Hawaii – America’s South Seas
The Hawaiian greeting Aloha – actually this word means “love”, “affection”, “charity” and also “compassion” -, Honolulu, Waikiki and Hula – the dance that the missionaries had banned because of its indecency – stand as codes for the 50th state. Deciphered for Westerners, it’s all about leis – the typical Polynesian flower wreaths -, brown soft skin, palm trees, year-round bathing paradises and pure South Sea magic. The truth is that Hawaii’s eight main islands are indeed the fulfillment of those clichés. Hawaii delivers everything it promises – and even tops it: pristine beaches, clean air, clear sea, a bright sun, the occasional rain shower that lashes the palm trees and cleans the leaves of this lush vegetation. In addition, there is a unique animal and plant world in a truly breathtaking natural setting. If you are lucky, you will witness a volcanic eruption or discover a huge rainbow that the interaction of sky and sun has painted on the firmament.
What many don’t know is that Hawaii’s highest peak, Mauna Kea, towers 14,000 feet (4,205 m) and is capped with white snow for three months every year. The summit of the “long mountain” (the literal translation from Hawaiian) is a paradise for professional and hobby astronomers due to the clear Pacific sea air. Incidentally, this also applies to the other islands, because not only on Hawaii Island there are so high mountains, but also on Maui and Kauai.
According to localcollegeexplorer, few other travel destinations combine such a wealth of scenic attractions as Hawaii. The people are as diverse as the country. The inhabitants of the youngest US state are a colorful mix: they come from a wide variety of cultures. For centuries, people from Asia, America and Europe have come here to find their paradise and to live together in a spirit of aloha, in mutual tolerance and appreciation.
History of Hawaii
The islands were settled by the Polynesians. The archipelago was first discovered by the western world in 1778. Captain James Cook landed on the coast of Hawaii Island. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, King Kamehameha was the first to bring all the islands under one king. At the beginning of the 19th century, the first missionaries arrived in Hawaii and determined politics on the islands from then on. Liliuokalani, the last Queen of Hawaii, was forced to step down in a coup in 1891. In 1898 the USA annexed Hawaii. The Japanese surprise attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was the reason for the US entry into World War II. In 1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the USA.
Location and Size
Hawaii (Hawaiian Hawaiʻi) is an island chain in the Pacific Ocean and the 50th state of the USA. The archipelago belongs to the Polynesian cultural area and forms the northern tip of the Polynesian triangle. The total area is 28,311 km², of which 16,625 km² is land area.
1,360,000 people live in Hawaii. The island of Oahu – where the capital Honolulu is located – has around 950,000 inhabitants.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is Hawaii’s main airport. The trip to Hawaii takes about 20 hours (pure flight time) and involves at least one stopover, mostly on the American mainland. The American airlines offer daily flights from the west coast of the USA to Hawaii. Most flights go to Honolulu, the home base for many travelers. However, some American airlines also fly directly to Maui, Big Island and Kauai.
Flight times from Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Oahu to:
Lihue Airport (LIH), Kauai: 30 min.
Kahului Airport (OGG), Maui: 30 min.
Kapalua-West Maui Airport (JHM), Maui: 30 min.
Molokai Airport (MKK), Molokai: 20 min.
Lanai Airport (LNY), Lanai: 25 min.
Hilo International Airport (ITO), Hawaii’s Big Island: 40 min.
Kona International Airport (KOA), Hawaii’s Big Island: 35 min.
Hawaii lies in the trade wind zone and has no seasonal climate differences. Although most of the precipitation falls between November and March, Hawaii is a year-round destination with average temperatures between 23°C and 28°C. The southern coasts of the archipelago are leeward and therefore sunny and dry. Rain clouds are intercepted on the north coasts and mountains, where it is correspondingly wetter and greener.
|Average temperatures in Honolulu in °C|
Casual clothing is appropriate. Since the temperatures are significantly cooler in higher regions, you should take a sweater or a light jacket with you. On Molokai, you should take a light windproof or waterproof jacket with you in case it rains.
Excursions in Hawaii
Renting a car is a great way to explore all that Hawaii has to offer. Advance rental car reservations are recommended as some islands have limited car availability. Many visitors also take bus tours to explore the islands. Shuttle services, taxis and public transport are available on most islands.
The natural beauty of Hawaii’s fragile environment stems from its geographic isolation from other ecosystems. Importing plants, fruits and vegetables, and animals can introduce pests and non-native species that can damage Hawaii’s environment.
Hawaii Tourism Website
Visit the German language website of the Hawaii Tourism Authority with even more information about Hawaii, the islands, beaches, excursion possibilities. www.gohawaii.com/de
Hawaii Guide – Welcome to paradise Dreamy beaches, palm groves, hula, surfers, volcanoes: Everything you have in mind about Hawaii really exists – and it’s only half the truth. Because every island of the Pacific archipelago has its own character. Thomas Jeier (text) and Christian Heeb (photos) present the six beauties of Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the Big Island.