Fancy a trip to the â??islands of Alohaâ?? Hereâ??s Flight Centreâ??s top 10 Hawaii must doâ??s.
Hike a Crater in HawaiiThe seriously impressive crater at Diamond Head is often first seen on a flight into Honolulu â?? but the best way to see it is by hiking the 175 step staircase to the top.
It can be a tough assignment on a hot day, but takes around an hour and the views are well worth the effort. Passing the occasional World War Two bunker, youâ??ll end up at the peak for the finest views on the island of Oahu and some beautiful photographs.
Learn to Hang 10Hawaiiâ??s Waikiki Beach is one of the best known beaches in the world, with wide, white sands framed by the volcanic cone of Diamond Head in the background.
Visitors here on a particularly sunny day can expect a large crowd (so much so that renting a sun umbrella and sun lounger can command US$50 per day) but a much cheaper option is to buy an umbrella and beach mat from one of the local supermarkets for around USD$15 and use them throughout your stay.
Surfing here is a must â?? even if you donâ??t know how. Rent a board for around US$15 per hour or, if youâ??re determined not to leave without mastering the art, join a two hour surf school for around US$100 per person.
Homestyle kitchen Boots and KimoHawaiians know how to do pancakes, and no one does them better than Boots & Kimo’s in Kailua.
The small home-style restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike, so be prepared for a wait, but the fare is well worth it. Their signature dish is the banana macadamia nut pancake stack â?? but why stop there? Try the Portuguese sausage, spam and other Hawaiian regulars.
Hole in One
The Aloha State offers around 90 golf courses on six islands, and golfing remains one of the biggest draw cards for US and Japanese tourists.
Even if youâ??re a novice, it may be the most spectacular golf setting in the world – the combination of incredible views in seaside locations, favourable climate and immaculately maintained greens keeps golf junkies coming back for more.
Or for those who arenâ??t experienced golfers, donâ??t miss the Big Kahuna 3D Glow in the Dark Miniature Golf Park in the Waikiki Shopping Centre. Itâ??s not nearly as demanding, and youâ??re guaranteed to have plenty of laughs.
Hit the Pali HighwayThe valleys above Honolulu have lush forest reserves and often-empty hiking trails. Hiring a vehicle and heading over the mountain ranges for a completely different outlook on the island should be compulsory.
The Pali Highway is the most spectacular vantage point and itâ??s very easy to find. At the top, the Pali Lookout is a favourite picnic stop, but it isnâ??t widely known that there is a trail at the lower end of the lookout that you can take to get a different perspective and to see a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Helicopter TourWith much of Hawaiiâ??s beautiful rainforests, white sand beaches and waterfalls inaccessible by car, the best way to see the islands is by helicopter.
In a two and a half hour flight you can cover the vivid turquoise coral reefs to the extinct volcano of Diamond Head and visit the locations made famous by movies such as Hawaii Five O, Magnum P.I., Pearl Harbour and Gilliganâ??s Island.
Haggle at the International Market PlaceThe International Market Place is the best place to start a Hawaii shopping experience.
It is unashamedly a tourist trap located in busy Waikiki, but you simply can’t leave Hawaii without some type of clothing with Hawaiian print or floral design jewellery, and you might as well get it from the most famous market on the island.
Historic Pearl HarbourOne of Americaâ??s great defining moments occurred in 1941 with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour by Japanese forces, killing 1,100 men.
Today the naval base has three significant memorials: the USS Arizona Memorial, honouring those who were killed; the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a living museum of the most celebrated and last-built battleship; and the USS Bowfin Museum, featuring a World War II submarine, a Japanese mini submarine and extensive submarine history.
Hang out with turtles on the North shoreMost visitors to Hawaii donâ??t make it to the far side of the island, but those who fail to get to the North Shore do themselves a serious disservice.
Laniakea Beach is also referred to as â??Turtle beachâ? because this natural sanctuary attracts so many of the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle or â??Honuâ?. Since 2000, turtles have come to bask on the beach and enjoy the warm sun rays, just like their human counterparts.
Toward the right hand side of the beach is a small cove in which the turtles make their way in to the shore, with the coral reef acting as a rocky deterrent to its natural predator – tiger sharks.
Swimming with these majestic creatures is an amazing experience and so easy to do. If they are around, they wonâ??t mind your presence as long as you donâ??t try to touch them while they seek out seaweed.
With so many spectacular sights and a near perfect climate all set within that distinctive American culture, Hawaii makes a great family or couples escape.
For information on how to get to Hawaii and the best travel packages contact Flight Centre on 0860 400 747 or visit www.flightcentre.co.za