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Hawaii: the Ultimate 2022 Family Travel Bucket List

The Hawaiian Islands are unlike any other place on earth. The relaxed atmosphere and welcoming spirit of Hawaii make it a unique destination ideal for unforgettable and fun-filled family holidays

A family watching the sunrise over Haleakala Crater Image Hawaii Tourism Authority Tor Johnson r
A family watching the sunrise over Haleakala Crater. Photo: Tor Johnson, Hawaii Tourism Authority

Whilst palm trees, luminous sunsets and hula performances are a given throughout, each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own distinct personality.

Start your Hawaiian holiday in O‘ahu, Honolulu

See a show at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu r
See a show at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu

As flights from Australia arrive in Honolulu on O‘ahu, it makes sense to start your Hawaiian holiday here. From world-famous Waikīkī Beach to the relaxed Turtle Bay on the North Shore, O‘ahu has something to suit every family. With calm waves and soft currents, Waikīkī is an ideal place for kids to learn to surf, and has an abundance of hotel accommodation. On O‘ahu you can go ATV-ing through the set of Jurassic Park at Kualoa Ranch & Private Nature Reserve, learn about history at Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center, splash out at Wet’n’Wild, visit Honolulu Zoo, discover an underwater world on a submarine tour with Atlantis Adventures, and ride a train among the pineapples at Dole Plantation.

Book your Oahu Group or Private Tour with Snorkeling and Dole Plantation Visit! 

Visit Maui: the extremely family-friendly holiday destination

Ziplining at Maui Tropical Plantation r
Ziplining at Maui Tropical Plantation.

Its colourful old plantation towns and surf vibe make Maui an attractive option. The island has more than 50km of beautiful beaches, with white, black and red sand! Ka’anapali Beach is the most popular place for families to stay as it has resorts for every budget, and it’s just a free shuttle bus ride to Lahaina’s shops and restaurants. Book a cruise to go whale watching (December to May) or snorkelling at Molokini Crater, see the world’s largest collection of Pacific corals at Maui Ocean Center or brave the twists and turns on the scenic Road to Hāna, stopping to see rainforests, waterfalls and natural pools en route. In Upcountry Maui, kids can try milking a goat at Surfing Goat Dairy and play among the perfumed flowers at Ali‘i Lavendar Farm. 

Book now your Maui West One Day Tour

Discover the Island of Hawai'i with the kids

Kulaniapia Falls on Island of Hawaii Picture Hawaii Forest Trail R
Kulaniapia Falls on Island of Hawaii. Photo: Hawaii Forest & Trail

Adventurous families flock to the Island of Hawai‘i, so called because it is nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined. Explore Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, which is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes; swim in waterfalls on the Kohala Coast, see the monument to explorer Captain Cook on a cruise to Kealakekua Bay, go horse riding at a cattle ranch, and snorkel with manta rays. Discover Hawaiian history and culture at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, an important ceremonial site that was once the home of royalty and a place of refuge for lawbreakers in ancient times, and find out more about the remote Hawaiian Islands at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center. Hilo town and Puna are the best places to stay for budget-friendly accommodation options.

See where great movies and television shows were shot in Kauai'i

Mountain tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures r
Mountain tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Known for its natural beauty, Kaua‘i has provided the set for more than 60 films and TV shows. Take a scenic helicopter flight to see where movies including Jurassic Park were filmed and visit the historic town that inspired Lilo & Stitch, Hanapēpē. Swim with the ‘locals’ (the resident colony of green sea turtles) at Po‘ipū Beach Park, go hiking or biking in Waimea Canyon, known as ‘the Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, zipline over green valleys and streams, and ride the old plantation railway at Kilohana Plantation. Kaua‘i is also the only Hawaiian island where you can go mountain tubing, which is suitable for kids aged five and over.

Where to stay

Embassy Suites by Hilton

Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk r

Embassy Suites by Hilton – Waikiki Beach Walk is an ALL-SUITE resort in the heart of Waikiki.  The resort is located next to the stylish Waikiki Beach Walk, where guests enjoy a wide array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment just steps away from Waikiki Beach.

Enjoy the “Suite” Life in Waikiki

  • Complimentary Made-To-Order Breakfast: Made-to-order omelets, yogurt, pastries and more to help you start your day.
  • Complimentary Evening Reception: Drinks and snacks to help you unwind from the day or gear up for the night.
  • Spacious suites with a separate living room area and a micro-kitchen – perfect for families!
  • Our Grand Lanai Pool Deck features a heated pool, whirlpool spa, children’s pool and spacious sundeck with stylish cabanas, covered-pavilion seating and our outdoor poolside Pakini bar.
  • No additional resort fees!

More information: embassysuiteswaikiki.com

Aston Waikiki Beach Tower

A two bedroom oceanfront apartment at The Residences at Waikiki Beach Tower r
A two-bedroom oceanfront apartment at The Residences at Waikiki Beach Tower

Located directly across from world-famous Waikīkī Beach, Aston Waikīkī Beach Tower offers newly renovated one- and two-bedroom residences with ocean views, chef-inspired kitchens, spacious living rooms, private balconies and the option to upgrade to spa-like master bathrooms. 

Amenities include:

  • New fitness centre overlooking the beach, with cardio and strength equipment.
  • Hospitality lounge.
  • Two heated swimming pools, including a children’s pool, and a jet spa.
  • Access to a motion studio for yoga and spin classes, weekly hula fitness classes, and ukulele lessons.
  • A recreation area with deluxe commercial-grade barbecues, an outdoor dining area, and prep station.
  • Cabanas where parents can relax.
More information: astonwaikikibeachtower.com

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