Hawaii Activities, Sports and Recreation
The image of Épinal would like Hawaii to be all beaches and coconut palms, warm waters and surf rollers. The reality is a little different. The beaches are there, often splendid, sometimes deserted, there is no shortage of coconut trees, but the waters are not all suitable for swimming because of the strong currents. This is why the local rollers are so famous for surfing ... but also for boogie and kite. Add to that sea kayaking, scuba diving and you will be in for a treat.
In the interior, there is no shortage of activities. The hike is a bliss, with disheveled trails that explore the most remote valleys. Horse riding, golf galore, mountain biking, there really is something for everyone. On the portfolio side, some wholesalers are reselling activities at broken prices at the last minute.
The water temperature oscillates between 22 and 25 ° C, not unpleasant for the bathing... But if in doubt about the currents, contact the rescuers.
Surfing enthusiasts from all over the world meet every winter on the North Shore of Oahu to challenge the biggest big waves in creation (competition limited to 15 m!). In other words, a minimum of experience is required ... Beyond that, a real surf culture has developed.
We live surfing, sliding on the waves right out of school or work, from 4 or 5 years old and up to 70 spring ... We even pass our surf version baccalaureate, which has now become an option!
Beginners, who will find lots of courses to suit them, will instead head to Waikiki, the West Coast of Maui or South Kaua'i. You can choose between a standard board (half board) or a longboard, as before. Rentals start at $ 10 per day.
A step down, there is the boogie, to slide on the stomach, generally practiced by the kids along the piers. There, no need to fight for days to achieve balance. It's fun, straight away.
The aerial will turn to kitesurfing, now well established in the archipelago. One of the favorite spots is in Kailua Bay, on the north coast of O'ahu. Unlike surfers, windsurfers land in summer on the north coast of Maui.
To end this marine overview, it is impossible not to mention diving, even if the Hawaiian depths have nothing in common with those of the Red Sea or the Maldives. Far from any continent, biological diversity is less. Still, exploring marine caves and canyons has its charm. We can even take the opportunity to chase (gaze) green turtles and humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Keseka? Just the official Hawaii fish, a cute triggerfish. Visibility is better in summer.
For a dive with two tanks offshore, count between $ 90 and $ 120 and around $ 50 for a single dive from the coast.
Snorkelling with a tuba is much more economical: mask and snorkel can be rented for $ 10 per week ... Possibility of snorkeling for 4 hours along the coast from $ 60. In O'ahu, do not miss the giant aquarium formed by Hanauma Bay, but come early to be quiet.
Very nice. Thanks to it, you can explore inaccessible areas, such as the Na Pali coast in Kaua'i, all of spectacular cliffs, or Kealakekua Bay, where you can expect to see dolphins. This is where Cook died (more info on James Cook in the Great Explorers File).
Too many visitors miss one of the most beautiful aspects of Hawaii: the virginity of its uninhabited valleys, where only narrow paths winding on the sides of cliffs or precipices enter. You can often walk there during the day, but the ideal is to leave for several days, backpack and sweat on your forehead, breathe the smell of lilikoi (passion fruit) sown on the path, drink the rain accumulated in the large leaves of ti and pitch the tent on a deserted beach.
There are dozens of parks in Hawaii with varying levels of protection. The two main national parks are those of Volcanoes, on the Big Island, and Hale'a'kala in Maui.
Fabulous hikes in the extinct craters and near the active flow of Kilauea in prospect and full of wild campsites. Several historic sites also enjoy national status, such as the Hawaiian site of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau on the Big Island.
There are around fifty state parks often very beautiful. A dozen have a campsite. The parks depending on the counties are, on the contrary, poorly maintained and intended above all for family picnics.
Finally, let's add the areas protected by the Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization committed to the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, which manages about ten private reserves, some accessible during guided hikes.
Among the most captivating places, let us quote the famous Kalalau Trail (3 days) along the coast from Na Pali to Kaua'i, otherwise inaccessible; the cloudy peaks of koke'e park, on the same island, where some of the world's rarest birds survive; the muddiest link between Waipio Valley and Waimanu Valley (2 days) on the north coast of the Big Island; the isolated valleys of north of Moloka'i ; and of course the immense expanses of Hale'a'kala parks, at the gigantic caldera, and the austere summit of Mauna loa on the Big Island. In any case, plan your hike well, reserving campsites or huts with the competent park department if necessary. The Kalalau Trail, for example, is very popular and places, limited, are expensive in high season.
Those who want can practiceriding in the ranches of the Big Island and Maui, and the Moutain Biking pretty much everywhere. The lazy people will be transported by shuttle to the top of Hale'a'kala before going down to the bottom of the box, harnessed like cosmonauts ...
More cushy, the golf is not as elitist as you might think. Some municipal lots are open to everyone for a few dollars ... but the waiting lists are sometimes long!