The Hawaiian Islands
B R O U G H T T O Y O U B Y H A W A Iâ€˜ I T O U R I S M
W H E R E T H E H O L I D AY O F YO U R D R E A M S I S WA I T I N G
B E A C H E S | A DV E N T U R E | C U LT U R E | E X P E R I E N C E S | F O O D
Welcome....................................... 2 Your 101 guide to the Hawaiian Islands.
Adventure..................................... 4 EDITOR Sudeshna Ghosh DESIGNER Jon Gregory SUB EDITORS Kyle Rankin Nick Hadley CONTRIBUTORS Bill Fink Brad Japhe Carla Grossetti Kaitlyn Palmer-Allen Leslie Hsu Oh Tracey Withers
Nonstop thrills ahead.
Surfing..........................................10 Why Waikiki is a must-visit.
Family........................................... 12 Fab fun for kids and grown-ups alike.
Must-try foods............................. 17 Delicious local staples you cannot miss.
Road trip......................................18 The unforgettable Hāna Highway drive.
Culture hit list............................. 20 Historic sites and heritage attractions. Published by Medium Rare Content Agency Pty Ltd, ABN 83 169 879 921, Upper Ground Suite 58, 26-32 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, NSW 2009 for Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd, ABN 33 069 720 243. ©2019. All rights reserved.
Getaway...................................... 22 The ultimate couples’ holiday activities.
N K AUA‘I
M OLOK A‘I
MAUI L ANA‘I
The Hawaiian Islands
ISL AND OF HAWAI‘I
Welcome to the Aloha State – a one-of-its-kind destination that is much more than its world-famous beaches and surf. Beyond O‘ahu, the home of capital city Honolulu, there are six islands in the archipelago you can visit – each with its own distinct personality and unique experiences and sights on offer. The islands, essentially the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, are home to diverse landscapes, from active volcanoes to emeraldgreen forests, all of it fringed by the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean. While you might come to this US state for its stunning natural beauty, you will stay for its intriguing culture, shrouded in legend and spirituality. A vibrant mixing of cultures, from native Hawaiian to ancient Polynesian and other multi-ethnic migrants, has left the islands with a rich cultural and culinary tapestry. And the temperate climate – there are just two seasons, kauwela, or simply kau (summer), and ho‘oilo (winter) – means every day is perfect in Hawai‘i.
H AWA I ‘ I 3
“The Garden Island” has 181 kilometres of dramatic shoreline and ribbons of crayon-green rainforest covering most of its lush landscape. Home to the beautiful Nāpali Coast State Park, Kaua‘i’s sea cliffs, waterfalls and beaches beg to be explored.
Formed millions of years ago when it moved over a “hotspot” in the Pacific Plate, the gateway island, with its bustling shopping strips, high-end hotels, surf scene, iconic beaches and buzzy bars, is a hotspot of a different kind today.
It may be just 61 kilometres long and 16 kilometres wide, but this little island has the highest sea cliffs on the planet and the longest continuous fringing reef in Hawai’i. The native Hawaiians here have carefully preserved their ancient cultural traditions.
This is one of the most low-key Hawaiian Islands, making it perfect for a relaxing getaway. And its tiny 3000-strong population is very multicultural. Come here to escape the crowds and enjoy luxury resorts, golfing and rugged adventures.
Island of Hawai‘i
Also known as the “Valley Isle”, this is the secondlargest Hawaiian island. Yes, there are amazing beaches, luxe resorts, farm-to-table restaurants and plenty of activities – but the relaxed vibe means catching an epic sunset may be all you need to do.
The largest island in the archipelago is a place of vast geographical diversity, home to all but four of the world’s climate zones. With everything from volcanoes and waterfalls to black-sand beaches and soaring cliffs, it lends itself to extreme thrills.
Adventure From surfing, snorkelling and swimming, to hiking, horseback riding and helicopter tours, the Hawaiian Islands have endless options for thrill-seekers.
