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About Hawaii

Hawaii is the mecca of surfing and a must at some stage for all surf travellers. The big surf season is in the months October to March - the local winter season - on the North Shore of Oahu. However the Hawaiian islands are subject to any swell from any direction- which means there is surf there ALL year round- for all surf levels.

On the North Shore, known breaks include Sunset, Pipeline, Rocky Point, Waimea Bay plus many more spots all the way from Turtle Bay down to Makaha. The south shores of the islands are very consistent and almost always have a wave. In fact there are more surf breaks on the south shore than on the north shore. There is surf on all the islands - both Maui and Kauai are popular and are less crowded. Hawaii is a destination where surf of some size will always be available with numerous choices of breaks.

Surf packages feature accommodation ranging from backpackers and condos, to luxury hotels. With travel specials constantly available, Hawaii can be a very good value destination - especially for families, those chargers looking for size as well as those wanting to learn to surf in Hawaii.

INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)

CURRENCY

The currency in Hawaii is the US dollar (US$). Traveller's checks are best carried in US dollars, but other major currencies can be exchanged at larger banks & the international airport. Major credit cards are gladly accepted by most establishments catering to tourists, but may not be as popular in the smaller B&Bs and local restaurants. ATMs are widespread.

VISA

No visa is required for stays (travelling on NZ passports) of three months or less for most countries.

CLIMATE

It's balmy and warm, with northeasterly trade winds prevailing most of the year, and mild temperatures ranging from 18°C to 30°C year round. Near the coast, average highs are 80°F (27°C), and the difference between summer and winter average temperatures is only about 5 or 10 degrees. Hawaii's busiest tourist season is during winter (December to February) and the rainiest period is between December and March. June through October is the hottest period. In general, the driest, sunniest conditions and the calmest waters are on the southwesterly, or leeward, side of the islands. Conversely, the northeasterly, or windward, side of the islands receive decent rainfalls: Hilo, the rainiest city in the USA, is on the windward side of the Big Island.

If you're a surfer, the time to go is Christmas, but for windsurfing the waters at their calmest at the height of summer (July and August).

LANGUAGE

English, pidgin & Hawaiian, brah English is the dominant language in Hawaii.

RELIGION

Predominantly Catholic, but also Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, Jewish and Muslim.

HEALTH/MEDICAL FACILITIES

Health Risks: Leptospirosis, sunburn, jellyfish.