The beautiful and unique landscape of coastal Oahu, Hawaii


Epic surf, lush rainforests, pristine beaches and firey volcanos - few places in the world share the rare untamed beauty of Hawaii. Whether you’re seeking the glorious sandy beaches of Maui, the stunning scenic hikes of the Big Island or the big waves and history of Oahu, plan which island to visit with our Hawaii travel guide.

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Places to stay

No matter which island you end up on, Hawaii is full of friendly faces, spectacular scenery and good eats. Each island has a unique flavour, so find the perfect one to plant yourself on or hop around and sample a few.

The capital island of Oahu is known as ‘The Gathering Place’, and you’ll see why if you base yourself on this multicultural and modern island. Oahu is a mixture of natural wonders, a rich cultural heritage, the famous waves of the North Shore and many big but laid-back resorts. On Oahu, you’ll find beautiful beaches also come with plenty of shopping, restaurants and nightlife around the resorts and hotels of Waikiki or venture to Kailua Beach, the North Shore or Lanikai to find fewer crowds and more Airbnbs.

For beaches, big waves and restaurants galore, Maui is your spot. Here you can snorkel in calm coves or seek out monster waves, traipse along scenic trails before ending your day with a regional feast made from the island’s best. Kauai is the lush and laid-back island where you’ll instantly enjoy the lifestyle with the North Shore offering family-friendly resorts in Princeville.

For a luxurious stay, romantics will love Hotel Wailea in Maui or the unspoilt island retreat that is the Four Seasons Resort in Lanai. With six major islands to choose from and endless accommodation options on all of them, Hawaii has a wealth of places for you to find your slice of tropical paradise.

Things to do

Hawaii is the perfect year-round destination brimming with activities to keep you active or relaxed from sunrise to sunset. From whale-watching off Kauai in “winter” to squeezing every last hour out of the summer sun on Maui’s beaches, Hawaii is enjoyable in any season.

If you’re a keen hiker, visit in summer to make the most of dry tracks and trails. The Olomana Three Peaks Trail in Oahu is a strenuous trek with incredible views or for a more relaxed stroll with swimming and picnic stops along the way, try the Kaena Point Trail. Or hire a car and drive up to Maui's Haleakalā National Park for sunrise - be sure to reserve one of the limited spots for this incredible sight.

The Seven Mile Miracle on Oahu’s North Shore is where you’ll find big breaks at Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park while Maui is a great surf destination for beginners. There are plenty of other aquatic activities on offer in Hawaii, snorkel with the turtles in Kauai or tour to the Molokini Crater reef between the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe. With every island offering up its own unique type of tropical paradise, you’ll just have to choose a favourite for yourself.


Where to go

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Hawaii is packed with natural beauty. In Kona explore the Big Islands wild and diverse range of natural wonders, like volcanos, waterfalls and rainforests, that make this island a hiker’s dream.

To witness the sea caves, waterfalls, and deep valleys of Kauai's unparalleled Nā Pali Coast, take it all in from the comfort of a helicopter or catamaran. In Oahu watch whales or the thrilling Triple Crown professional surf events.

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Food and drink

For an endless feast of food trucks, fusion menus by famed Hawaiian chefs and farm-fresh markets, Oahu is your island. You can’t miss tasting a poke bowl, the local saimin soup and fish tacos after a day in the surf.

Sunsets should always be served with a cocktail so make sure to visit Mala Ocean Tavern in Maui or Huggo’s on the Rocks on the Big Island for a Mai Tai by the water.

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Getting around

From the airport: you can book a transfer to your hotel in Waikiki or to the Cruise Terminal taking you to the outer islands.

In and around the city: exploring most of the islands requires a hire car, with the exception of Oahu which has an extensive public bus network. Car hire in Hawaii is cheap, the roads are easy to navigate and you can get to all those gorgeous off the beaten track beaches.With regular inter-island flights and ferries for island-hopping it’s easy to just pick an island and take it from there.

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Disclaimer: + Meals, entertainment and service offerings vary between flights and cabins.

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: ^ Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value unless otherwise specified, for hotel stays booked through, except Classic Hotel Rewards and Airbnb bookings. Points Club members will earn 25% more Qantas Points, and Points Club Plus members will earn 50% more Qantas Points. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable).  

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