Zip into action
▶ Soar like an eagle over the jungles of Maui on a thrilling course of 11 zip-lines with Skyline Eco Adventures (zipline.com). Epic ocean views over the Kā‘anapali coast will calm your nerves while you glide from platform to platform – as will the banter of the cheeky and informative guide. Feeling competitive? Challenge your travel buddy to a side-by-side race down the Kā‘anapali double line. K AUA‘ I
Get on the trail
▶ Punctuating Kaua‘i’s northwestern edge, with moss-covered spires and jaw-dropping cliffs, the Nāpali Coast is among the most stunning shorelines on the planet. The Kalalau Trail affords unobstructed views of the pristine wilderness, but the 35-kilometre round-trip hike requires a camping permit (camping.ehawaii.gov) and good fitness levels. For a more accessible peek at the panorama, Hanakāpī‘ai Falls is a comfortable four-hour hike.
K AUA‘ I
▶ See where parts of Hollywood blockbuster Jurassic Park were filmed while riding an all-terrain vehicle at Kipu Ranch (kiputours. com). You will rumble over dirt paths, wind your way through Hule‘ia jungle valley roads and pop up to the Haupa Mountain for views over Kaua‘i’s splendour.
MOLOK A‘ I
Make friends with a mule
▶ Head to this small island and clamber aboard a sure-footed mule to descend 500 metres via five kilometres of switchbacks on a narrow, muddy trail and you will arrive at the former leper colony of Kalaupapa, now a touching cultural site with historical tours. (muleride.com)
TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
Night dive with manta rays
▶ Even for experienced divers, this nightly procession off the Kona Coast is regarded as one of the world’s most unforgettable adventures. Join a two-hour tour (viator.com) from the harbour and prepare to be mesmerised as you snorkel alongside these giant, widemouthed marvels, which have a wingspan that can stretch up to six metres. All equipment is provided and the memories are yours to keep for a lifetime.
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Try pedal power
▶ Think riding a bike downhill is a laid-back activity? Descending from near the 3055metre summit of Maui ‘ s Haleakalā Crater – it has been dormant for centuries – on a 37-kilometre path of thrilling switchbacks is anything but. You will have earned your Maui beach time. (bikemaui.com) K AUA‘ I
‘Copter over Kaua‘i
▶ The towering oceanside cliffs of the Nāpali Coast, the thick jungles, and the deep river gorges of the Waimea Valley make this an ideal island to tour by helicopter to appreciate its full majesty. (bluehawaiian.com)
Catch some waves
▶ O‘ahu’s Waikiki Beach has been a mecca for surfing since legendary Duke Kahanamoku showed off his skills there in the 1920s. Today, the steady, gentle waves are an ideal place to get started yourself. Many local operators such as Ty Gurney Surf School (tygurneysurfschool.com) provide lessons.
Sail into the sunset TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
Have fun with fitness
▶ Hawai‘i holds the annual Ironman Triathlon World Championships (ironman.com) and you can test your mettle swimming, running and biking a similar course to the pros in the Kailua-Kona area. Caution: biking and running on sunbaked roads through the lava fields is not for the faint-hearted but the swim in Kailua Bay – sometimes with dolphins playing nearby – is fun on calm days. O‘AH U
Discover marine life
▶ With its waters largely protected from ocean waves, O‘ahu’s Kuilima Cove is a captivating spot for snorkelling. Take your time to explore this colourful underwater world and you will spy plenty of parrotfish, fantail filefish and butterflyfish flitting through the coral there.
▶ Wind will whip through your hair, ice will clink in your mai tai as Sail Trilogy’s (sailtrilogy. com) catamaran cruises through offshore waves on this sunset tour off the shores of Maui’s Kā‘anapali. Relax as you behold the marmalade light of the sunset. TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
Venture the volcanoes ▶ You could spend weeks exploring the craters, lava tubes, steam holes, jungle and mountains of the island of Hawai‘i’s 13,000-square kilometre Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. For a oneday experience, hike the 6.4-kilometre Kīlauea Iki Trail into the volcano’s quiet crater to see the aftermath of its 1959 eruption. (nps.gov)
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Enjoy a big day out
▶ O‘ahu’s Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve (kualoa.com) is a onestop adventure centre and the location for Hollywood films and TV shows including Jurassic Park, King Kong and Lost. You can take a movie-site tour, ride a zip-line, drive an all-terrain vehicle and even kayak from the reserve’s private beach. TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
Go with the flow
▶ To appreciate the power of the volcanoes that created the Hawaiian Islands, take a doorsoff helicopter ride with Paradise Helicopters (paradisecopters.com). While an eruption stoppage in 2018 means you will not see any lava, you will be amazed as you swoop over expansive cooled lava flows and hissing steam pits. L ĀNA‘ I
Stroll your own way
▶ The sleepy island of Lāna‘i is best explored at a slow pace, so hike the eight-kilometre red-dirt Koloiki Ridge Trail at your leisure, marvelling at the eucalyptus groves and fog-drinking Norfolk pines. Some sections are a bit steep but on a clear day you will be rewarded with great views of Moloka‘i and Maui. (alltrails.com) TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
▶ Make like a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) and ride over the open range, enjoying sweeping views of the Pacific at The Ponoholo Ranch (panioloadventures.com) on Kohala Mountain.
