Many people might know Hawaii as the 50th state in the United States, but did you know that it’s an island archipelago made up of 19 islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean? Formed by volcanic activity in the earth’s mantle, it is the most isolated group of islands on Earth. There are shallow channels between the islands and high mountain peaks throughout due to the island’s natural formation, making Hawaii a perfect destination for sailing! Whether you fancy experiencing the unique flavour of one island or exploring them all by going island hopping, a boat trip to Hawaii is the perfect way to spend your holiday! We have compiled a list of the unique qualities of four of the Hawaiian islands. From the Big Island to Kauai, we’ll guide you through it!
What’s the best time to visit Hawaii?
Hawaii experiences mild temperatures throughout the year with moderate humidity. There is an average temperature of 23 to 30 degrees Celsius. however, the consistent winds blowing from the northeast can drastically influence the climate of these islands. Despite being close to each other, each island has its own microclimate. This depends on the slope exposure and mountain ranges, leading to occasional wet or dry seasons.
The Big Island
The island of Hawaii, more commonly referred to by its nickname the “Big Island,” is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. The unique feature of this island is that it has the most diverse climate. Due to its size, location, and volcanic formation, the variations in altitude and wind currents throughout the island create a myriad of climates such as hot and wet tropical conditions, a polar tundra, and a hot arid desert.
On your boat trip to Hawaii, you’ll notice one of the Big Island’s distinctive features: the number of volcanoes. For the thrill-seekers, we recommend you head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where you can hike across 1,350 square kilometres of land to find two active volcanoes: Maunaloa and Kilauea!
If hiking isn’t your style, the volcanic sands also grant the island of Hawaii its iconic black sand beaches. Found between Pahala and Naalehu, the Punaluu Black Sand beach offers a stunning contrast between the jet-black shore and vibrant green palm trees, making for a truly unforgettable experience. If you seek pure rest and relaxation, the Kona District on the west side of the island is where to go. Here, the Maunaloa protects Kona from the strong winds, leaving an oasis of pure serenity and calm waters. This makes the beaches of Kona such as Kealakekua Bay the perfect spot for sailing, snorkelling, and swimming. What’s more is that the clear waters make it easy to spot some unique marine life such as Honu, the green sea turtles native to Hawaii.
Famed for its diverse beaches, humpback whales, and romantic scenery, Maui is one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands. In fact, this nature enthusiast’s paradise is the top destination for honeymoons in North America.
If you aren’t sure how to enjoy the beautiful island, take a sunset cruise in Maui! Set sail just as the sun begins to settle, and then witness magic as the blue sky fades into a warm blend of orange and pink. Still not convinced? Add to your experience by heading to the west shore. From here, witness the silky white sand and turquoise waters on Kaanapali Beach. You will be able to see the famous sunset ceremony honouring the ancient Hawaiian gods. Every sunset, a diver climbs the cliffs of Puu Kekaa, lights torches, and then releases a lei into the ocean before diving into the water.
A true representation of paradise, Oahu is Hawaii’s most populated island. This is where you will find the state capital Honolulu, and the world-renowned Waikiki Beach. If you want to visit an island that has a combination of natural beauty, exotic flora and fauna, and history, then Oahu is right for you! When it comes to a boat trip to Hawaii, Oahu offers vastly different experiences depending on which side of the island you visit.
You can find drier and sunnier weather on the south shore, as the mountains block most of the northeastern Tradewinds. You can also disembark from your boat rental and head inwards, where you will find the gorgeous Manoa Falls Trail. With hints of eucalyptus and the sound of singing birds, this hiking trail guides its visitors through their senses as they climb up the bright green Manoa Valley. The trail ends with an astounding 45-metre waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip before returning to Honolulu. In contrast, the north shore of the island is perfect for surfers. There are strong winds that create waves all year round. However, while the wind and 30-feet waves are ideal for surfing, they can be dangerous for sailors. Therefore, consider renting a catamaran in Waikiki for added stability from the two or more hulls.
Sometimes referred to as “Garden Island,” Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island. Because of its naturally fertile land, Kauai has diverse ecosystems such as rainforests, swamp lands, and waterfalls. In fact, the highest point on the island on Kawaikini Peak is known to be the wettest place on Earth. Due to this unique landscape, there are many locations only accessible by sea. This makes a boating holiday the best way to truly discover the island.
You can set sail from Port Allen on the west side of the island and head to the Napali Coast to see the breathtaking hidden caves. Here, you’ll witness some of the tallest sea cliffs along the rocky shoreline. You won’t want to miss the cascading waterfalls crashing against the sparkling emerald waters! With a nutrient-rich island and crystal-clear waters like Kauai, it won’t take long to witness the tropical fish in a rainbow of colours, the sea turtles, or dolphins!