How to Get Around the Islands of Hawaii

How to Get Around the Islands of Hawaii
From the magical Road to Hana in Maui and the lonely cliffs of Kalaupapa on Molokai, to the otherworldly terrain of Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island, the Hawaii Island chain presents a multitude of natural wonders on each of its six main islands. With so much to see and do on all the islands, adventurer travelers will want to know the best ways to get to their destinations and how best to traverse the island once they arrive. Whether by air, sea or land, take in the natural wonders of this tropical paradise in the Pacific.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Get Around the Islands of Hawaii

Things You’ll Need:
  • Car Plane ticket Map
  • Car
  • Plane ticket
  • Map
Step 1
Book an inter-island flight. Flights depart daily from each of the main islands, taking passengers to Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Lanai and Molokai. If you are traveling from a neighboring island like the Big Island to Kauai, for example, you will likely have to make a stop-over in Oahu, the central hub of the island chain, because the distance involved.
Step 2
Consider taking a ferry from Maui to the nearby islands of Molokai or Lanai, where plentiful hiking and exploring await outdoor enthusiasts. Passenger-only ferries depart daily from Lahaina, Maui, taking about 90 minutes one way.
Step 3
Rent a car. Most islands, no matter the size, are best toured by car, especially in the case of the Big Island, which is the size of Connecticut. You might decide not to rent a car, however, if you are confining your stay solely in the tourist town of Waikiki, where shuttles and taxis can be easily used.
Step 4
Be prepared to spend more money on gasoline. Hawaii boasts some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, with some islands more expensive than others. Neighbor islands such as the Big Island and Kauai have higher gasoline prices than on Oahu, for example.
Step 5
Consider renting a four-wheel drive. Some areas off the beaten path include the pristine beach of Makalawena in Kona, the vibrant Waipio Valley near Hilo on the Big Island or the scenic cliffs of Lanai. Adventurers will be well-served by the acquisition of a four-wheel-drive vehicle to take them on their journey to remote destinations.

Tips & Warnings

Beginning in December 2007, the ill-fated Hawaii Superferry provided high-speed transportation for passengers and vehicles traveling between Oahu and Maui. Because of environmental litigation, however, the ferry company permanently suspended operations in the islands. To date, there is no high-speed ferry operating in Hawaii.

Article Written By Karen Sprinkles

Karen Sprinkles has been a freelance writer since 1988. She's currently the managing editor of a luxury home magazine and has written for regional newspapers and magazines. Sprinkles received the Award of Excellence from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association for "The Hawaii Home Book," which reached No. 1 on the Hawaii bestsellers list. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California.

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