What we love about visiting Honolulu
Perched on the southern edge of Oahu island, Honolulu blends high-energy activity with space to slow down and embrace island time. It’s a cosmopolitan capital city, with unique culture, fascinating history and plenty of natural beauty.
The world-famous Waikiki Beach provides the perfect backdrop for a lazy day, alongside an opportunity to cool off in the water or practise your surf skills. Get your timing right and you might be sharing the deep blue with migrating humpback whales. Look in the other direction, and you’re faced with an extinct volcano and high-energy hikes that provide fantastic views of the city and beyond.
When you’re not snoozing on the beach or scaling the nearest volcano, the ‘Iolani Palace, home of the last two Hawaiian monarchs, brings local history to life and provides an opportunity to learn more about the island’s past. Visitors can stroll through the same corridors and rooms as past kings and queens in the only royal palace in the entire United States. Not far away, the devastating attack on Pearl Harbour is remembered across five fascinating sites. The attraction hosts thousands of guests each day and is a highly educational and informative experience.
When evening arrives and it’s time for dinner, the smells, sounds and sights of Chinatown embrace the senses, while the local luaus provide a taste of traditional Hawaiian food, culture and entertainment.
With such an eclectic mix of activities and attractions, you’d be hard-pressed not to enjoy yourself in vibrant Honolulu
5 reasons to visit Honolulu on your next trip
1) Direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane
Flight time is about 10 hours, and the time difference is easy to deal with too.
Honolulu is easy to get to. When relaxation is top of the list, a complex flight itinerary is the last thing you need. With direct flights available from Sydney or Melbourne, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the in-flight entertainment.
The flight takes about 10 hours, and the time difference is easy to deal with too. Hawaii is 20 hours behind Sydney, so you’ll touch down four hours ahead but one day behind.
2) Humpbacks are just the tip of the iceberg
Making their way along the coastline from November to May, Humpback whales and their calves are sometimes visible directly from the beach. Of course, you can book an organised boat tour to get a better view. Under the surface, those ready to jump in with a snorkel can expect colourful coral, an abundance of turtles and a huge variety of fish.
Hanauma Bay is a protected marine conversation area and provides a great opportunity to spot everyone’s favourites. If it’s turtles you really want to see, Baby Makapu’u is the best place to head. Despite the name, Shark’s Cove is well-known for interesting rock formations and plenty of varied marine life.
A post shared by Hawaii Tourism AU (@gohawaiiau) on Mar 19, 2019 at 1:00am PDT
3) Fabulously rewarding hikes
Yes you’ll burn plenty of calories, but that isn’t the only reason to take some time away from your sun lounger and enjoy a hike in Honolulu. There are several of options available, and almost all them reward your efforts with stunning views.
- Diamond Head State Monument – A popular and relatively short hike, this one’s suitable for visitors of most fitness levels. The 90-minute round trip takes you across the crater floor before providing you with a great view of the Waikiki beach area.
- Koko Head Crater Trail – While this hike is strenuous and challenging in places, it includes World War II history and panoramic views at the top.
- Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail – On the eastern tip of the island this easy-to-follow trail also comes with information panels to help you spot passing humpback whales and even provides binoculars to ensure you get a good look.
- Manoa Falls – Enjoy the lush Hawaiian rainforest by hiking through the flora and fauna to the gorgeous Manoa Falls.
4) Five-star luxury on the shores of Waikiki
If it’s elegance and sophistication you’re after, look no further than Honolulu’s Halekulani. Situated right on the beachfront in Waikiki, every room offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
An oasis of calm, Halekulani is considered one of the best hotels in the area, having first opened its doors over 100 years ago. With fine dining restaurants, a cozy jazz lounge and traditional Hawaiian entertainment, a holiday here is nothing short of blissful.
Its award-winning Polynesian spa offers a wide range of treatments for the mind, body and soul. The team also offer healthy living lectures to help you keep that holiday glow long after your stay.
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5) A rich and captivating history
Perhaps the most-remembered event in Hawaiian history is the tragic Pearl Harbour bombing. Visiting the area allows you a glimpse of the devastation as you walk through a damaged airplane hangar, see the sunken remains of USS Arizona and take in a film detailing the attack and those who lost their lives. There are five sites in total and you can buy a pass that allows access to each attraction.
For Polynesian history, visit the Bishop Museum, which is packed to the rafters with millions of local artifacts. Exhibits examine the cultural and natural history of the island, while the planetarium explores the starry skies.
Meanwhile, the ‘Iolani Palace, built in 1882 and regarded as highly modern at the time provides a glimpse of the past from a rather different angle. Although it fell into a state of disrepair, a decade of renovations has restored the palace to it’s former glory. ‘Iolani now houses a museum and reconstructs palace life in Victorian-era Hawaii.
Booking your trip to Honolulu, Hawaii
Now you’re ready to visit Honolulu, let FBI Travel help you get there. From flights to accommodation, tour itineraries and local recommendations, we’ll provide everything you need for a holiday to remember.