K AUA‘ I
Take the tube
▶ For a unique and fun adventure, ride on an inner tube in sugar cane-field irrigation canals from the 1870s with Kaua‘i Backcountry Adventures (kauaibackcountry.com). You will move at a lazy pace down the mountains, over the scenic landscape and through a 1.6km tunnel lit only by your headlamps.
Tackle the terrain
▶ Maui’s Pīpīwai Trail offers an abundance of natural sights, including two sets of waterfalls, an other-worldly bamboo grove, mango trees, guava patches and views over deep gorges and cliffs. Be prepared for a challenge: this two-hour, 6.5-kilometre hike tackles steep, sometimes muddy terrain. (pipiwaitrail.com)
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A hike deep into the heart of Kaua‘i’s Waimea Canyon gives Bill Fink the ultimate reward – of finding his own slice of paradise.
Wild life ▶ I am lying in a hammock strung from trees, surrounded by a dozen square kilometres of beautiful wilderness in Waimea Canyon. My pack and hiking boots sit on rocks nearby, a reminder of the exhausting five-hour trek through jungle that brought me here. A waterfall feeding the pond in front of me lands with a whoosh that cools the air. Birds chirp, the stream bubbles and, with not another human being in sight, I finally realise what I have stumbled upon – paradise. Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, this majestic landscape of red-clay rock cliffs and lush forest runs for some 15 kilometres through the west-central highlands of the island of Kaua‘i. Just a day ago, I was standing at a lookout above it all, permit in hand and a backpack stuffed with sleeping bag, tent, food and cooking gear, ready for a three-day hike deep into the island’s backcountry, an area most people only see from a scenic helicopter. As I carefully descend the steep, dusty, rocky trail into the canyon, mountain goats gallop over the crumbling cliff faces like they’re mocking
me. With each step down, the temperature and humidity go up, drenching me in sweat. Is it the heat or nerves? Even as an experienced hiker, a little voice in my head is beginning to question the wisdom of my plan. Not for long though. I finally reach the valley floor, a leafy idyll cooled by a fast-moving stream where sounds of the outside world are muted by a moss-covered landscape. I follow a winding trail beside the stream, alone but for songbirds and ribbiting toads. Hoof marks in the brush and dug-out mud pits by the water signal the presence of wild boar. Through the trees I glimpse the red rock cliffs of the canyon. Its majesty makes me feel very small. By mid-afternoon I have reached Lonomea campground, the furthest site in the canyon. I drop my pack, unlace my boots, strip off my sweaty clothes and dive in, looking up as I do at the tiny touring helicopter hovering overhead. I can’t help feeling a tiny bit smug – I am immersed in nature, not just watching it from above. And I couldn’t be more content.
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Trip planner Pack every single day with thrilling adventures across the different islands.
DAY 1 O’AH U
Experience classic Waikiki – take surf lessons, sample local cuisine and experience Waikiki night-life. DAY 2 O’AH U
Swim and snorkel in Kuilima Cove. DAY 3 O’AH U
Tour movie sites and explore the hills of Kualoa Ranch. DAY 4 ISL AN D OF HAWAI'I
Take a horseback tour for a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) experience. DAY 5 ISL AN D OF HAWAI ’ I
Explore the west coast of the island on a run, followed by a swim in Kailua Bay. Go on a night dive with manta rays to end on a high note. DAY 6 ISL AN D OF HAWAI ’ I
Hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. DAY 7 K AUA’ I
Go mountain tubing and all-terrain vehicle riding. DAY 8 K AUA’ I
Discover the Nāpali Coast with a hike along the Kalalau Trail. DAY 9 K AUA’ I
Explore remote Kaua‘i by helicopter and/or sailboat.
