Hawaii State Flower

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state flowerNearly a century ago brought the introduction of the Hawaii territorial flower, the hibiscus. In the 1980s the flower became the state flower, as the only color yellow. Prior to this time the flower may have been represented in a variety of colors, such as red or blue. In 1988 when the flower was implemented as the state flower, yellow became the official hibiscus flower of the Hawaiian Islands. This way nearly sixty years later than the flower became the official representation of the floral emblem to Hawaii. The hibiscus has nearly one-hundred years of history when it comes to the representation of Hawaii.

An organization that is referred to as the outdoor circle began the beautification process of Hawaii’s natural resources and suggested the idea of making the hibiscus flower the state flower of the Hawaiian Islands. This group was also responsible for removing billboards from the island of Oahu as well as preserving the natural beauty which can be found through the islands for future generations.

The hibiscus is represented in the flower leis which are present throughout the entire island and used to create the leis that we are so familiar with and that are presented to visitors of the island upon arrival. The string of hibiscus flowers is used to represent love and affection to the wearer of the flower lei.

Natives to the Hawaiian Islands recognize the flower by the Hawaiian name, pua aloalo. What are the characteristics of the hibiscus flower? The flower ranges between an inch and two inches and is yellow in color, although many other colors have been grown.

Although many people have believed in the past that the hibiscus flower originated in the Hawaiian Islands, the flowers truly originated in locations in Asia and the Pacific Islands and then growers were able to create hybrid flowers and they became popular in the Hawaiian Islands.

Although the state flower of Hawaii is the hibiscus flower, different flowers have been established as the island flower of all of the islands that are located in the Hawaiian isle. These different flowers represent the islands in various ways, and most of the flowers that are used to represent each of the islands are flowers that are found locally on these islands.

Here are the island flowers which are used to represent the islands that make up the state of Hawaii:

  • Maui is represented with the damask rose
  • Oahu is represented with the dodder shrubs which are native to the island
  • Kauai is represented with the native tree of the island
  • Molokai is represented by the candlenut tree
  • Lanai also uses the native dodder to represent the island

The flowers have more properties that being esthetically pleasing – as the juice that is created from the pressing of the flowers is said to have healing properties. This juice is often extracted from the flower and given to children that have fallen ill or women that have become pregnant. As the flower contains the natural healing properties and the beauty which the islands have become known for, it becomes obvious why the flower is well suited to the state in which it represents.

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Hawaii State Bird

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

neneThe Hawaiian goose or the nene (which is pronounced nay-nay) is the official bird of Hawaii and can be seen through various parts of the Hawaiian Islands, in natural habitats as well as the multiple wildlife preserves which are scattered through the islands. These geese emigrated from Canada decades ago and have been seen throughout various parts of the island for decades, eventually becoming the state birds of the Hawaiian Islands.

A critical mistake was made in the 1940s when the birds became nearly extinct after the government allowed the hunting of the Hawaiian geese through a season in which the population levels of was higher than usual. Since this time, two of the three species of Hawaiian geese have been battling with near extinction, and one species has been completely depopulated.

Later, in 1957 after the birds were making a comeback from the threat of extinction they were named the official state bird of Hawaii. Efforts were made to increase the population with the hopes of releasing the birds into their natural habitat to replenish the population.

What features are distinct to the Hawaiian goose? Similar in appearance to the Canada goose, as the species which are located in Hawaii are evolutionary descendants to Canadian geese, the tall bird is grey and light brown in color, with features of black that are present through the beak and prominent on the facial features of the bird, and on the beak. Unique to the Hawaiian goose is the cheek coloring, which is a light beige color and present on many of the birds. The Hawaiian goose ranges between twenty-five and forty inches and interestingly enough does not have completely webbed feet, like other varieties of geese.

Although it is difficult to tell the difference between male and female variations of the geese as the feathers and patterns are similar, experts are able to distinguish between the two sexes. There are experts that have been studying the geese for decades to determine the impacts that humans have on the activities and populations of the geese and have determined that human interaction has effectively reduced the population of the Hawaiian goose.

There are many places where the Hawaiian geese can be seen in their natural habitat, after the population has been replenished. These areas include the volcano parks throughout the islands, mainly Mauna Loa as well as in the various wildlife parks that are located through the island and the state zoo which is located in Honolulu. Although many geese require water to survive, there are many groups of these geese that have learned to adapt through various parts of the island which are not in close proximity to bodies of water. With this evolution comes a stronger type of geese, as they have adapted to complex biological conditions.

The call of the goose is distinct and can be compared to a honking noise or a calling. This distinctive call has been called noisy and offensive but remains one of the most identifiable noises that come from various birds.

