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Hawaiian Islands

Hawai'i,   Oahu,   Moloka'i,  Kaua'i, 
Maui,  Lana'i,  Kaho'olawe,  Ni'ihau..

Hawai'i - Big Island

Big Island is one of the most amazing places in the world with its rich variety of climates, one of most active volcanoes in the world and Aloha culture which still maintains a strong tie with the past.

On Big Island you can experience eleven of the world's thirteen climates which are recognized on our planet. Big Island is like a mini-continent, with dramatic changes in landscapes that can be seen every half hour while driving slowly.

On the north part of the island you can find the most exclusive hotels and apartments which are nestled between the still dormant Hualalai volcano and beautiful beaches. This part of the island has year around sunshine with clouds visible in the distance.

In the Kona area, like a good Swiss watch, you can expect a refreshing rainfall in the evening - thanks to this everyday ritual of nature, the Kona grows the second best coffee in the world. When it rains in Kona, Hilo, on the other side of the island is beautiful, dry and sunny.

Through Hamakua we travel to the town of Waimea, where one half of the town it nearly always rains and the other half enjoys beautiful sunshine. Waimea maintains the tradition of the first Mexican cowboys that came to Hawaii together with hundreds of cows and taught the Hawaiian people the new art of breeding cattle and playing guitars...

In Kalapana you can safely meditate near red, freshly flowing lava. Here the process of renewal and creation still occurs, similar to millions of years ago. Here the volcano goddess Pele is still present, not only in legends!

On the slopes of craters grow rainforests - the same kind as during the times of dinosaurs! Hawaiian rainforest is one of the most unique, disappearing world treasures there is (Jurassic Park was filmed here!).

On the top of Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in the world (counted from its base in the ocean - over 10,000 m high) is one of biggest a observatories in the world. Visitng Mauna Kea summit is one the most exciting experiences you can do - going from a hot beach to its peak over 4500 m high and looking down on the clouds to watch the sunset. After night comes, we enjoy gazing into the center of the Milky Way Galaxy through huge telescopes.

There is no end of surprises and contrasts on Big Island! An active volcano in the rainforest, rocky deserts and exclusive hotels surrounded by green palms, black, white and green beaches!

While here, one must visit the ancient temple of comples, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau - were Hawaiian people come for purifying rituals for healing relationships.

Big Island is not a place to visit as a tourist. You decide to experience this place, or will leave it still knowing nothing. Big Island is for a lot of people "home" from first moment they arrive. Its unexpected beauty and diversity have always something more to offer the visitor than you can take home with you.

Kauai - Island of Waterfalls and the Grand Canyon of the Pacific

Kauai island is represented by the flower Mohikanka. The very first visitors called it the Garden Island, probably because it rains most of the year - making everything grow very fast!. Waterfalls decorate the slopes of the red canyons which are truly beautiful!

Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island. It's not as big as Big Island (1430 square meters), with a dormant Volcano Kawaikini at 1598 m.

Legends says that Kauai means "beloved child".

On Kauai there is the second wettest spot in the world, with annual rainfall above 11,700 mm. It rains mostly in the valley near Mount Wai'ale'ale. Thousands of years of intense rainfall has created the canyon in the center of the island. It is called the "Grand Canyon" of the Pacific; stunningly beautiful with hundreds of waterfalls!

The Hawaiian traditional hula dance, Kauai, has the oldest temple of hula.

Dramatic scenery of canyons, hidden beaches which can only be reached by boat, breathtaking hidden paths towards waterfalls - this is what Kauai is all about!

O'ahu - with Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii

According legends, the chief Hawai'iloa first came to the island a very long time ago. The name of the island retains the memory of the son of Hawai'iloa. For many generations, Oahu was ruled by the chiefs from the Mailikukahi family.

Oahu is similar to other Hawaiian islands but totally different as well. When you leave Honolulu - you drive the road on the coast and are ready at every moment to stop the car and to stay on the white sandy beaches for hours in a quiet place. In the evening you can come back to Honolulu - with more than 700 hotels and its nightlife in exclusive restaurants and clubs as well as the Ala Moana, a world class shopping center.

