei-making class.
The crystal clear waters of Hawaii’s beaches are perfect for snorkelling and diving. Oahu is famous for its multiple ship wrecks which make for wonderful dive sites, while Hanauma Bay is a popular spot for snorkelling due to its clear waters and colourful marine life. Water sports are also a popular pastime in Hawaii, including windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding, jet skiing or parasailing.
The fun will continue well into the evening, with Hawaii’s assortment of bars, pubs and dance clubs featuring live music and entertainment. You’ll find the hottest restaurants, bars and lounges in Honolulu around Waikiki and Chinatown. There is even an organised after dark art party every month that showcases the treasures of the Honolulu Museum of Art and regular night markets.
Who doesn’t love a bit of name dropping or celebrity spotting? Hawaii has been a hot spot for film makers for years, with many of the beaches and nearby locations starring in big name television shows and Hollywood films. You can even take a tour of the famed Kaaawa Valley where many blockbuster movies have been shot, including Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates.