It might be known as a beautiful shopping destination with tropical benefits, but this string of jewel-like islands of the North Pacific lures travellers time and time again with its extravagant and expressive beauty. Waving coconut palms, volcanic rock pools, cloud forests, dolphins and endless miles of pristine sandy beaches are just a few reasons why this island has become synonymous with paradise. Add to that a rich cultural history rooted in ancient Polynesia and broadened by Asian, European and American influences (including one Barack Obama), as well as a burgeoning new food movement and we’re calling it: Hawaii is back and more beautiful than ever. Book your flight to Hawaii now.
Flights to Hawaii
Gorgeously consistent, the weather in Hawaii averages 27°C to 29°C almost all year round, and cooler nights. Summer is from May to October and winter is from November to April, but there is not a lot of temperature variation between the two seasons. There is increased rain between December and March.
There are nineteen distinct volcanic islands that make up Hawaii (the 50th state of the USA) but it’s Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii (known as Big Island) that attract most of the travellers.
Surfers will be drawn to Oahu's Waikiki Beach, adventurers love the active Kilauea volcano while luxury seekers might pop into Maui. Kauai offers a less commercial alternative to the big bustling tourist resorts of the bigger islands.
Qantas flights to Hawaii land on Oahu, whose capital Honolulu is the largest city and the centre for government and business. The USS Arizona National Memorial at Pearl Harbour is also nearby.
It’s no accident that Oahu means “The Gathering Place” – nearby to Honolulu is Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous tourist destinations on the planet and the location of many of the long-established and premium resorts like the Halekulani.
During winter the usually sleepy North Shore comes to life as enormous waves roll in and its Banzai Pipeline becomes the world surf capital.
Hawaii is often called ‘the Big Island’ to prevent confusion with the name for the larger group of islands.
The Kohala Coast resort area is a popular place for travellers, featuring plenty of golf courses and many superb beaches include beautiful Anaehoomalu Beach (also known as A-Bay) fringed with palms and lined with royal fish ponds. It’s also the start of the 282 kilometre Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail which follows the coastline and crosses traditional fishing trails.
Travel south to Kahaluu Beach Park on the Kona Coast to discover the island’s most popular beach with reef-protected lagoons, coconut trees, salt-and-pepper sand, turquoise pools and easy snorkelling over tropical fish.
On the eastern side of the island, you’ll find the lush tropical town of Hilo, which gets more than 300 inches of rain per year and has plenty of waterfalls. In nearby Leleiwi Beach Park, you can find palm-fringed black lava pools.
In the centre, you’ll find the extinct volcano Mauna Kea and the active volcano Mauna Loa
Maui has been voted the best island in the world and it's easy to see why. World-renowned, luxury resorts and adventure water activities can be discovered on iconic beaches while the morning sunrise from the dormant volcano of Haleakala National Park will take your breath away.
In West Maui, you will find the busy and beautiful beaches of Kapalua and Kaanapali, Hawaii’s first resort and the place where you will see the cliff lighting ceremony.
On Maui’s south coast, you can snorkel, swim and kayak in Kihei, Wailea and Makena. Wailea and the smaller Makena have plenty of luxury resorts and upscale shopping places, like the Four Seasons at Wailea and Makena Beach Resort.
The village of Hana, on the east side is reached via a windy (some say hair-pin) drive, over bridges and past waterfalls with breathtaking views across the east coast – it’s a popular base for hiking.
The “Garden Isle” has an unspoiled natural beauty with attractions that include Wailua River, Waimea Canyon and the unique, dramatic Na Pali Coast with the world’s highest cliffs. Mount Waialeale is one of the rainiest spots in the world. Most of the resorts, like the Grand Hyatt, have beachfront access.
The “Friendly Isle” is one of the least developed in the archipelago. Kalaupapa on the north shore was where the Belgian priest Father Damien set up and ran the famous leper colony on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula, now the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
Where to start? You could tee off on a pristine golf course; spread your towel on a beach with waving coconut palms and volcanic rock pools; hike into the depths of the cloud forest; swim alongside dolphins, sea lions and rays through the clear waters; drive the hairpin bends of a remote island road; or feel the heat radiate from an active volcano during an ‘open door’ helicopter ride over molten lava.
Or perhaps you’ll visit for the poignant reminders of the US involvement in WWII, to recall the bygone time of 19th century missionaries, see where Captain James Cook met his maker, learn about indigenous Hawaiian culture and discover the ancient temples across the archipelago.
Whatever your plan, most travellers will want to start with the classics: spread a towel on the famous sand of Waikiki Beach or ride the surf at beautiful A-Bay, check out a luau to eat pit-roasted meats and to see some hula, listen to the gentle twang of a ukulele and have a fresh flower lei hung around their neck.