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▶ It is one of the world’s most famous beaches for a reason. While the 3.2-kilometre stretch of sand of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, on O‘ahu’s south shore, is irresistible, it is the turquoise-blue water of the crescentshaped bay that attracts over four million visitors annually. The yearround calm waters are safe for even the smallest of beachgoers (with no dangerous undertows or rogue waves in the reef-sheltered bay) and long, gently rolling waves entice surfers of all levels. Make like a local and indulge in just about every kind of activity, from surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and outrigger canoeing to swimming or simply lazing on the sand. You will see exactly what makes Waikiki so popular.
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With ohana (family) at the very heart of Hawaiian culture, there is plenty of fun to be had for kids of all ages.
THE ISL AND OF HAWAI‘I
Kayak over mountains
▶ Explore the remote landscape of Kohala on the island’s northern tip in a four-person kayak with Flumin Kohala (fluminkohala.com). Cruise flumes that once irrigated vast fields of sugar cane, float through lush jungle and volcanic mountainside, soar across whispering streams and thundering waterfalls, then delve into underground tunnels. Over-fives will stay tuned as guides tell tales of ancient kings, folklore and the natural history behind this magical place. MAUI
Live it up at a lū‘au
Snorkel with the smalls
▶ A 70-minute drive from Waikiki on the island’s North Shore, you will find serenely sheltered Kuilima Cove tucked behind Turtle Bay Resort (turtlebayresort. com) – park here for free. The crystal-clear water glimmers with yellow butterflyfish, aquamarine parrotfish, unicorn fish, damsel fish and crustaceans. Landlubbers can build sandcastles, play on grass or grab bites at Roy’s Beach House right on the sand.
▶ Come join the party! The waterside sunset is epic, the earth oven-cooked pork is delicious, the drums set the atmosphere – and even the antsiest kids stay glued to the action at the Te Au Moana lū‘au (teaumoana. com) at the Wailea Beach Resort. Lū‘aus can get long so this one hooks everyone early with predinner activities then cleverly paces cultural song and hula-based storytelling with fiery performances, games and dances.
THE ISL AND OF HAWAI‘I
Explore the trails
▶ Self-drive around Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (nps.gov), 46 kilometres inland from Hilo, to see black lava flows, steam vents and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Pick up a Junior Ranger activity pack from the Kilauea Visitor Center, grab a juice at Volcano House to spy the massive Kīlauea caldera and hit easily accessible tracks like the smelly Sulphur Banks Trail and the smooth Devastation Trail.
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THE ISL AND OF HAWAI‘I
Be cuddled by a seahorse
▶ Fact: it is the male seahorse that carries babies and gives birth. Learn more cool facts on a tour of Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm (seahorse.com) on the Kona oceanfront, where conservationists raise 25 species of seahorse and sea dragon to be pets. Kids will love touching the little creatures as they curl around their finger in a seahorse cuddle. THE ISL AND OF HAWAI‘I
Zip-line through the treetops
▶ Like your eco experiences with a buzz of excitement? On a zip-line tour at The Umauma Experience (umaumaexperience. com) in Hakalau, 24 kilometres north of Hilo, fly up to 104 kilometres per hour through the electric green canopy and over 14 rushing waterfalls, across suspension bridges and lava tubes and get views of the Pacific Ocean on a 90-minute nature lesson. Riders must be at least four years old and 16 kilograms.
Drop into a surf school
▶ O‘ahu has more surf schools than you can shake a shaka at but Ohana Surf Project (ohanasurfproject.com) tunes into the family flow. For one or two-hour lessons at 9am, 12pm or 3pm daily, a bright yellow surf school bus picks everyone up from your Waikiki hotel bound for Publics, a reliable break next to Waikiki Aquarium. Surf coaches specialise in tandem lessons (child and teacher share a board) for ages two to six, family lessons (parents join kids aged over four) or one-to-one lessons even for non-swimmers and those with varying physical abilities. Grandparents who do not want to get wet can come just to watch.
