Hawaii’s Other Islands
Out of the nineteen islands that make up the Hawaiian archipelago it is Oahu that tourists will spend most of their time.
The home of the capital Honolulu and the famous Waikiki beach, the island is a very popular holiday destination and home to over 85% of the state’s population. There are other islands in the chain that deserve to seen as well, and this two part look aims to show off the best the other islands have to offer.
The Big Island
The island of Hawaii is referred to locally as the The Big Island to avoid confusion. The island is comprises more than 50% of the land mass of the state and is home to the some of the worlds largest and most active volcanoes. Getting to the island used to be a little more difficult but a number of local airlines (Hawaiian, Island Air and go!) fly from Honolulu to the Kona and Hilo airports on opposite sides of the island. There are also a limited number of flights direct to the island from California and Seattle.
The Big Island is home to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano located within the park, has been continuously erupting since since 1983. The park also sports the world’s largest volcano Manau Loa at 4169 metres tall. Manau Kea, (the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base rather than sea level) is also the site of a number of astrological observatories.
The eastern side of the island around Hilo receives significantly more rainfall than the western side of the island and as a result is home to stunning rainforests and waterfall. The west is where you head if you are looking to do snorkelling or whale and dolphin watching.
Four Seasons Hualalai
If you have the cash the Four Seasons Hualalai can not come more highly recommended. The hotel features 243 rooms and suites, as well as 6 pools, a golf course and a Hawaiian cultural centre. Majority of rooms will have a at least a glimpse of the ocean, though you should be able to pick up a poolside room from around AUD$550+ per night.
The hotel has received rave reviews from its guests and has been awarded a Travellers’ Choice award from Tripadvisor, if for some reason you want to bring you kids along, the resort has a dedicated children’s activity centre so you can relax and let someone else deal with the yelling and screaming.
Lava Lava Beach Club
Located near the northern tip of the island amongst the immaculately manicured golf courses is the Lava Lava Beach Club.
Located near the northern tip of the island amongst the immaculately manicured golf courses is the Lava Lava Beach Club. The hotel features a small number of beach front cottages complete with covered verandahs, queen sized day beds and amazing sunsets. Natural rock-wall showers are located outside and if you’re feeling a little musical the hotel also has a full sized ukelele for you to try to play.
The cottages also feature a small kitchenette if you feel like cooking up some breakfast, but the hotel does encourage its guests to eat at it’s restaurant on the sand at the edge of the ocean.
Royal Kona Resort
For those that will be spending a lot of time away from the hotel exploring the Hawaiian wilderness and are just looking for somewhere that’s value for money the Royal Kona Resort may be what you are looking for . Mountain view rooms start from around AUD$130 per night, while the larger ocean front King room around the AUD$200 mark.
The hotel has the usual onsite spa as well as a pool and a lagoon for swimming and a Mai Tai bar for unwinding. The hotel also regularly puts on Luaus for its guests with dancing, fire twirling and pork roasted in underground ovens. If you are travelling alone this is the place to be as you are guaranteed a lei.
Molokai is one of the least developed of the Hawaiian Islands and the locals seem to enjoy it that way. There’s not a lot of traffic and it is common to see people getting around on horses or mules. There are also none of the chain hotels that are almost endemic to the other islands.
The islands have had an interesting past though, it was the site here the Hawaiian government quarantined leprosy sufferers, but it was there that two missionaries, Damien and Marianne worked tirelessly and were later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church as saints.
This hotel is probably one of the largest on the island, the Hotel Molokai features standard 3.5 star accommodation as well as a pool.
All rooms feature private balcony and the ocean front suites offer views of the Pailolo Channel that separates Molokai from the island of Maui. Unique Polynesian designs have been incorporated into the architecture of the hotel and free wifi is available through out the resort. The hotel is located on the opposite side of the island to the airport.
Self Contained Apartments
Centrally located in Molokai’s largest town, Molokai Shores offers one and two bedroom ocean front self contained condos. The hotel also features a swimming pool and barbeque area, but relies on the prevailing trade winds to help keep it’s guests cool (ie. there’s no air conditioning).One bedroom apartments start from around AUD$220 per night while a two bedroom apartment is hovers around the AUD$290 mark.
For somewhere even further off the beaten track, the Dunbar Beachfront Cottages located at the eastern end of the island offer a choice of two, two bedroom cottages. They promise you your own secluded beach. In fact due to the location you are are unlikely to see anyone at all. The eastern end of the island offer convenient access to the Hawala Valley complete with waterfalls and is nearby the tallest sea cliffs in the world (they were feature in one of the Jurassic Park movies). It is highly recommended to rent a car if you are coming to this part of the island as it is very isolated.