Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
With Jetstar flying to Honolulu, there are plenty of reasons to add Hawaii to your bucket list, and lying in a hammock isn't one of them! Hawaii truly has it all, but for nature lovers, it covers flora and fauna like no other destination with magnificent geological formations that will truly take your breath away. In no particular order:
1. Turtles. Honu, or sea turtles are in abundance in Hawaii, and you can swim with them or sea them on the beach on any of the islands. Please do not touch or harass them, no matter how close they swim near you.
3. Volcanoes in action. The Volcano State Park is an extraordinary experience, and you can walk up close to steam vents, and view the bubbling crater. Stay into the evening (or at Volcano House) to see the lava glowing in the darkness.
4. Snorkel with Manta Rays. Children as young as 8 can participate in this amazing experience. Dives also available, but the snorkel experience will astound you. The rays feed on the plankton, and somersault within centimetres of your body. The precision of these massive creatures is astounding.
5. Whales. Between December and April the whales are breeding in the warm Hawaiian waters. We were there at the tail end of the season and saw whales up close in both Big Island and Kauai. No need to take a special whale watching trip, any boat trip will probably catch a glimpse of a few whales.
6. Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast. Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and is an easy drive and offers some day trips for hikers. The Na Pali Coast is only accessible by foot, boat or helicopter (or some beaches can be reached by off road driving then hiking). The stunning 1,200 metre cliffs are breath-taking and the beaches are secluded. After rain, there are plenty of waterfalls to add to the picturesque setting.
7. Snorkelling. There is plenty of colourful sea life as marine parks abound. Spinner dolphins will no doubt frolic nearby if you take a boat out and the water is warm. If travelling with a young child, check the operator has a boogie board with a viewing window, and that way even the youngest swimmer can enjoy the outing.
8. Garlic shrimp or Giovanni's Hot'n'Spicy. The food trucks all over the island are famous for their garlic shrimp, and if you aren't fan of raw fish, this is most definitely the best food on Oahu. (The poke, a traditional raw fish salad is usually great too). My favourite meal, in a month of travel was the Hot'n'Spicy shrimp at Giovanni's White Shrimp truck on the North Shore. You may have to wait awhile, at times, up to an hour, but for me it was well worth the wait.
10. Beaches. Hawaii is blessed with some stunning beaches, white, black, peppered and even green sand. Every beach is different, but they all offer something special. By law, all beaches have public access, and some resorts even offer parking spots for the public.
Hawaii also offers the usual resort holiday lures, such as pools, waterslides and water sports. There is cheap American shopping if you are after the big brand items and a myriad of cultural activities and historic Pearl Harbour memorial and the educational Bishop's Museum.
Whatever you end up doing in Hawaii, you will be bound to have an unforgettable experience.