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Dreaming of swimming in crystal waterfall pools or lazing on golden sand beaches? Life on a tour to Hawaii is lived outdoors. World renowned for its beaches, the islands have every type imaginable: white, black, green and red sand, private coves, hidden bays, popular shorelines, surfable reefs, and off-the beaten track, untouched gems. One that stands out for its ubiquitous Hawaiian vibe, is Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Located on the Southeastern Kau Coast, Punaluu’s sand is coloured black from the constant volcanic activity. Coconut palms fringe the sand here, making this a gorgeous spot for some high-octane sun baking, followed by a sprint/shimmy/dance across the scorching hot sand to flop into the refreshingly clear water.
As per Hawaiian culture, superstition and storytelling accompany many of the archipelago’s miraculous natural sites. The Mt Halekala legend goes that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from its journey across the sky as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to make the day last longer. Haleakala, translated as ‘house of the sun’, is a mountain that towers over the island of Maui. Part of a scenic National Park and visible from just about any point, Mt Haleakala Crater is a force of nature in every sense and at 10,023 feet above sea level, this dormant volcano is the stage for a breathtaking range of landscapes, and an experience well worth getting up before dawn for. As the sun peeks over the horizon, an ever-changing swirl of colour and light dance across the vast sea of clouds- a sight described by Mark Twain as “the most sublime spectacle I have ever witnessed”. What better way to pay homage to Twain, than by conquering this crater by bike - insane downhill run and never-ending views guaranteed.
This museum of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture is the legacy of the last descendant of the Kamehameha Dynasty (aka King K’s fam). Dating back to 1889, it houses the world’s most extensive collection of art and artefacts pertaining to the Hawaiian and Polynesian people. A beautifully ornate building, the Bishop Museum was originally part of a school to provide education to native Hawaiians, established by a philanthropist Charles Bishop. To understand the rich and fiercely unique native Hawaiian and Pacific cultures, a visit to this legacy is a must.