Think Hawaii – think hibiscus garlands and hula dances and a stunning Pacific paradise. It's hardly a surprise that this speckling of American islands in the middle of the ocean has garnered such a reputation. Cheap flights to Hawaii from Australia will usually take you to the capital of Honolulu, just a stone's throw from Waikiki's azure lagoons and chic beach hotels. Venture around the coast of Oahu from that and you discover pink-tinged sands blanketed in sea grapes at Lanikai Beach, or turquoise surf barrels roaring into the North Shore. Internal flight tickets throughout the Aloha State can also open up wonderlands like Maui and Kauai, which have rainforest-clad canyons, postcard surf coves, and volcanoes that splutter smoke into the clear night skies.
The Beatles and Elvis both fell in love with Waikiki. Hit the happening sands here for pearly blue seas and shimmering beaches, and you're likely to do the same.
See the metamorphic forces that have shaped Hawaii over the millennia by venturing to the smoking craters and cinder cones of the Haleakala National Park.
The Hawaii North Shore has barrels and breaks to rival even Bondi. Head up with the board in tow, or come to watch the local pros ply their trade on the Pacific.