6 Unique Hawai’i Islands – which one would you like to experience first?

Why choose? Why not explore more than one on the same trip?

If you’re travelling all that way, you may as well make the most of your trip and explore more than one Hawaii island. Whether you choose to Cruise, Cruise-Tour, stay on your favourite Hawaii Island for your entire vacation or go on an Island-Hopping Adventure, Kaz Custom Travel will help you plan the trip of a life-time!


Hawaii at a glance

  • Currency: USD
  • Winter avg. Temp: 25.6° C (78°)
  • Summer avg. Temp: 29.4°C (85° F)
  • Avg. Water Temp: 23.3° C (74° F)
  • Time Zone: GMT-10
  • Main Islands by size: Island of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kaui, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, Kahoolawe
  • Language: English, Hawaiian
  • Hello / Goodbye: aloha
  • Good morning: aloha kakahiaka
  • Good evening: aloha ahiahi

10 fun facts you may not already know about Hawaii.

1. Hawaii was discovered by the Polynesians.

Hawaii was first discovered between 300 AD and 800 AD by Polynesian voyagers who are believed to have arrived using traditional double-hulled canoes and using the stars to navigate. A visit to the Polynesian Cultural Centre and the Bishop Museum in Oahu or by visiting the various temples, petroglyths and other Polynesian sites on the islands.

2. It snows in Hawaii.

 Although rare, at higher elevations on Hawaii Island, you may experience snow during the winter months (December to February). Rising above 4,000 m (13,000 feet), the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauno Loa may receive snowfall if the temperature drops low enough. So you could be skiing on a volcano in the morning and sunbathing on a tropical beach the same afternoon.

3. The Hawaiian Islands were created by undersea volcanic activity.

The Hawaiian archipelago, which consists of 137 islands and atolls, formed over the past 5.1 million years as a result of volcanic activity that still goes on today. A vast underwater mountain range that has been eroded by the Pacific Ocean, has left only the peaks we see today above sea level. The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands is Kauai (5.1 m), followed by Oahu (3.4 m), Molokai (1.9 m), Maui and Lanai (1.3 m) and Hawaii Island (0.4 to 0.7 m). Each island has therefore evolved to create diverse landscapes that range from lush rainforests to barren lava fields.

4. Hawaii is home to thousands of endemic species.

Known for its unique biodiversity, Hawaii is home to thousands of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. With 90% of its native flora and fauna being endemic, Hawaii has become a hotspot for conservation and ecological research. Many are also endangered, such as the Nene (Hawaiian goose), Hawaii’s state bird which is considered a symbol of the Hawaiian Islands.

5. Hawaii's state fish is a mouthful.

Hawaii’s state fish is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (trying saying that with a mouthful). Also known as the rectangular triggerfish, its name comes from the Hawaiian language but is often shortened to “humuhumu” for simplicity (thank goodness!). Unlike poke, which eaten raw, humuhumu is best eaten cooked and is often grilled and served with fruit salsa, baked or pan-fried and served with fruit salsa or with rice and vegetables. Believe it or not, that is not the longest fish name in the world. Another Hawaiian fish that is even more of a mouthful is the lauwiliwilinukunukuʻoiʻoi, known as the longnose butterflyfish in English. Go snorkelling in the clear waters off the coast of Hawaii and you’re bound to see one. It is a brightly coloured yellow fish with a long pointed nose.

6. You need an invitation to visit Ni'ihau.

Among Hawaii’s seven inhabitted islands, the island of Ni’ihau is probabay the least known and most mysterious of the Hawaiian islands. A privately owned island (it’s been owned by the Robinson family for 150 years), it has a population of a mere 170 people. Access to the island is restricted to residents and invited guests only, except for a few helicopter tours (which are very expensive). As a result, Ni’ihau is known as the “Forbidden Island.” If you were fortunate enough to be invited by either the owner or one of the native residents, you would not only discover pristine beaches, but also that the traditional Hawaiian way of life has been preserved. On a clear day, the island is visible from Kauai.