Visit an island farm
▶ With verdant pastures, clean tropical air and rich volcanic soil, Maui sits at the heart of the farm-to-table process behind authentic Hawaiian food. Young food lovers will get a kick out of sucking sweet juice straight from the fruit on a 90-minute Maui Pineapple Tour (mauipineappletour.com) or handfeeding the goats that make awardwinning cheeses at Surfing Goat Dairy (surfinggoatdairy.com) in Kula.
Hunt for hidden treasure
▶ Getting wet and muddy is guaranteed. Challenge accepted? Follow your map through jungle, swim in an idyllic lagoon and track the clues to discover lost bounty on a Maui Treasure Hunt (mauitreasurehunt.com) in Kahului. Covering three kilometres in three hours, this guided eco lessonturned-adventure is best for five-year-olds or older with stamina to handle hiking and stairs. O‘AHU
“Snuba” with sea creatures
▶ The snuba (a cross between snorkelling and scuba with a piped air supply and no tricky tank) upgrade on a Ko Olina Ocean Adventures Sail and Snorkel (koolinaoceanadventures. com) catamaran tour takes swimmers (aged over eight) up to 20 feet deep on the reefs off the Wainae Coast. Spot turtles, fish and even dolphins as they chase the wake of the boat.
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Paddle on a perfect lagoon
▶ Hire a kayak, aquacycle, pedalo or SUP on Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, a huge saltwater, sand-bottom pool just behind the beach. The lagoon edges Hilton Hawaiian Village (hiltonhawaiianvillage. com) – the hotel keeps the beach pristine but it is free for all to use. Food trucks pull up to the south and the resort’s fireworks display sparks up on Friday evenings. THE ISL AND OF HAWAI‘ I
Chase wondrous waterfalls MAUI
Dive in a real submarine ▶ Sink 30 metres below the waves in the Atlantis Submarine (atlantisadventures.com) to trail bright swarms of fish, white tip reef sharks and eagle rays around the wreck of the Carthaginian, a replica 19th century supply ship. From December to May, watch for whales on the boat ride from Lahaina Harbor out to the sub. Submariners must stand over 92 centimetres. O‘AHU
Meet the real Moana
▶ Aulani Resort (disneyaulani. com), Disney Hotels’ outpost on an uncrowded stretch of Ko ‘Olina coast, adds a local touch to your stay with cultural crafts like lei-making and nature-inspired suites that gaze across the bay. Mickey and other classic Disney characters show up at pool parties and Auntie’s Beach House play centre but you came to Hawai‘i for the actual Moana, right? You can find her at a fire pit storytelling or a meetand-greet event (a hotel hotline reveals where she will be daily). A dress-up session can even transform litt le ones aged three to 12 into the wayfaring heroine, supercharging Moana mania for life. Hey parents, “It’s OK, it’s OK – you’re welcome!”
▶ As a column of water rages 134 metres down ‘Akaka Falls to an emerald pool below, a teensy fish called the o’opua climbs, using its suckers and fins, up the waterfall to lay its eggs in the stream above. Happily, these falls are easier for you to see: it’s a 25-minute drive from Hilo to ‘Akaka Falls State Park (dlnr.hawaii.gov) and a pretty 650-metre walk toddlers can easily tackle. MAUI
Swim like a mermaid
▶ Slip on your tail and channel your inner mermaid with Hawaii Mermaid Adventures (hawaiimermaid adventures.com) at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Lahaina. Or explore the coral at Mākena Beach, a fiveminute drive south of Wailea – luckily, southern Maui mermaids are also certified lifeguards and marine naturalists. Tails fit from 22 kilograms. Too tiny? Book to meet up on dry land instead.
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A traditional canoeing expedition in Maui proves to be as entertaining as it is enriching for Leslie Hsu Oh and her kids.