Hawaii State Fish

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state fishThe odd shape of the Hawaiian state fish is cause for the name of the Hawaiian rectangular fish or the Hawaiian trigger fish. The fish is identifiable through its colorful markings of white, yellow, black and light blue. Through the silver color of the fish there is a dark stripe which can be seen through the sides and through the belly of the fish.

Interestingly enough, the fish was declared the state fish through the seventies and eighties but in the nineteen nineties the law had run out of time and therefore, officially, the triggerfish was not the state fish of Hawaii for more than sixteen years – until the official reinstatement of the reef triggerfish of the humuhumunukunukupua in the year 2006.

Known as the humuhumunukunukupua the fish has been called this name because it literally translates into “fish with a pig’s nose” in Hawaiian. For short, the fish is called humuhumu by the natives of the island that are familiar with the fish.

Do people commonly sport fish for this type of fish in the area of Hawaii, although it has become known as the state fish? People in the past have indeed fished for the humuhumu through a variety of times and therefore the species has been under a threat of human hunting and consumption through a variety of times. However, this behavior has been significantly reduced, leaving the population of the state fish to flourish among the coral reefs on the island.

Humans aren’t the only enemy that the state fish has had to face. Nearly ten years ago there was a disease which had been discovered through the island which put the fish species under duress and had the ability to reduce the population which was found in the island. This disease within the water had been caught under control however, and the population was saved.

Although there are many other locations within the world where the fish can be found, it has been the state fish of Hawaii for years.

What is commonly included in the Hawaiian trigger fish’s diet? The diet includes seaweed which is present throughout the coral reef and can also include various fish and other small animals that lack vertebrae that can be found within close proximity to the coral reef. The mother stays close to the reef while she is protecting the nest of fish as there are many predators which can be found lurking near the coral reef.

The species have been known to grow upwards of eighteen inches long and sometimes even longer. Depending on the environment in which the fish is found, this can determine the size.

The fish can be commonly seen through the Big Island of Hawaii and by snorkelers that frequent the vast coral reefs on the islands. Through these island reefs, the coral reef dwelling fish eat seaweed as well as bottom dwellers which are located through the various islands.

Interestingly enough, the fish sleeps on its side and appears flat through the night. This is an interesting fish as this is one of the very few species that acts this way and exhibits this type of behavior. There is also one more unique feature that can distinguish the triggerfish from other species – it has blue teeth!

Hawaii State Tree

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

kukui tree

The vast and expansive Kukai tree has become known as the official state of Hawaii. It has come to be known as the candlenut tree and can be seen at various places throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands. The tree was native to the Polynesian areas and is found through various Hawaiian Islands.

Prior to the introduction of the Kukai tree as the state tree, the unofficial tree that was used as a representation of Hawaii was the Coconut palm tree which is found throughout the islands, as well as a significant part of the landscape of Hawaii – which is the reason that the tree was so popular.

Small white flowers grow on the tree and these are often used in the traditional customary leis which are distributed during celebrations and to visitors of the island. Standing up to twenty meters tall, the tree can be identified by these small white flowers, which are present through the leaves on the tree. These light green leaves are not only identifiable by natives of the Hawaiian Islands, but by visitors to the island that notice the trees presence throughout the landscape.

Where is tree found through the various parts of the islands? The tree can be found most prominently within the hillside and mountainside of the landscape of Hawaii.

The Kukai trees can grow upwards of eighty feet high and two feet around, making the high tree tops that can grow within the side of the mountains. Branches are evident more than thirty feet into the air and can form heavy foliage through the bases of mountains and valleys.

The fruits or nuts which are considered beneficial by natives of the islands are two inches in diameter and appear as black or brown softened nuts with pits that fall to the ground and rot quickly.

The nuts which are present on the tree are used for a variety of methods through the Hawaiian tradition, from creating lights with the use of the valuable oils from the tree, or even medicine which is used by natives to the island that can yield traditional holistic benefits when used as medicine.

As there are multiple uses to the tree, the natives of island see the value in the choice of the tree becoming a part of the Hawaiian culture. For centuries Hawaiians have used the oil which can be pressed from the candlenuts to soothe burns and it has been compared to salves that can be created through the use of Aloe Vera. Since the oil is not readily absorbed into the skin it can provide a salve as well as protection that are used for various skin ailments like psoriasis and eczema. While protecting the skin, it can also reduce the instances of episodes which are experienced. It can also protect against acne to reduce the amount of breakouts that a person experiences.

Hawaii is actually the only state which uses a tree to represent their state that is not native to the area. The origin of the Hawaii state tree is unknown, but has been found on the islands of Hawaii for centuries.

