Destinations

Five ways to experience Hawaii’s natural wonders

Ashlee Galea

The Hawaiian Islands are enveloped in natural beauty, the extreme kind. Hawaii’s flora and fauna offer a direct route to connect with Mother Earth and provides an authentic way to feel the beat of the islands.

Here are a few nature-based endeavours that’ll help your clients feel the true essence of the islands, and leave them longing for more.

Forest bathing, Oahu

Oahu

Lyon Arboretum is an exquisite botanical garden in Manoa Valley on Oahu, eight kilometres from Waikīkī but a world away from the buzzing city life. The 200-acre grounds rise from 135 to 560 metres in elevation and house a living plant collection of over 5,000 species. Managed by the University of Hawaii, this rainforest plays a crucial role in preserving and propagating Hawaii’s plant species, especially those native to the islands. It serves as an outdoor laboratory for classes, research projects and community events, and as an oasis for nature lovers. Visitors can take part in activities within the arboretum, including yoga, hiking and forest bathing, a form of therapy centred around the health benefits gained from a stroll in nature.

Experience the Hawaii of long ago, Molokai

Molokai

Visitors can hike through the heart of Molokai’s historic Halawa Valley and discover towering waterfalls, ancient heiau (places of worship) and a destination frozen in time. Steeped in ancient Hawaiian tradition, it’s believed ancient Polynesians settled in the valley as early as 650AD. Your clients can a guided hike with a Hawaiian cultural practitioner through this sacred area to cultural landmarks and gain a deeper understanding of that spiritual and physical connection the locals of Molokai have with the land. They’ll listen to the stories and history of the valley from the Hawaiians who were born and raised there.

Find peace in the Sacred Garden, Maui

The Sacred Garden is a nature sanctuary in Upcountry Maui run by a non-profit organisation where all visitor donations help maintain the garden and keep it open daily to the public. Designed to foster personal and spiritual growth, this peaceful setting is one enormous greenhouse filled with tropical foliage, orchids, and water plants, along with koi ponds, shrines, and a labyrinth designed for “walking meditation”. Guests are encouraged to grab a complimentary tea or hot chocolate, relax and contemplate.

Meet Hawaii’s endangered species, Kauai

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the northernmost tip of Kauai is home to a lighthouse turned safe haven for seabird nesting colonies and native and endangered plants. Over 500,000 people visit this island highlight every year, enjoying the dramatic cliffside scenery and view over the Pacific Ocean. With some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds in Hawaii, bird watching is a must-do! In particular, your clients can try to spot the Native Hawaiian nene (goose), an endangered species whose population is being carefully monitored in the refuge. The shoreline below is also a favourite playground for spinner dolphins, humpback whales (December to April), Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles.

Explore an ancient place of refuge, Island of Hawaii

Island of Hawaii

Puuhonua O Honaunau is a designated United States National Historical Park located at Honaunau Bay on the west side the Island of Hawaii. This is a special place where up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (ancient law) could flee to gain pardon for an otherwise certain death. Today, it’s an archaeological site featuring fishponds and a stone wall built in the 1500s. Hawaii’s past is reflected through reconstructions of heiau (temples), thatched structures and kii (wood carvings of gods). Visitors can learn about the intriguing history of the area on a Ranger-led talk or soak up the tranquillity of the park by meandering along the coastline while spotting for the local Hawaiian green sea turtles.


Ashlee Galea is an Aussie living in Hawaii who enjoys sharing Hawaii insider knowledge and travel advice on her blog www.thehawaiiadmirer.com.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Strong winds force flight cancellations at Sydney Airport

by Huntley Mitchell

The wild weather has also seen Sydney blanketed with pollen and chemists inundated with hayfever sufferers.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Luxury hotel to be built on top of old Nazi bunker

A former Nazi bunker is going to the next level – literally – with a luxury hotel to be built on top of it.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Could this be the world’s greenest cruise ship?

This new build is set to be sleek and luxurious, and use clean LNG fuel. Oh, and did we mention that you can live on it?

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

Have you secured your spot at The Travel Awards?

Wanna be a part of the glitz and glam that is The Travel Awards? Secure your spot now before tickets sell out!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas finds most passengers aren’t tackling jet lag the best way

Think you know how to beat jet leg effectively? Well, don’t be so sure, suggests this new Qantas research.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Norwegian’s big reshuffle, Singapore Tourism welcomes new staff + MORE!

Our Flavour of the Week is bursting with the tang of executive reshuffles and zesty fresh faces, best enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream and a few corn chips.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Excite’s award win, Change Makers returns, agents take on India + MORE!

Judging by the length of this Agent Wrap, it’s been a slow week for the trade. Well, slow for a bunch of globe-trotting socialites, that is.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday Wrap: Island of Hawaii update, Hawaiian Airlines’ starring TV role + MORE

Looking to brush up on your knowledge of all things Hawaii? Go from novice to expert with this…

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

How Hawaiian Airlines is flying cleaner

Hawaiian Airlines is intent on lowering fuel burn and reducing carbon emissions before, during and after each flight.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

HTO showcases Hawaiian Islands during MICE famil

Last week, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) hosted a group of professional meeting planners for a MICE famil on Oahu and the Island of Hawaii.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Hawaiian Airlines to star in new season of Seven’s ‘Step Outside with Paul Burt’

Every weekly episode of the show’s second season will feature one to two Hawaiian destination stories, along with the chance to win a Hawaiian holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Island of Hawaii update: what’s new, and things you probably don’t know

With an abundance of culture and history to share, the island is full of unique experiences and intriguing facts that inspire first-time and returning visitors.

Share

CommentComments