Water world ▶ A carapace (shell) with streaks the colour of koa, an indigenous wood used by Hawaiians to build their wa‘a (canoes), surfaces near our 45-foot traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe. “Honu!” My five-year-old leaps to her feet excitedly, calling the green sea turtle by its local name, which she has just learnt. Camera in hand, I am torn between snapping photos of the turtle or my husband and four kids’ delight as they paddle on the six-seater vessel. Kevin Piilani Hoke from Hawaiian Ocean Sports (hawaiianoceansports.com) is guiding us on an hour-long Outrigger Culture and Turtle Tour off Wailea Beach in South Maui. “Lawa,” Kevin says to stop us paddling. He tells us to stay quiet and watch the honu. “That carapace is nearly four feet [one metre] in length so this honu probably weighs over 100 kilograms.” Their lungs are two-thirds the size of their shell, which means they can stay underwater for up to five hours, so it could be a while until it surfaces for breath. While we wait for it to rise out of the calm emerald water that Wailea is famous for, my
two-year-old splashes the ocean with the lei she is wearing, delighted with the necklace of fresh orchids she received from our hotel. Kevin tells us that 1800 years ago, when voyagers from Tahiti sailed to Hawai‘i on canoes like ours, they introduced the lei. “The lei is a gift of positive energy,” he says. With the sacred island of Kanaloa, the navigational centre connecting Hawai‘i to Tahiti, looming in the background, circled by white puffy clouds, Kevin teaches us about wayfinding (traditional ways for humans and animals to orient themselves). Cold water indicates we are far away from land, while warm water means we are close. When the turtle finally pops its head out of the water, my 13-year-old and 10-year-old burst into laughter. It blinks at them with a grumpy “what’s-so-funny” expression on its face. As we wade ashore soon after, my kids can’t stop talking about the honu and its threatened species status. It makes me hugely thankful – not only for the unforgettable adventure we have had as a family but because just one day in the Hawaiian Islands has given my children a new-found respect for the ocean.
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Trip planner Beaches, adventures – and Moana! This itinerary guarantees a lifetime of memories for the whole family.
DAY 1 O‘AH U
Hit iconic, easy waves in Waikiki, then the aquarium. Stroll the Beach Walk for evening eats. DAY 2 O‘AH U
Drive to the North Shore for its famous surf breaks, easy snorkelling (and ice-cream). DAY 3 O‘AH U
“Snuba” off the Wainae Coast. DAY 4 MAU I
Do a farm tour, trying pineapples and cheese. DAY 5 MAU I
Take on an eco-themed treasure hunt in Kahului. DAY 6 L ĀNA‘ I
Explore a hidden paradise off Maui on a daytrip, watch whales December to April. DAY 7 MAU I
Deep dive in mermaid tails, or submerge in a submarine. DAY 8 O‘AH U
Enjoy a lū’au or a fun Moana experience before heading home.
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▶ Essentially pounded kalo (taro root), poi is more than a mild, sweet-tasting staple of locals’ diets – it is actually considered sacred. Fermented to sustain early settlers on long voyages, it has been reinterpreted with a contemporary twist. Today, you will find poi baked in bread, blended into hummus, alongside acai or in a coconutlayered cake. No lū‘au is complete without this included in the offerings.
▶ Japanese plantation workers brought this cool treat, which is made by shaving a block of ice, to the islands in the early 1900s and now it is available everywhere. Order an avalanche of the powdery ice drizzled with fruit syrups of almost every flavour including lilikoi (passionfruit), soursop and papaya.
Must-try foods Traditional flavours, fresh ingredients and global influences make these local staples unmissable. Poke
▶ In the Hawaiian language, the word poke (pronounced poh-keh) means “to slice” and it refers to the chunks of raw fish tossed over rice, vegetables and pickles that make up a poke bowl. Although raw sashimi-grade fish – usually ahi (tuna) – is the star ingredient, the dish can also be built around cooked chicken, crab or tofu. Pump up the flavours with scallions, sesame seeds and pickles – a nod to the Japanese influence on the Hawaiian Islands’ cuisine.
▶ Portuguese labourers arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1878 to work in the plantations and their influence on the cuisine is evident with one bite of this confection. The little fried puffballs, which look like doughnuts, are given a tropical accent when filled with haupia (coconut pudding), mango and pineapple.
