A Hawaiian holiday
Immerse the kids in Hawaiian culture ...
Try stand-up paddle boarding, hit the waves on Oahu, learn lei making or swivel your hips and master the hula - Hawaii is the ultimate kid’s paradise.
Water. Oahu, also known as the big island of Hawaii, is blessed with beautiful beaches, many of which are suitable for water babies or with great surf for older kids. The family can take an outrigger canoe ride, stand up paddleboard or surf lesson, or go snorkelling in the beautiful waters at Haunama Bay. For a wonderful kayaking adventure on the island of Kauai, the oldest major Hawaiian Island, try Kayak Kauai, which takes participants to the Blue Lagoon. Highlights include views of Bali Hai (Makana Peak), and the sweeping "South Pacific" panorama, bird and turtle watching and snorkeling the pristine waters filled with colourful reef fish.
Hawaiian Culture. Visit the Polynesian Cultural Centre on the North Shore of Oahu, book in for a luau (Hawaiian feast) at your hotel or drop in to the Bishop Museum. You can also take a hula workshop or learn lei making and lots of resorts offer this for free.
Nature. Visit Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and see where the lava flows into the sea, or take the kids stargazing on Mauna Kea, also on Big Island (but remember to rug up – it’s freezing up there). You can also pack a picnic lunch and go bushwalking. There are loads of free walks on all the Hawaiian islands (see www.hawaiistateparks.org). For the price of a ferry ticket, the family can spot whales on the ferry from Maui to Lanai. During whale season (which officially starts in November), these beautiful mammals make the long journey from the north Pacific Ocean to calve in Hawaii’s famously warm waters.
The natural beauty of Hawaii ...
Retail Therapy. Have a shopping day at Ala Moana Center – the biggest open-air shopping centre in the world. Here you’ll find stores like Gap Kids, the Disney Store and The Children’s Place, department stores like Macy’s, Sears and other tempting brand name boutiques. The 290 stores feature the widest range of merchandise in Hawaii, including many stores not found elsewhere, selling everything from Hawaiian gift items to surf apparel to custom Hawaiian heirloom jewellery.
Action Jackson. Go ziplining (Maui and Kauai) or take the kids horseriding with the Hawaiian cowboys, named paniolos (available on most islands). The Princeville Ranch Adventures on Kauai has an outdoor activity centre just for kids where kids can take pony rides, pet farm animals in the petting zoo and hike the wild pua’a (pig forest).
Meet the farmer. Visit coffee farms, pineapple plantations or the Surfing Goat Dairy on Maui. There are many farms and plantations across the Hawaiian Islands offering farmgate tours and some have cafes for a spot of lunch.
Magical experiences on water ...
Disney Aulani is the only Disney property that isn’t a theme park. The whole property, while devoted to entertaining kids, has a South Pacific culture theme so kid’s club activities are focused on Hawaii rather than traditional Disney characters. While a world of fun for children, this is not your typical Disney resort and is special for mum and dad too.
Kahala Hawaii is a luxury family-friendly resort home to six dolphins plus the Keiki Club, which takes the little ones crabbing, fishing, reef walking, lei making and hula dancing.
A holiday of discovery for kids ...
Jetstar, Qantas and Hawaiian Airlines fly between Sydney and Hawaii with a Virgin interline on baggage for Hawaiian Airlines customers flying from interstate.
At the end of November, there will be three weekly Hawaiian services operating out of Brisbane to Honolulu and in December, Jetstar will offer a twice-weekly service out of Melbourne.
For more information on Hawaii visit www.gohawaii.com/au.
You can follow Sheriden Rhodes' adventures and pick up family travel tips on the Frequent Small Flyer Facebook page.