Oahu Site Seeing

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under sights

lanikai beach

Renting a car for exploring the hidden beauty in different parts of Oahu is the feasible option. Especially, if you are looking to visit the remote lands for sight seeing, you definitely need to rent a car. You will find best of the sightseeing opportunities for few bucks or, even, free in many cases. Some of the famous sightseeing spots in Oahu are lanikai Beach, Heiau, Ualakaa State Park and, above all, Diamond Head crater.

If you have limited time on Oahu, one sight you just cannot miss to see is the Diamond Head Crater. With its crowning glory, the view from Diamond Head Crater is the most famous among the pacific. To reach the base of the crater, you have to go by car where you will be stunned to see the luxurious houses of the business men. Two spots on the way to the crater are the Diamond Head Lighthouse and Diamond Head Lookouts, where the sizzling experience of the panorama offered by these places is, just, unforgettable. The trail along the crater takes 30 minutes and is very easy to reach.

Those of you who are willing to explore the wild beauty of Oahu in a true way should do it by the seaplane. Having stunning views of beautiful North shore and Hanauma bay, you would be flying over the great Diamond Head Crater, and memorials of the Pearl Harbor incident. All this is available in a single package of one hour for 170$. The birds eye view of the Waikiki beach will add to the whole sizzling experience.

For watching the best view of sun rising in the morning, you can visit the Lanikai beach of Oahu. The specialty of this view is that the sun rises over the two remote islands just like a painting you used to draw in your school days. It looks as if the scenery of coloring book is brought into existence at this very place of Oahu. What adds to this unforgettable experience is the delightful voices of birds which go out in the morning in search of the food. Make sure you reach here as early as it is still dark in the morning and don’t forget to take your camera along with you to capture these moments.

Those of you who are fond of visiting ancient buildings, there is a special attraction in Oahu. The place is known as the Heiau. The site is the remains of the largest temple of Oahu called Puu O Mahuka Heiau. With its large area of nearly 5 acres, this temple has so much to offer for visitors interested in sight seeing as well as history. The stonework and pathways, those are left there, are considered to be depicting the best skill of the ancient architects. You can have snaps with the ancient plants those are still fighting for their survival. The temple bluff, nearly 300 feet high, is the place to have a bird’s eye view of the remote areas between Waimea Bay and Kaena Point.

Puu Ualakaa State Park is very famous for its majestic panoramic views of the sunset. The weather here is always clear and that is the reason why, potatoes were planted here way back a long time. Every evening at the Puu Ulakaa Park is a special occasion for the visitors to come and enjoy the view of Diamond Head with the sun setting down slowly. At night, this romantic place finds most of its visitors in the form of young love birds.

Atractions on Oahu

May 1, 2009 by  
Filed under sights

diamond headYes, it is the place known as the “real Hawaii” where the expectations for visitors to have the completely different experience are very high. Without any doubt, in the kind and friendly atmosphere of the island, you can relax and find many attractions. Mai tais, Kayaking, and stunning views of Waianae Mountains are not the only attractions but sport fishing, local cuisines and the operating culture provide visitors so much to explore, for a true Oahu experience.

If you don’t plunge into water to see the world under Hawaii water, keep in mind, you are wasting your trip to Hawaiian Islands. Swimmers as well as non-swimmers, both have equal opportunities to plunge into water and explore the magical world of colorful fish.

The most famous snorkeling spot in Oahu is located in its eastern part. At the small beach of Hanauma Bay having golden sand, you can enjoy sunbathing and snorkeling in the shallow waters with the marine life. There is another dangerous spot for serious divers. It is called”the slot” which makes its way to the strong currents of Deep Ocean. Don’t get caught by sharks while you are swimming with the turtles.

One function that should never be missed is the Halau, a form of hula, which is performed at the Bishop Museum where the local Hawaiian dance show is arranged. Those of you who have previously visited Oahu cannot forget the Kodak Hula Show in which the members of the Hawaiian Glee Club used to dance in traditional skirts. Unfortunately, this show is not organized nowadays.

As you move towards the North shore, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular beaches. Especially, if you happen to visit this place in winters you will see it crowded with people who come here for watching the surfing done by the professionals. Out of more than 130 beaches, Waikiki beach is the name that comes in mind when talking of beaches in Oahu. Due to its popularity it is attracts many visitors. You can select other less crowded beaches but how can you miss the Longest-running beach party at the Waikiki beach.

