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6 September 2016

Island hopping in Hawaii

Kauai coast

Destination : Hawaii

Hawaii could be considered one of the smaller archipelagos of the world, but it’s on the opposite end of the size spectrum when it comes to destination appeal.

In this somewhat isolated part of the planet, there is so much diversity. Hawaii isn’t just about the well-known clichés of honeymoon havens, luau parties and beach hopping in search of surf. As I discovered, this cluster of islands boasts 11 climate zones, offering experiences found nowhere else in the world.

The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic activity over an extremely long period of time. Even now, there are still live volcanoes where glowing lava can be glimpsed at night. Though officially an American State, Hawaiian tradition and culture can be found etched on each island, fusing with U-S history in many a place.

I began my trip in the city-scapes of Honolulu, specifically the neighbourhood of Waikiki Beach on Oahu, the main island. There’s tourists galore, but an amazing high street of holiday shopping. Beyond the bustling borders though was where Hawaii began to feel pretty real, (I ambitiously did a day circuit of this particular island).

Waikiki beach

Floating memorial

Oahu

Kualoa ranch

Waikiki beach

The Hawaiian scenery became even more impressive after island-hopping north to Kauai. Kauai is an island all about dramatic coastlines and ever-changing views. One part of the island might be lush with green valleys and raining, while another will be hot and dusty. There is a very laid-back lifestyle to Kauai and at Hanalei Bay in particular there are water sport enthusiasts everywhere. After I got accustomed to travelling on the wrong side of the road, Kauai was a fun location to be driving around too.

Kauai

Waimea canyon

Na Pali coast

Hanalei bay 2

Hanalei Bay

My next destination was a longer flight south to explore the “Big Island”, also called Hawaii, which is a hub of volcanic geological spectacles but somewhere also brimming with beautiful black beaches and striking natural scenery too.

Leaving big island

Waterfall

Big island

Rainbow waterfall

Frangipani

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The last location of my Hawaiian holiday was the resort-rich island of Maui. Maui is a little more affluent than the others, and here, it’s really all about soaking up the sun and living life from the comfort of your deck chair by the pool. I stayed in Wailea, and not far away is one of the world’s most incredible snorkelling spots - Molokini – a crescent shaped volcanic crater where there is a vibrant underwater life. I also encountered the first whale of the season while out on the water too! 

Maui

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Maui

Marriott infinity pool

Maui

Snorkelling molokini

I visited: Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui.

I stayed: Wailea Marriott Resort and Spa

My highlights: Snorkelling at Molokini Crater in Maui, cruising the Na Pali coast, catching a sunset at Waikiki Beach, taking in 360 degree views at Waimea Canyon State Park, crossing paths with a turtle on a black sand beach, stopping at a local farm to taste test locally grown produce, watching a live volcano glow at night, living the high life of luxury at a resort in Maui, sunning it on a secluded beach, and reflecting upon the past at the Floating Memorial of Pearl Harbour.

Have you ever holidayed in Hawaii? Would love to hear about your experience below.  

S x 

WANDAW

Shantelle Rodman

A curation of lifestyle and travel through simplicity.

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