▶ Kalua means “made in the earth” and the authentic way to cook kalua pig is to slow-roast it over a pit of lava rocks in an imu (underground oven) until it is so tender, it falls apart. The shredded, smoky meat is traditionally served with cabbage as part of a beachside lū‘au, a traditional feast that includes music and hula, the Polynesian dance form.
Highway to heaven
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▶ An iconic coast-hugging drive from Kahului to the little village of Hāna, The Road to Hāna is a Maui must-do. Highway 36/360 snakes its way along the north-eastern shoreline through lush rainforest, offering stunning views and a multitude of off-piste excursions. While the drive, with its many twists and turns (there are 620 bends on the road) and narrow bridges is exciting enough, it is the hidden waterfalls, walking trails, Jurassic Park-like gardens and stunning lookouts along the way that make it truly special. The road trip typically takes a full day, although you could also opt to stay in Hāna overnight, and it is best to get an early start to get ahead of the traffic.
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Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
▶ Hundreds of years old, yet beautifully restored, Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau (nps.gov/puho) remains one of Hawai‘i’s most important historic spots. A former refuge for fugitives, the royal grounds are guarded by ki‘i (wooden carvings of local gods), making them sacred sites that provide an important glimpse into native heritage.
▶ Trace Hawai‘i’s rich migrant past and explore some of the finest examples of plantationera architecture at The Kilohana Plantation (kilohanakauai.com). This museum on Kaua‘i offers railway tours, nature walks and a lū‘au that delves into the history of the Garden Isle.
Culture hit list Discover a rich and storied history, both native and multicultural, at these must-visit sites. Polynesian Cultural Center
▶ Native Hawaiians take a lot of pride in their identity and enjoy sharing their culture. At O‘ahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center (polynesia. com), watch a local shimmy to the top of a coconut tree, visit a traditional village and savour an ali‘i lū‘au (a traditional firepit feast) and show featuring dance, music and blazing fireknives.
▶ Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, the palace (iolanipalace.org) was once the official residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. The elegant edifice in Honolulu, O‘ahu, is the sole official royal palace in the US. Fun fact: it had electric lights four years before the White House.
▶ Located in the foothills of Ko‘olau Mountains, in O‘ahu’s Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, the temple (byodo-in.com) was built in 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first wave of Japanese migrants to Hawai‘i and is a replica of a famous Japanese temple of the same name. The grounds are home to wild peacocks and there are paths coursing beneath the trees where you can stroll around a koi pond, ring the bonshō (sacred bell) and find a nook in which to meditate.
▶ A Japanese air attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 prompted the United States’ formal entry into World War II. Hear stories from survivors on tours of the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park and the new Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center (pearlharbor.org).
Getaway With dramatic landscapes, spectacular sunsets and plenty of indulgence, the Hawaiian Islands are perfect for a couple’s holiday where adventure meets romance.
▶ Take in the stunning beauty of lush rainforests on a gentle hike through Iao Valley State Park. Home to the Iao Needle, a sky-piercing green outcrop, the historically significant valley also offers spectacular views. End the day with dinner at The Mill House (millhousemaui. com), a charming eatery nestled in a tropical plantation. The restaurant focuses on local cuisine and honours native culture with dishes that express a sense of story as much as flavour – think pork musubi with pickled vegetables and bonito aioli. Arrive before sunset to enjoy the spectacle as the Waikapū Valley reveals itself in pink and purple. O‘AH U
Taste some tipples
▶ Head 35 minutes west of Honolulu for a spirited visit to Ko Hana Distillers (kohanarum. com), Hawai‘i’s first and only producer of agricole, a Frenchinspired style of rum. While traditional rum is distilled from molasses, this liquor uses the juice of fresh pressed cane. Their daily 30-minute tours end in a tasting of the goods under the shadows of O‘ahu’s photogenic Wai‘anae Mountain Range. Don’t forget to take a bottle home.
K AUA‘ I
Shoot the breeze
▶ Much of the spectacular coastline of Kaua‘i can only be reached by water, so a sailing excursion is a great way to see the island and to access your own private beach for the day. With Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures (napali.com), you can go by yacht, catamaran or raft along the Nāpali Coast to snorkel with tropical fish and turtles amidst colourful reefs. Or opt for a raft whale-watching trip and witness humpbacks, dolphins and even seals frolic in their natural habitat. Romantic sunset dinner cruises are also available.
