24 Interesting Things You Might Not Know About Hawaii


There’s no place on earth quite like Hawaii – think picture-perfect panoramas, cascading waterfalls and rainbow-hued sunsets. If it’s time for you to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, then a trip to one of the most magical places on earth could well be in order. This tropical island paradise, complete with a heady mix of perfect climate, geography and culture means that Hawaii is truly one of a kind. If you think you already know everything you need to know about the Aloha State, you may be surprised. Here are 24 of our favourite facts about Hawaii.

  1. Home to all but two of the world’s major climate zones, Hawaii is diverse by nature and it shows. If, when you picture Hawaii, you picture a white sand beach, you may be surprised to learn that Hawaiian sand also comes in yellow, red, green and black.
  2. You may be familiar with Hawaii’s world-famous lei but did you know that the flower garlands come with strict rules? For starters, it’s impolite to refuse a lei, remove it in front of the person who gave it to you, or wear one that you intend to give to someone else. You have been warned!
  3. President Barack Obama isn’t the island’s only famous offspring. His home city of Honolulu was also the birthplace of actresses Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler.
  4. The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands, all diverse in nature. The largest of the islands, aptly named ‘The Big Island’, has the state’s longest sheer-drop waterfall and the world’s most active volcano.
  5. In fact, volcanoes are generally a big deal on the Big Island. If you’ve ever wanted to see lava in action then travel to Kilauea, dubbed “the world’s only drive-in volcano”, which produces enough molten magic to resurface a 20-mile road daily.

  1. It’s also thanks to the majesty of this mighty volcano that the Big Island is getting bigger – it grows by about 42 acres each year due to the continuous eruption.
  2. Volcanic landscapes are some of the most unusual terrains on the planet, in fact in the 1960s, astronauts trained for moon voyages by walking on Mauna Loa’s hardened lava fields because it supposedly resembles the surface of the moon.
  3. In keeping with the theme, Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano. It forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui, is 3,000 feet deep, 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. In other words, it’s HUGE.
  4. When you visit, you can take volcanic rocks from the Kilauea volcano but do so at your own peril. Each year the Hawaii National Park rangers receive deliveries of returned rocks with the claim that they brought bad luck from Pele – no not the footballer – the goddess of fire, volcanoes and violence.
  5. The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters, the five vowels and seven other consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P and W. Also, every word in the Hawaiian language ends with one of five vowels.

  1. It is rude to refer to the locals as “natives” or “Hawaiians”. Only people with Hawaiian ancestry can legitimately be called “Hawaiians.” People of non-Hawaiian ancestry are simply called ‘locals’, even those born and raised in Hawaii.
  2. Kalaupapa on Molokai Island was once a leper colony. Now it has about 7,000 (perfectly healthy) inhabitants!
  3. Luckily, Hawaii has moved on from those days and now has the longest average life-span in the United States and the fifth longest in the world.
  4. By law, you may only have one alcoholic drink in front of you at a time.
  5. Hawaiian shirts used to be plain. During the 19th century, missionaries gave the Hawaiians simple shirts to cover themselves. Not content with this, they painted the shirts to make them more attractive and eye-catching.

  1. When you picture Hawaii, you imagine glorious sunshine but did you know that it regularly snows in Hawaii? The white stuff tends to stay contained to the summits of the three tallest volcanoes: Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala though.
  2. It also rains, in some places, a lot! The wettest spot on the earth (or so it is called) is Waialeale Mountain. It averages an astounding 488 inches of rain per year, by comparison, London manages a mere 23 inches!
  3. But the rains makes for lush vegetation meaning Hawaii is the only US state that grows coffee, vanilla beans and cacao.
  4. You’ll find some of the most attractive wildlife in the world in Hawaii. In fact, about 200 of the 680 types of fish in Hawaiian waters can be found nowhere else in the world. Including the beautiful, if a little tricky to pronounce, Humuhumunukunukuapua`a – the Hawaiian state fish.
  5. Only two types of mammals are native to Hawaii: the hoary bat and the monk seal. They might not be as pretty as the Humuhumunukunukuapua`a but they’re definitely cute and far easier to pronounce!

  1. Good news if you’re not a lover of snakes. The Brahminy blind snake is the only type of snake that lives in Hawaii. It’s about the size of an earthworm and completely harmless.
  2. And it’s not just animals! The silver sword plant grows only on the slopes of Haleakala Crater on the island of Maui. It can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
  3. Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands – over six million years old – and by law, no building is allowed to be taller than a palm tree.
  4. The state is called the most isolated population centre in the world — around 2,390 miles from the U.S. and nearly 4,000 miles from Japan. Making it perfect if you fancy getting away from it all!

So there you have it, Hawaii is officially like no other place in the world – on any given day you can chase rainbows, wade under waterfalls, surf waves or swim with sea creatures. Enjoy a cruise to Hawaii and you can truly leave your worries at the door and let easy tropical living take their place. For a list of Cruise1st Australia cruises to Hawaii visit our dedicated page or call our dedicated team on 1300 857 345.

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