Being on Oahu soil, it is the time you go out and meet the local folks to get familiarize with the local culture. You will have every opportunity to make new friends from different ethnic groups. Visit the Ala Wai Canal on weekend, find a good spot to sit and watch the locals playing one of the oldest local sports of Canoe Paddling. Go out and visit the Arizona Memorial of Pearl Harbor Tragedy. You can image yourself at the day when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese warplanes on December 7, 1941. Don’t miss to have a hike with your family at the Diamond Head.

Kauai Movies

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

kauai north shoreDo you remember the lush green mountains and sparkling waterfalls in the three versions of film Jurassic Park? You must have wondered whether these beauties exist in reality or these were made artificially, like the huge dinosaurs, by using computer graphics software. In fact, the startling beauties you saw in the film were not artificial but exist in this world at the Island of Kauai. On the island of Kauai, Manawaiopu Falls and Mount Waialeale are the two places those were frequently shown in the films. If you happen to visit these places, you will consider yourself in the dinosaur age.

Talking of forests, the lush green forests of Kauai have special attraction for film producers to shot scenes for their films. Leafy forests shown in the blockbusters RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM are part of Kauai forests.

The Island of Kauai appeared as the NEVER-NEVER land and played a supporting role in the movie HOOK, featuring Julia Roberts. Even if you are short of time you can visit the places those were shown in the movie, Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) that was completely made in Kauai. Showing its deep green valleys, sandy beaches and sparkling waterfalls, Kauai also appeared as a French Polynesian tropical island in the movie Six Days, Seven Nights. One of the famous valleys in Kauai that is famous amongst visitors is the Honopu Valley of Kauai also known as “Valley of the Lost Tribe.” The reason for this valley being so popular is the fact that some part of the historic blockbuster KING KONG was shot here.

For showing stunning contradictions of the beaches and scenic overlook, the island of Kauai has been the first choice for the producers. As in 1983, a mini series was played on TV based on a famous novel THE THORNBIRDS. Although the story of the novel was based on the characters those are Australian and living there. Major part of this drama series was shot at the Kee beach of Kauai.

For best of the snorkeling experiences, you must visit the Haena Beach, which has been starred as heaven in Hollywood movies and is still famous for its heavenly beauty.

When making of Hollywood movies in Hawaii is discussed, the island of Kauai stands in front as compared to other Hawaiian islands, i.e. Honolulu, Waikiki, and Oahu. Ancient mysterious temples, sparkling waterfalls, miles of sandy beaches and lush green valleys in North shore of Kauai make it an ideal spot for film producers, this the reason why North shore of Hawaii is called Hawaii of Hollywood.

Horseback Riding in Kauai Hawaii

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under beaches, sights, vacation

Hawaii HorseOnce you are at the Island of Kauai, you should have no difficulty in finding opportunities for having fun in the area nearby. Breathtaking views of deep valleys, high cliffs, and the stunning flora, that’s there for free, is the most memorable experience on the island of Kauai for the visitors. For watching frequent rainbows, high waterfalls and experiencing the cool winds of Kauai Mountains, all you have to do is to get out of your hotel and start exploring the island. There are numerous ways out there for you to get the best out of the Kauai vacation. As most part of Kauai Island cannot be covered by car; this opens other ways for visitors to explore Kauai in different ways and one of those ways is to explore it by horseback riding.

For sightseeing and exploring Kauai beauty, what most people prefer is horseback riding. Newly married couples should not miss the opportunity to have a ride on the horse to explore Kauai. Especially, for those people who don’t have the stamina to walk miles of trails, horseback riding comes to rescue. Most guided horseback tours in Kauai are provided by the private ranches. Princeville Ranch Stables and CJM country stables are the two famous names, you should remember if you are willing to explore Kauai by Horseback riding. It is your choice whether you want to have a long ride or small.

The horseback riding package duration can range from 1.5 to 4 hours. The longest ride can be of more than 4 hours, in which, you will be treated with visit to hidden beaches and have a picnic there. What the natives suggest is to have a horse ride package known as “Waterfall picnic Ride”. In this package, you are taken by horses through ranch lands along with the guides. Continuing further on the trail, you reach at waterfalls where you can swim in the pools.

For having panoramic views of Hanalei Mountains; visiting beautiful Anini beach, and wave-watching at the North shore, you can choose from the different packages offered by Pinceville Ranch Stables. The ride from North shore to Anini Beach does involve some walking to the beach, after you tie your horse before moving forward. Before choosing a riding package, do make sure that whether you will be served with the lunch in the same package or there are extra charges for it.

Kauai Golf Courses

April 29, 2009 by  
Filed under golf

Puakea GolfPlaying golf is one of the most favorite activities, especially if you are at the island of Kauai. Not only military golf courses, but public golf courses of Kauai really offer sizzling golfing experience for the golfers. Surrounded by sandy beaches, with panoramic views of the mountain ranges, playing golf in Kauai golf courses is a pleasure in a true sense.