7. You may discover Pele's Hair on Hawaii Island.

It is believed that Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightening, wind and volcanoes, lives in Halema’uma’u crater at the summit of Kilauea volcano. When volcanic eruptions occur, a natural phenomenon sometimes occurs. As molten lava is blown into the air and stretched by the wind, thin strands of volcanic glass form. These delicate strands resemble hair, known as Pele’s Hair, can be found scattered around active volcanic areas in Hawaii.

8. Hawaiian Monk Seals are classified as critically endangered.

One of the rarest seals in the world, the Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered marine mammals. With around only 1,400 individuals surviving in the wild, it’s survial is critical. A sighting of these elusive creatures basking on a remote beach or swimming in the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean on a trip to Hawaii would make you a very lucky visitor indeed. (And I know a spot in Oahu where they can be found, thanks to a chance meeting with a local inhabitant I met at a secret beach on the Leeward coast.)

9. Hawaii has more than one official language.

As well as English, Hawaiian is also an official language of the state of Hawaii. Known as ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language is indigenous to the Polynesian people who first discovered the islands. It is taught in schools and used in cultural ceremonies and events. When visiting Hawaii, show your Aloha spirit by using a few Hawaiian words when speaking with Kanaka Maoli (true Hawaiian natives).

10. A Royal Hawaiian surfer pioneered the sport.

Everyone knows that Hawaii is the surfing capital of the word, but did you know, the sport dates back thousands of years? Although the exact origins are not known, surfing can be traced back to ancient Polynesian cultures. Known as he’e nalu in the Hawaiian language, surfing was originally a spiritual, social and cultural practice, rather than a sporting activity. It was seen as a way to connect with the ocean and harness its power and was often accompanied by chants, rituals and ceremonies. Deeply ingrained in the indigenous culture and lifestyle, it was practised by people of all ages, genders and classes, including Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968). Known as “The Duke,” he was a very skilled surfer, an Olympic swimmer, an ambassador for Hawaiian culture and a surfing legend who pioneered the sport.

Hawaii Winter Cruise - Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2025

Sample the magic of 4 Hawaiian Islands on a 7-Day Inter-Island Hawaii Cruise

Book Now with Low Deposit - Reduced Rate, Full Amenities Package + $100 USD onboard credit per stateroom.

Go Island-Hopping in Hawaii

Pearl Harbor Memorial

Magical Hawaii Island-Hopping Adventure

If you’ve dreamed of visiting Hawaii but don’t know which island to visit first, then this 21-night magical Hawaii island-hopping adventure could be just what you’re looking for.

With just a short flight between each island, it’s possible to visit 5 islands and see some of the best that Hawaii has to offer in just 20 days (excluding departure & arrival) with some relaxing in between.

Horseback on Haleakalā, Maui, Hawaii

The below suggested itinerary is a basic guide for a jam-packed 5-island-hopping Hawaiian adventure (mostly based on my own experiences in Hawaii). Exact destinations, accommodations and transportation, as well as sightseeing excursions, activities & entertainment itineraries on each island, will be tailored to suit each individual client’s or group’s interests and wish list, as well as the time of year travelling and duration on each island and budget.


Duration: 21 Nights

Waimea Canyon by Helicopter

Day 1: Arrive Honolulu. Start Hawaii vacation. Enjoy Waikiki beach.

Day 2: Diamond Head Hike & relax on Hanauma Bay Beach.

Day 3: Leeward Coast Drive & Monk Seal Hike.

Day 4: Pearl Harbor & Iolani Palace.

Day 5: Arrive Kaua’i – Helicopter Ride. (Optional)

Day 6: Hanalei Bay & North Shore Beach Hopping.

