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Which Hawaii island are you?

Hawaii truly has something for everyone. Pick your favourite from six main islands below or go island hopping across a few.

Hawaii truly has something for everyone. Pick your favourite from six main islands below or go island hopping across a few.

 

Each Hawaiian island has a unique flavour so whether you’re an adventure junkie, laid-back surfer or big spender, there’s an experience to suit every personality at this exotic destination.

Oahu

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Best for: foodies and shoppers

The capital island is best for holidaymakers who want to feel the buzz of a big city in a tropical setting. Honolulu is famous for its vast array of designer and outlet shops, so luxe lovers and bargain hunters can hit the shops in the morning and chill out on the beach in the afternoon.

The Ala Moana complex is a short bus trip from Waikiki and the largest open-air shopping centre in the world – it’s open from 9 30am – 9pm Monday to Saturday (10-7pm Sunday). Foodies can satisfy their cravings too at the island-style food trucks in the north of the island or at the award-winning restaurants in Waikiki. Hawaiian Chef Morimoto has garnered critical acclaim for his fusion food, seamlessly combining Western and Japanese ingredients at his popular restaurant.

Alan Wong’s flagship restaurant in Honolulu is inspired by the diverse ethnic cultures found in Hawaii and freshly farmed ingredients the islands. For a post-dinner sugar fix Red Mango serves up smooth and creamy frozen yoghurt with hundreds of tasty toppings.

 

Maui

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Best for: beach lovers and water activities

The second largest island is home to what some believe are the best beaches in the world. The pristine waters off of Maui offer the ideal spot for paddle boarding, snorkelling, kayaking or simply lying on the beach in one of the tropical daybeds.

The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa on Kaanapali beach is a romantic spot to chill out, hire watersports equipment and the ideal place to watch as locals jump off the legendary Black Rock of Kaanapali.

Other island highlights include waking up early to catch the Haleakala sunrise on a guided morning tour, or road tripping along the long and winding road to the isolated Hana for spectacular scenery, waterfalls and deserted beaches.

 

Molokai

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Best for: history and culture

With almost half of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry, Molokai is an island that has preserved its connection to the past and its love for the outdoors. Wander around the sleepy town of Kaunakakai and chat to the friendly locals who will talk about their preservation of the land and culture. Grab some freshly baked pastries and a coffee at Kanemitsu’s Bakery & Coffee Shop or rent a bike and cycle along One Ali’i Park.

A trip to the family run Purdy’s Macadamia Farm where you can learn about how macadamia nuts are grown, harvested and shelled then taste the result is a must.

At Kalaupapa National Historical Park you can learn about the works of Saint Damien, a young priest who traveled to the island’s remote Kalaupapa Peninsula in 1873 to care for leprosy patients.

 

Kauai

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Best for: adventure and surfing

The oldest and northernmost island in the Island chain is graced with dramatic and rugged beauty. For the ultimate outdoor adventure go canyoning at Waimea Canyon State Park where you’ll explore waterfalls, see red and black lava rock walls and lookout over deep valley gorges.

For a tamer adventure explore the beaches of the Coconut Coast or take a boat ride to marvel at the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast. Surfing at Hanalei Bay is ideal for first-timers with fun and family-friendly tours at Kauai’s North Shore Surfing School.

 

Lanai

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Best for: honeymooners and remoteness

Lanai is a romantic destination of untouched tranquility featuring world-class resorts and distinctly unique attractions. It is also known as Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The crops are gone but the vintage plantation town of Lana’i City still charms.

The Lanai Art Center displays local artists’ works and inexpensive cafes such as Blue Ginger Cafe that offers pineapple-inspired dishes such as the pineapple coconut ice cream on a ginger snap – a must try. Those wanting to get away from it all can explore untouched beaches in the subtropical paradise.

For a romantic escape The Four Seasons at Manele Bay borders a marine preserve and is perched atop a rugged red-lava cliff with stunning views. Here lovers can enjoy sunset sails, dinner under the stars and a stunning golf course.

 

Hawaii (Big Island)

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Best for: hikers and stargazers

Also known as ‘The Big Island, Hawai’i is a nature lovers paradise with some of the world’s best hiking and wildlife spotting. In the southeast of the island lies Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano which has been erupting since 1983.

Be intrigued by hollowed-out lava tubes, steaming craters and a tropical rainforest or watch fresh molten lava flow into the sea (visit the National Park Service for current conditions). Rangers also offer guided walks and other activities at the visitor centre. Look out for humpback whales in winter and jumping dolphins and sea turtles all year around.

For incredible views across the island Mauna Kea in the north is Hawaii’s highest peak at 4140m. If stargazing is your thing the cluster of observatory domes contain what is considered the greatest collection of astronomical telescopes in the world. The Onizuka Center offers astronomy displays and nightly stargazing programs. Experienced hikers should climb the rugged 10km to the summit.

Which island would you pick? Do you have a favourite Hawaiian adventure?