Traveling To and Around
Hawaii, A First-Time Visitor's Primer
by Lisa Weber
Six different islands in Hawaii are open to
tourism. Most first-timers planning a trip to one or more than one island have
numerous questions relating to where exactly to go and how exactly to get there.
This primer will answer those questions.
All interisland flights are through Hawaiian
Airlines, Aloha Airlines, or Island Air. Best prices will usually be through the
website or through your mainland flight company.
Oahu is the hub of Hawaii transportation. Most
mainland and International flights will fly into the Honolulu International
Airport (HNL). Travelers heading on to another island may have to deplane and
get on an interisland flight to reach their final destination. The airport is
located on the outskirts of Honolulu, about a 20 minute drive to Waikiki, and
about a 45 minute drive to the North Shore. There are no ferries from Oahu to
any other island.
Maui has three airports. The major airport is
Kahalui Airport (OGG) which allows direct flights from the West coast of the
U.S. mainland. The drive from the airport to Kihei or Wailea is less than half
an hour, but can take an hour to Lahaina or Kaanapali. Much closer to the
Lahaina area is Kapalua Airport (JHM) but you can only fly there from Honolulu.
Hana (HNM) also has an airport if you don't want to drive, but you'll be taking
a very small plane. Check with Pacific Wings. You can normally find day ferries
from Maui to Lanai and Molokai.
The Big Island (named Hawaii, but called the
Big Island to avoid confusion) has two airports, Hilo International Airport
(ITO), and Keahole Airport (KOA). These two airports are a 2.5 hour drive from
each other. Hilo is closest to Honokaa, Kapoho, and Volcano. Keahole is in
Kailua-Kona which is closest to all of Kona, Puako, Kohala, Waikoloa, and
Waimea. There are direct flights from the mainland only to Keahole. There are no
ferries from the Big Island to any other island.
Kauai has one airport, Lihue Airport (LIH), in
Lihue, and you can find direct flights from the mainland on some carriers. Lihue
is about halfway to everything on the island - but a bit closer to Poipu than
Princeville. There are no ferrys from Kauai to any other island.
Molokai has one airport, Molokai Airport (MKK)
in central Molokai. You will probably have to take a small airplane in, usually
no bigger than a 20 seater. Island Air will fly you in from Honolulu or Kahului.
Small commercial boats will ferry you from Maui to Molokai.
Lanai has one airport, Lanai Airport (LNY),
near Lanai City. Lanai airport also only accepts small airplanes. Island Air
will fly you in from Honolulu. Small commercial boats will ferry you from Maui
By 2007 Hawaii Super Ferry should be operating
between all the islands and will hopefully revolutionize our current expensive
and inefficient interisland travel systems. Until then, book your flight online
About the Author:
Lisa lives on the Big Island of Hawaii and
operates an online Hawaii travel guide at andHawaii.com