When I first chose to go to Hawaii over Easter a lot of people marveled at my choice of destination thinking it would be all white sand beaches, hula dancers, floral lay’s everywhere and surfers adorning all of the coastal areas. I had little expectations of the island other than knowing what the tour I was booked on had entailed as I hate paint brushing an entire area or island just down to the photographs you can find on Google.
Hawaii itself is made up of eight individual islands including Hawaii (The Big Island) along with Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau, and believe it or not Honolulu which is the stereotypical Hawaii destination sits on Oahu, one of the much smaller islands. I ended up visiting the main Hawaii island which is often overlooked in favour of Oahu but the two places are so different.
Don’t expect white sand beaches
The large Hawaii island was created around a volcano which is still active today meaning that yes it does regularly spew lava, although most of this goes straight into the ocean. Due to the lava and the geological properties of the island don’t go expecting beautiful white sand beaches everywhere you look as most, in fact, are black or grey due to the lava. If you’re looking for crystal clear waters and white sand beaches then Waikiki in Honolulu is probably better suited for you.
Don’t expect huge cities
Honolulu is a large city and therefore the island of Oahu is quite urban with a large population, skyscrapers, and bustling freeways much like mainland America, but Hawaii isn’t like that at all. We sometimes entered beach area’s and were the only one’s there and even really touristy locations like the Volcano National Park wasn’t overrun by people, and some of the roads, well roads might be too nice of a term for it. While there are cities like Kona or Hilo and big hotels on the large island it’s so easy to be isolated and away from the crowds.
The island has 11 different climates
The big island has the widest range of climates offering a massive 11 of the 13 possible climate zones which means that one day you can be on the hot part of the island sunbathing on the coast, the next day you could drive an hour to the rainy part of the island and wander around waterfalls and botanical gardens, and then the next you can snowboard on the mountain peaks.