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Hawaii’s hidden treasures
What’s the first thing you think of when you conjure up an image of Hawaii? Diamond Head? Waikiki? The bustling tourist haven of Honolulu? They all have their own appeal, but there is so much more to this dramatic group of islands that is just waiting to be discovered by the traveller who wants experiences beyond the ordinary.
Kauai – the garden isle
The fourth largest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain is the garden island of Kauai. Far from the bright lights of the main tourist centres, Kauai offers a very different experience from its better known neighbour.
The first thing that strikes the visitor is the imposing presence of its jagged mountain terrain, draped in a thick green carpet of tropical vegetation. Ancient geographical forces have created spectacular natural wonders, such as the breathtaking Waimea Canyon or the lush Kokee State Park. It’s a landscape so rugged that much of it is only accessible by sea or air.
Kauai has plenty to offer those who want to get up close to nature too, with kayaking, snorkelling and hiking high on the list. And of course there are glorious, unspoiled beaches that can make you feel a million miles from civilisation.
Maui – the valley isle
Maui offers a very different experience. It can still rival Kauai in terms of natural attraction, but it has a quite different charm all its own. Small towns and villages dot the island and dreamy resorts blend into the balmy tropical landscape.
The beaches are renowned as some of the world’s best and up into the hills the Haleakala National Park offers commanding vistas of this second largest island in the group. The Hana highway is a touring feature in itself as it snakes along the spectacular coastline and gives perfect viewing access to countless waterfalls, lush rainforests and idyllic pools.
Fact file - How to get there
Major airlines fly to Hawaii from most state capitals to Honolulu International Airport, where you can transfer to a short flight for Maui or Kauai.
Where to stay on Maui
Marriott's Maui Ocean Club – spacious and spectacular oceanfront location, refreshing pools, and eclectic dining.
Travaasa Hana – nestled in a natural wonderland offering both elegance and adventure.
Where to stay on Kauai
Poipu Shores - one, two, or three bedroom condominium suites with ocean views.
The Cliffs at Princeville - oceanfront luxurious 1 & 2 bedroom condominium units.
Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.
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