Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Founded in 1916, the park which is situated on two active volcanoes -Kilauea and Mauna Loa, is home to one hundred and fifty miles of trails. The Kilauea Iki Trail comes recommended and involves a four mile hike descending through four hundred feet of natural rainforest into a crater where you walk across lava flows which are still steaming since the volcano erupted over forty years ago. Other lava fields and steam vents can be seen from the rim of the Halemaumau Crater and the Mauna Loa volcano with its lava tubes, bizarre mineral formations and tropical plants and trees is also spectacular.
USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbour
Attracting over one and a half million people every year, this memorial is built as a mark of respect to those who died during the two-hour attack in Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941. Over two thousand US soldiers died in the attack and over one thousand of these perished on the USS Arizona battleship. Visitors to the memorial can take a free Navy boat tour of the harbour and look down through the water to see the outline of the boat which rests in forty feet of water. It’s quite an eerie experience because most of those who died remain buried in the ships hull. You should also check out the visitor centre where a short film of the attack is shown every hour.
Polynesian Cultural Centre
This centre is a fascinating exposition of the distinctive lifestyles and cultures of seven Pacific islands – Hawaii, Fiji, Marquesas, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Built on forty-two tropical acres on the island of Oahu, the PCC has been open since 1963 and is extremely popular with visitors to Hawaii. You can take a cruise along the lagoon on a narrated boat tour or stroll through each specially created village which is perfectly representative of each of the islands. In each area you get to see experience the sights, sounds and smells through music, dance, architecture, food and much more. The highlight of a visit to the centre is the renowned night show where you get to see elements of each of the different cultures performed in one spectacular show.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale
The island of Maui is one of the best locations in the world to see humpback whales in their natural breeding area. These whales migrate from over three and half thousand miles away in Alaska and make their home in the waters surrounding the island from mid-December to mid-April. So, to avail of the rare opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures you can either take a whale-watching cruise or visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Maritime Sanctuary. Either way, if you are there during this period, you should try to see them as they really will leave you spellbound.
Situated on Oahu, Diamond Head served as an important look out post during World War II. Thanks to its location on top of a volcanic crater some 760 feet above sea level, the views in all directions allowed the military to see any oncoming attackers well in advance. The head is no longer used by the military. Instead it offers visitors some of the most breathtaking and memorable sights you are ever likely to witness. It’s a thirty-minute trek to the top and while you might wonder what all the fuss is about on the way up there, once you reach the summit you won’t have to ask. As well as views of Oahu itself, you also get to see parts of the neighbouring islands.