EAT & DRINK
- Dine out at haute neighbourhood cuisine restaurant Town
- Eat a loco moco for breakfast; a hamburger patty on rice with an easy-over egg and gravy
- Have a mai tai at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poems to Princess Kalulani beneath the hau tree
- Eat butter and garlic shrimp from Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp truck off the Kamehameha Highway Oahu
- Have a shave ice with ice-cream and adzuki beans at Matsumoto Shave Ice in Halelwa
- Eat kālua pork, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in an imu in the ground
- Walk mauka makai trails following the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail on Big Island
- Drive the saddle road from Kohala to Hilo between Mauna Kea to Mauna Loa volcanoes on Big Island
- Explore the black-lava tidal pools at Lelewi Beach Park keeping a look out for sea turtles
- Tee off at the Kapalua Plantation Course on a 8903-hectare historic pineapple plantation
- Snorkel beneath the cliffs of historic Kealakekua Bay where Captain James Cook was killed
- Take a 4WD to the unusual green-sand Papakolea Beach at South Point, Big Island
- Snorkel the partially submerged volcano Molokini Crater in the Alalakeiki Channel, Maui
- Travel by mule, via 26 switchbacks, to Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
- Paddle a kayak through the Hanalei Wildlife refuge up Hanalei River
- Snorkel in Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve, a natural aquarium formed in Oahu
- Celebrate the hula at the Ka Hula Piko Festival at Papohaku Beach Park
- Get a bird’s eye view into a dormant volcanic crater in Haleakala National Park, Maui
- Take a 4WD to the Garden of the Gods where volcanic rocks come in all shapes and colours.
- Listen to the gentle thrum of steel guitar at an authentic hula of House Without a Key at the Halekulani, Oahu
- Chinatown, especially on the first Friday of the month when it becomes a casual block party
- Whales cruise Alalakeiki Channel from the Puu Olai cinder cone overlooking Makena
- The remote and beautiful Na Pali Coast of Kauai or active volcano Mauna Loa from a helicopter
- The summit of Haleakala at sunrise
- The mammoth collection of cultural and scientific artefacts at Bishop Museum
- Kilauea volcano to see the molten lava as it slowly spews forth, or stand on the shore as it meets the ocean at 2000°F (1092°C), Big Island
- Waimea Canyon (Hawaii’s Grand Canyon) with distinctive red lava beds
- Kalalau Trail with views of accordion folded cliffs and pristine white-sand at pocket-square Kee Beach, Kaui
- The groves of plumeria trees and rare Hawaiian flora of Koko Crater Botanical Garden in an ancient caldera to take in the views from the top of the rugged shore, Oahu
- The steep Okolehau Trail, following an old bootleggers route, Kauai
- To the top of the ancient volcanic tuff, Diamond Head, overlooking Waikiki beach and the Pacific Ocean, Oahu
- At the University of Hawaii's ’Imiloa Astronomy Center where science and indigenous culture
- About Hawaii’s cultural history in the missionary-built 1839 Lyman House Museum
- About Puuhona O Honaunau, a sacred place of refuge on the lava flats of the Kona Coast that includes a number of interesting historic sites and three hōlua slides, Big Island
- At the Pacific Tsunami Museum about the natural disasters of 1946 and 1960 that forced the relocation of Hilo, Big Island
- About ancient Polynesian culture at the impressive, hand-built stone temple, Mookini Luakini Healu dated from 480AD
Bestselling tours in Hawaii at Qantas right now
- Big Island Day Trip: Volcanoes National Park from Oahu
- Old Lahaina Luau Maui
- USS Missouri, Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl Day Tour
- Paradise Cove Luau
- Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl Sightseeing Tour
- Earn Qantas Points
- Price Promise
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All Qantas flights to Hawaii arrive at Honolulu International Airport, located on the island of O'ahu and 16km to the popular destination of Waikiki. From there, you can book a transfer to your hotel in Waikiki or to the cruise terminal taking you to the outer islands.
Exploring most of the islands requires a hire car, with the exception of Oahu which has an extensive public bus network. Car hire in Hawaii is cheap, the roads are easy to navigate and you can get to all those gorgeous off the beaten track beaches. Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai have limited bus services between major towns only. With regular inter-island flights and ferries for island-hopping it’s easy to just pick an island and take it from there.
Redesigned Business cabin and a new look Economy on our refurbished B767
World's Best Inflight Wine Cellar 2013
Awarded Best First, Business and Overall Wine Cellar at Business Traveller 'Cellars in the Sky Awards' 2013
On-demand inflight entertainment streamed direct to iPads in every seat.
Note that all flights are subject to last minute aircraft changes. Seating configurations and product features may vary between aircraft, including aircraft of the same type.
FLIGHTS TO HAWAII
HOTELS IN HAWAIIBook hotels in San Francisco.
GETTING AROUND HAWAII
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