After taking a rest on the Waikiki beach, many tourists choose to visit Pearl Harbor on the next day and see Diamond Head, to look at Honolulu from a great view. You can spend time in Haumana Bay and enjoy its underwater world on another day.

You need to start early in the morning to fully enjoy Lai'e - the Center of Polynesia culture, where dance and chants of all Polynesian islands - are presented. Here one can see traditional houses of Tahitians, Samoans, Maoria and more. The center was created by Mormons and attracts huge numbers of tourists every day.

Only ambitious tourists will discover the east part of the island - very magical, peaceful and its best to leave expensive cameras in the hotel. Take a jeep and lots of water - you will have a magnificent experience...

Oahu is symbolized by the flower 'ilima. The island was created by two volcanoes Wai'anae & Ko'olau which are no longer active. The highest peak of Oahu is Mount Ka'ala at 1220 m.

Honolulu is - in the administrative sense - is the longest city in the world and responsible for all the small islands from Kure Atol, at a distance of 2200 km.

Molokai - Powerful island

Molokai island was chosen by National Geographic as one of 111 islands on earth that are worth visiting. Breathtaking Pacific beaches and landscapes can all be found here!

Moloka'i was created by two volcanoes. Part of one fall down into the ocean about half a million years ago. The rest created the highest cliff in the world (Jurassic Park was also filmed here).

If you choose to visit Moloka'i , visit the Papohaku beach - one of the most beautiful beaches on the Hawaiian islands.

Moloka'i is symbolized by the white Kumui flower. Moloka'i is quite small - 673 km2, with the highest peak Kamakou at 1512 m and only 7000 indigenous inhabitants. In the small village Kaunakakai, social life is starting to develop.

The name „The Friendly Island” was probably given for healing the difficult past history of the island. White visitors brought to Hawaii deadly diseases, and sick people were sent to die on Molokai.

This complex situation, however, had a good side as well - white visitors were not likely to move to Moloka'i which is the reason that the inhabitants of the island today are Hawaiian people of the purest Hawaiian blood!Mana of Molokai is known from centuries on all Hawaiian islands..

Maui - Surfer's Island

Maui was one of the Hawaiian islands that captain James Cook "discovered" on November 26, 1778. He could not find a safe bay for his boats, so he headed towards Big Island.

Today Maui is a paradise for young people that love all kinds of water sports.

Maui is symbolized by the Lokelani flower. Maui means "„the "island of valleys”" The highest volcano is Haleakala at 3055m. Kahului has about 20,000 inhabitants.

Originally the Maui name refers to the legends about the chief Hawai'iloa, who named the island after his beloved child. Maui means half- human being half-God which is very common in Hawaiian legend and stories.

On Maui, similar as on other islands, you will find many temples, which were built long before white visitors came. The temples were important for connecting with nature and the gods. People can still have some fantastic experiences visiting the temples today.

In 1923 Maui was visited the first time by missionaries from New England. They built here the first western style school. The first book translated into the Hawaiian language was the Bible. The Bible was the main textbook and served as a scientific reference for many years.

By the way - when the first missionaries came to the Hawaiian islands, women were wearing just a piece of cloth on their hips which was very useful in hot weather. The missionaries brought fabric and created long dresses that full covers the body ;-).

Today, the Hawaiian people are bringing back the traditions from the time before the missionaries arrived; this includes the ancient Hawaiian Hula dance, the famous hawaiian Lomilomi massage, the beautiful Hawaiian language, traditions and customes.

Maui has many attractions such as the Haleakala park in the dormant volcano Haleakala and the town of Lahaina as well as beautiful beaches

Lana'i - Lana'i o Kaulua'au.

The island Lana'i has the traditional name: Lana'i o Kaulua'au - 'Victory day of Kaulua'au".

Lana'i is a small island that white visitors called "”Pinapple Island”" Mr Dole built one of the biggest pineapple factories in the world during the19th century.