H AWA I ‘ I // G E TAWAY 2 3
Shop ‘til you drop
▶ Just steps away from Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach, the Ala Moana Center (alamoanacenter.com) is an open-air shopping precinct with close to 300 stores. There’s everything from unique souvenirs (think authentic Kona coffee and handcrafted ukuleles) to one of the world’s largest collections of luxury brands. Refuel with a feast of ItalianAmerican specialities at the intimate, whitetablecloth Assaggio Ala Moana restaurant.
Find your true north
▶ Escape the buzz of Waikiki and shift gears into a slower pace on the laid-back North Shore. Begin your daytrip around noon in the historic downtown district of Hale‘iwa, famous for its shave ice dessert. Then trace the shoreline along State Route 83 on your way to Waimea Falls (it requires a three-kilometre round-trip hike through the valley of the same name). It is then only a 30minute drive to Kawela Bay to catch a spectacular sunset at the northern edge of the island. Love the vibe? There are a number of relaxed resorts here, too, where you can stay.
MOLOK A’ I
Hula at Hiro’s
▶ Hiro’s Ohana Grill is a familyrun beachside bar and restaurant in the charming Hotel Moloka‘i (hotelmolokai.com). Led by award-winning executive chef Sherwood “Woody” Hiro, the eatery specialises in perfect poke and seasonal seafood but it is the live entertainment, offered nightly, that really makes the experience. As the sun sets, tiki torches glow in the warm ocean breeze. Hula dancers take to the stage, matching the rhythm of the slack-key guitar and the waves lapping at the shore – pure magic.
Sip cocktails at sunset
▶ Waterside watering hole, Humuhumu, in the Grand Wailea Resort (grandwailea.com), is the ultimate spot for evening tipples. Cosy up beneath the thatched roof pavilion, order a mai tai (with two paper straws, of course) and watch as the sun dips into the Pacific horizon. Reserve Table 70 in advance and you will temporarily own a private lagoon with particularly enchanting ocean views. L ĀNA‘ I
Retreat to a spa TH E ISL AN D OF HAWAI ‘ I
Take on a scenic trail
▶ The Pololū Valley Lookout, in North Kohala, offers views of the green cliffs and small island outcroppings off the coastline. However, the most stunning aspect is reserved for those who dare tackle the steep 25-minute hike down to the valley floor. The Pololū Trail (aka Āwini Trail) has a prime outlook over the jagged cliffs, magnificent valley and striking black sand beach rimmed with lava rock. Pack a picnic or relax at Kings View Café in nearby Kapa‘au.
▶ Indulge in the “Suite Serenity” treatment at the Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i (fourseasons. com/lanai), where the two of you can give in to four hours of hedonistic pleasure. The locally inspired ritual includes a massage using native ingredients and a luxurious facial. Want a deeper immersion into wellness? Private couples’ yoga sessions are also available.
2 4 H AWA I ‘ I // G E TAWAY
Trip planner How to have an action-packed yet relaxing couple’s holiday in Hawai‘i.
DAY 1 O‘AH U
Check into a beachside bungalow in Honolulu, stroll the streets around Waikiki and head to the beach for sunset cocktails. DAY 2 O‘AH U
Go west on a road trip to the Wai’anae Mountain Range to tour a local farm, then go for a horseback ride. DAY 3 K AUA‘ I
Soak up nature in “The Garden Island” amidst forests and waterfalls. DAY 4 K AUA‘ I
Take a romantic cruise along the Nāpali Coast. DAY 5 MAU I
Check in to the resort village of Wailea, enjoy sunset cocktails and a lū’au. DAY 6 MAU I
Head out for a drive on the Road to Hāna. DAY 7 MAU I
Have a relaxing beach/ swim/snorkel day at Kapalua beach. DAY 8 O‘AH U
Try a rum tasting before heading home.
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Six Hawaiian Islands. Infinite Experiences. From volcanic landscapes to hidden waterfalls, active adventures to an energetic nightlife, a holiday on the Hawaiian Islands offers infinite experiences in one destination. Each of the six major islands has its own distinct personality, but no matter which islands you choose, youâ€™ll discover endless opportunities for adventure, dining, culture and relaxation.
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