Day 7: Waimea Canyon Hike & Kōkeʻe State Park Lookout

Road to Hana

Day 8: Drive to Waimea Falls, Fern Grotto & Kapaʻa

Day 9: Arrive Maui – Kihei Beach Day

Day 10: Drive to Ka’anapali Beach & Nakalele Blow Hole

Day 11: Haleakalā Sunrise –  Trail Hike or Horseback Ride

Day 12: Tropical Plantation Zip Line & Iao Needle Hike

Day 13: Road to Hana Scenic Drive & Waterfalls

Day 14: Molokai One-Day Tour

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens

Day 15: La Perouse & Makena Beach

Day 17: Arrive Hilo

Day 18: Hilo Botanics and/or Kilauea Volcanics

Day 19: Mauna Kea (Hike, Watch Sunrise or Sunset ) – Arrive Kona

Day 20: Kailua-Kona History & Culture Tour

Day 21: Beach Day

Day 22: Depart Kona. End Hawaii vacation.

Halawa Bay, Moloka'i

Stop Dreaming of Hawaii…

Contact Kaz to help you plan your Hawaii-Island hopping trip, including flights, accommodations, transfers/car rentals and detailed itinerary.

Hawaii Winter Cruise - Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2025

Sample the magic of 4 Hawaiian Islands on a 7-Day Inter-Island Hawaii Cruise

Book Now with Low Deposit - Reduced Rate, Full Amenities Package + $100 USD onboard credit per stateroom.

Discover stunning coastal landscapes of Hawaii

The coastal landscapes of Hawaii are, without doubt, some of the most stunning in the world. Unique landforms and features you can discover along the shores of the Hawaiian Islands include towering sea cliffs, cascading waterfalls, lush tropical forests, rugged volcanic formations, secluded beaches in a myriad of colours, vibrant coral reefs and historic Hawaiian landmarks. Read on to learn more about Hawaii’s unique and varied coastal landscapes and discover some distinct coastal features on each of Hawaii’s five main inhabited islands.

8 must-do experiences in Hawaii

In my last post, I shared my 4 favourite Hawaii beaches. In this post, I share 8 must-do experiences in Hawaii, 2 from each island visited on an inter-island Hawaii cruise: Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai. I have enjoyed 6 of these experiences, but, since I have yet to visit Hawaii Island, 2 are still on my bucket list.

My 4 favourite Hawaii beaches

The Hawaii Islands have hundreds of breathtaking beaches. They range from white sand to black with every shade of yellow in between. You’ll even find red sand and green sand beaches. Although I’ve obviously not visited every Hawaii beach (wouldn’t that be amazing), it’s still hard to choose a favourite from the ones I have. But I’ve managed to narrow it down to 4 off-the-beaten path Hawaii beaches, one on each island that I’ve visited.

My favourite beach on Molokai, Hawaii

Last week I posted about, Yokohama Bay, my favourite beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. One of my other favourite beaches in Hawaii is on the small island of Molokai in Maui County, although I probably shouldn’t be posting about it, as I’d like to keep it a secret really.

Yokohama Bay – my favourite beach in Oahu, Hawaii

This spectacular beach at Yokohama Bay on the leeward side Oahu is my favourite beach on the entire island. I probably shouldn’t even post about it as I think it should be kept a secret.

‘Iao Needle, ‘Iao Valley State Park, Maui

‘Iao Needle, ‘Iao Valley State Park, Maui, is a tropical rain-forest-covered ridge, regarded as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean.

Is the Nā Pali Coast in Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i on your travel bucket list?

Seriously, if you don’t have the Nā Pali Coast in Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i on your travel bucket list, then you really should add it! Hike 2 miles of the Kalalau Trail from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach for exhilarating coastal views and then another 2 miles to Hanakapi’ai Falls.

Kumini Beach, Molokai, Hawaii

Kumini Beach, Molokai, Maui, HawaiiI simply love Moloka‘i.This tiny island adjacent to Maui (which is actually part of Maui County), is like no other on earth. Of all the Hawai‘i Islands I’ve visited (and I've been to four), it’s the most unspoilt, secluded and...

Kalepa Mountain Forest Reserve, Kauai

Is Kaua‘i on Your Travel Bucket List Yet?The above photo is of Kalepa Mountain Forest Preserve and Wailua River in Kaua‘i. I took this photo on an island-hopping adventure of the Hawaiian Islands for my 50th birthday. As you can see from the photo, Kaua‘i is one of...

Like to research and book your own Hawaii Tours & Excursions?


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