ABOUT The state of Hawaii is named after the largest of the islands, located in the south of the archipelago. The eight main Hawaiian Islands are Oahu, with the state capital of Honolulu, Hawaii (Big Island), Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau und Kahoolawe. They are located at the southeastern end of the island chain. Toward the northwest, there are 124 more uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals and atolls that are collectively known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. All of the Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic activity, which means that the islands are actually the tips of huge mountains underneath the ocean that were born from gigantic eruptions. Starting from northwest and going down to the southeast, each volcano is progressively younger. The oldest one in the northwest of the island chain was formed about 80 million years ago. The volcanoes on the southernmost island, the Big Island of Hawaii, are still active today and the creation of new land can be witnessed there on many days of the year. To get around the islands the transportation system of state highways encircles each main island. Only O?ahu has federal highways, and is the only area outside the contiguous 48 states to have signed Interstate highways. Travel can be slow due to narrow winding roads, and congestion in populated places. Each major island has a public bus system. Honolulu International Airport is the major commercial aviation hub of Hawaii, with intercontinental services. Within Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, Mokulele Airlines and go! use jets between the larger airports in Honolulu, L?hu?e, Kahului, Kona and Hilo, while Island Air and Pacific Wings serve smaller airports. Major resort destinations on Hawaii Island include the Kohala Coast, Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) and Keauhou, both in Kona. There are hotels and accommodations in Hilo and Puna on the east side closer to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Throughout the island you’ll also find bed and breakfast accommodations, condominiums, vacation rental homes and cottages, as well as hostels. Some of the Hawaii Island Highlights are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to Kilauea Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) lively, historic gathering place in the heart of Kona. Hilo, home to botanical gardens, waterfalls and off-the-beaten-path local shops and restaurants. Waimea, Experience the cool uplands of paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country. Holualoa, visit coffee country and taste why 100% Kona coffee is so famous.
CLIMATE Hawaii has only two seasons, summer, from May to October, and winter, from November to April. Temperatures at sea level in Hawaii range from highs of 29-32°C in the summer to 26-28°C in the winter. The temperature rarely rises above 32°C or drop below 16°C except at higher altitudes, including on Hawaii's three tallest mountains of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala, where it often snows in the winter months. June, July and August are the driest months on all islands. But even in Hawaii's winter months, rain and cloud cover are very intermittent and you should get ample time in the sun.
BEWARE There is a general threat from terrorism in the United States. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. You should also look at relevant US government websites, especially: http://www.fbi.gov, and http://www.dhs.gov and monitor news reports before and during your trip to the USA. If you intend to drive you should note that a driving licence is required for each driver when renting a vehicle. An International Driving Permit may be required in addition to your UK driving licence in some States. At every US commercial airport, large and small, you will meet the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Officers who are tasked with your travel security. Please take a moment to become familiar with some of the TSA security measures. Doing so now will help save you time once you arrive at the airport. Do not make flippant remarks about bombs or terrorism, especially when passing through US airports.