Whatever the budget of the visitor, he can go to the golf course of his choice. Rates for playing golf for visitors are very high as compared to the rates for the local residents. To add to that, the rates for playing golf may also vary depending, whether you are visiting in the peak season or the off season. In some golf courses, the rates are different at different times of the day. You must choose the right time in the day so that you can fully enjoy the golfing as well as the terrific atmosphere that’s there to welcome you.

If you cannot live without golf, then it will be better for you to select such a resort which has a golf course associated with it. The rates for playing golf in the resort-associated golf courses are very low as compared to the non-residents. Make sure that you have already done your homework on the internet about the golf courses attached to the golf courses of Kauai. Later on, you can enjoy golf at the golf course associated with your hotel or resort.

You will find numerous golf courses at the island of Kauai. For playing golf in the courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, you can visit the Kauai lagoons Golf Course. Once you are inside the Kauai lagoons Golf Course, it’s up to you whether you want to play in the Lagoons Course or Kauai Kiele Championship Course. The important thing about Kiele’s championship course is that is not easy for the amateurs to play golf here, whereas if you are a professional, then this is the course for you to test your expertise in golf.

Amateur golfers should give a try to the Puakea Golf Course. Fighting against the Hurricane Iniki, this 18 holes golf course was, once, ranked as one of the top ten golf courses in the U.S. Currently it is still considered one of the best golf courses for amateur golfers.

While on the Kauai Island, if you happen to visit the Poipu Bay Golf Course, then this is the time you should explore the par-72 course which spans an area of nearly seven thousand yards. You will see the surging greens beside most of the holes while some are adjacent to the coastline along the holes.

Kiahuna Golf Club is another huge golf course where you can not only play golf but also spend some time in watching the ancient Hawaiian temple and historical tombs. If you happen to come here more than once, one thing you may notice here is that there are a large number of local Kauai people who come here regularly for playing golf. Sand bunkers, and undulating greens give it a Scottish look. The speed of wind is also close to ideal to give the best golfing experience. The only thing visitors don’t like here is the time spent in waiting for your turn to come because this golf course is always crowded with golfers.

Important Hawaiian Words

April 28, 2009 by  
Filed under language

Hawaiian WordsWhether you are planning to hire a guide to take you through the road-less Na Pali coast of Kauai or you are moving yourself down on bike to the Waimea Canyon, you must learn some local Hawaiian words before you set your feet on the Hawaiian soil.

Although, you will hardly find much people who frequently speak native Hawaiian language, but the mixture of native Hawaiian words with English will make it difficult for you to understand the whole sentence. So, you must consider learning some important Hawaiian words before going to Hawaii.

As the beaches are crowded with children, men, women and newly married couples, you will find very little people speaking the local Hawaiian words. The reason, being the fact that, most of the people visiting beaches are international visitors coming here for spending their vacations.

On the contrary, if you are looking for adventure activities like hiking, biking and camping at the Hawaiian Islands, getting some know-how of local Hawaiian words is considered mandatory. During such adventurous activities, you may encounter native Hawaiian people, for guiding you through your way, who know little about English. In such case, if you know some of their native language words, it would be easier for you to communicate with them.

Even on beaches, your ears will hear some Hawaiian language words like ALOHA; the word can be used to greet someone. It is also used for saying HELLO or GOODBYE. Other important words usually spoken during the conversion are KALA meaning money, KAUKAU meaning food. One thing that every visitor likes to have is a great meal, when he is hungry. In Hawaii, they will take you to LUAU and have you enjoy your feast.

HULA is the Hawaiian word used for special form of Hawaii dance. If someone calls you AKAMAI, then you should be happy because he is calling you intelligent. The word you will never love to hear for you, until you do something wrong is KOLOHE, which means rascal.

If someone has interests in birding, he can get numerous opportunities in Hawaii for it. No matter you have no interest in birds; one name that should be kept in mind is that of Hawaiian native endangered goose called NENE. Don’t forget to watch the local Hawaii endangered specie NENE.

For a hiking adventure the word you must not forget is LUA. It is the word used for bathroom or toilet. Once you are in trouble and don’t find any toilet and find a local, ask him for LUA and he will take you to the nearby toilet. Whenever you take help from the locals, do thank him by saying MAHALO.

Being on such adventurous trip to the islands having lava beds covered in most of the places, make sure you move forward with care if you see anything written PAHOEHOE .i.e. smooth lava is round about somewhere near you.

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