Lana'i is 29 km long and 364 km2 big. Highest hill on Lana'i is Lanai'hale with 1026 m. Flower symbol of the island is Kauna'oa Lana'i.

Life on the island is very peaceful - in one small village Lana'i people live their lives as people lived 150 years ago (with the exception of exclusive hotel recently built). I recommend staying in an old hotel in Lanai- time will stop with you resting on the lanai (balcony).

According to legends, people from Maui believed that Lana'i was inhabited by ghosts. Many people are scared of Lana'i. Legends says that the island was finally freed from ghosts by Kahuna Lanikaula, and the young Kaulua'au chief.

The legend about the young chief Kaulua'au say that he was abnormally strong, and cleared all the breadfruit trees on Maui; as a punishment for his actions, he was sent to stay alone on Lana'i (with all the ghosts). Not only did he survive, but got rid of all the problems on the island. After his father discovered his unusual abilities, he brought him back at his honor and gave him the Lana'i island. Legend says that Kaulua'au destroyed all the breadfruit trees on Lana'i island as well, so today there are still not growing there!

Kaho'olawe ...

Kaho'olawe is the smallest of all the Hawaiian islands. Its size is 115 km2, with its highest peak Pu'u Moaulanaui at 452 m npm.

Kaho'olawe was full of life 1778 at the time of arrival by captain James Cook and the following missionaries and white visitors. There are still remains of temples and petroglyphs. There are 544 sites on Kaho'olawe that protected as historically important and approximately 2000 archaeological artifacts.

The modern history of Kaho'olawe was linked for years with the activity of the US army. In 1981 the island came under the protection of cultural protections laws, the National Park for Culture Protection was created. (KIRC).

Observing a minute of silence you can honor those who have passed away, who inspired many generations to respect this land. Those who lived here share the abundance and beauty of Hawaiian traditions and the lifestyle they were protecting on Kaho'olawe”

Ho'ola'a 'ia keia i ka po'e o mua ae nei Nana i ho'oulu i ka mahalo a me ke aloza 'aina i keia hanana, a i ka po'e e Ola nei e ka'ana mau aku Ana i ka nani me ka pono o ka nohona 'oiwi o ka Hawai'i me ke kulia mau 'ana e ho'ola hou ia Kaho'olawe.

"Kaho'olawe, Na Leo o Kanaloa"

Ni'ihau Forbidden Island

Ni'ihau is truly extraordinary in terms of its social system and context. The island was sold by chief and king Kamehameha V to Elisabeth Sinclair (later Sinclari-Robinson) for 10,000 dollars in gold in 1864. Until this day the island remains in the hands of this family. In 1915 grandson of Elisabeth Sinclair Aubrey forbade the entrance on the island even to family members of people, who stayed on Niihau.

Today the inhabitants of Ni'ihau have the most unusual social system that we know. They live as free people on an island which is private. They don't earn money for their work, and there is no connection between Ni'ihau (except very expensive private helicopters) and other Hawaiian islands. The people have been living here for generations without owning any private property.

Before white visitors arrived on this island, the people from Ni'ihau were famous for making the best quality mats. These mats are well-known and desired thought all of Polynesian islands.

The lack of contact with the rest of the world has had advantage for Hawaiian culture today. People from Ni'ihau are one hundred percent Hawaiian speaking people. The isolation preserved the native language, which on the other islands has virtually vanished.

Ni'ihau was created about 4.9 million years ago, after Kauai. The island is 30 km long, in is widest part about 10 km wide. The highest hill, Mount Paniau is 390 m. Today about 160 people live on Ni'ihau.

On the island there is only one small lake Lake Halulu.

Today Ni'ihau is known for its famous shell necklaces made from Leptothyra verruca. Such necklaces can be worth a few thousand of dollars! Their Hawaiian name is: Ni'ihau Kahelelaniafter the first chief of Ni'ihau - Kahelelani.

Aloha!
Article "Hawaiian Islands", copyrights CCRC.TM © 1989 - 2015
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