Which airlines fly from Australia and New Zealand to Hawai‘i?
Hawaiian Airlines is the state’s hometown carrier, with five flights from Sydney to Honolulu weekly and seasonal flights from Auckland to Honolulu which operate from November until March. Hawaiian Airlines passengers travelling from Australia and New Zealand to Hawai‘i are entitled to two pieces of checked baggage up to 32kg per piece, plus one carry-on bag weighing up to 11.5kg. Flights are operated by wide-bodied Airbus A330 aircraft, with passengers enjoying complimentary island-inspired meals, beers and cocktails.
Qantas flies from Sydney to Honolulu daily, while low-cost carrier Jetstar flies from Sydney to Honolulu up to five times a week and from Melbourne twice a week. Air New Zealand has three services from Auckland to Honolulu per week.
Hawai‘i entry requirements for Australian and New Zealand travellers
Australian and New Zealand tourists are eligible to apply for admission to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. You need to apply online for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, known as an ESTA. The fee to apply is US$21.
For more information visit: esta.cbp.dhs.gov
Hiring a car, tours and other transport options in Hawai‘i
Rental cars are in high demand, so make sure you book a car far in advance, before making the rest of your travel arrangements. Australian and New Zealand travellers don’t need an international driver’s licence as major car hire companies accept a valid Australian or New Zealand licence. In some cases, drivers will need to be older than 25 years of age and have a
There are also many tour companies that offer designated hotel pick-up and drop-off options. Shuttles, taxis, ride share services including Uber, Lyft and Holoholo, and public transport are also available
on most islands.
Time difference between Hawai‘i and Australia
Hawai‘i is at GMT-10 hours. Sydney, Australia is at GMT+10 hours. So, 12pm on Monday in Sydney is 3pm Sunday in the Hawaiian Islands. The state does not observe daylight savings, so add one hour during this period each summer.
When is the best time to go to Hawai‘i?
Any time is a good time to visit, as trade winds keep things comfortable year-round. The average temperature is between 24°-29.5° C. Summer, between May to October, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 24°-31° C) while winter, between November to April, is a bit cooler (20°-26° C). Whale watching season begins in late December and ends in early May. Peak whale watching months are between January and early April.
Festivals and events in Hawai‘i
An impressive array of festivals and events are held across the Hawaiian Islands each year, and it’s worth considering timing your holiday to experience them. Expect to see parades, ethnic festivals, food festivals, street parties, concerts and family activities that honour every aspect of the state’s diverse culture.
Many events occur annually. Some, including the Hawai‘i International Film Festival in October and the Honolulu Marathon in December, draw participants from around the globe. Others, like the statewide King Kamehameha Celebration in June and Aloha Festivals in September, are primarily local occasions that have a strong appeal for visitors who want to get an authentic glimpse of Hawai‘i.
To see which events are coming up, visit: gohawaii.com
What to pack for a holiday in Hawai‘i
It’s warm in Hawai‘i, so pack summer clothes. You may want to bring a jacket or jumper for the evenings, and long pants if you plan on visiting higher elevations, such as the summits of Haleakalā on Maui or Maunakea on island of Hawai‘i. Suits and ties are very rarely worn, but bring some casual dress clothes or resort wear if you plan on experiencing Hawai‘i’s nightlife. You can buy an Aloha shirt and thongs (or slippers, as the locals call them) when you arrive.
Transient Accommodations Tax
All visitors to Hawai‘i are required to pay a Transient Accommodations Tax of 10.25 per cent for hotels, resorts, B&Bs and apartments. The counties of Maui, Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i and Honolulu also charge a three per cent County Transient Accommodations Tax. And the state of Hawai‘i has a General Excise Tax which varies by island, but is usually around four to five per cent of the price. Therefore, the combined taxes on accommodation equate to around 18 per cent. Some resorts and hotels also charge a daily ‘resort fee’ and overnight parking rates, which combined can add over US$100 to the nightly accommodation rate.
Hawai‘i prides itself on being a welcoming place for all travellers. Most airlines provide assistance to passengers with special needs through their skycap (porter) service and are able to transport wheelchairs, including folding, collapsible or non-folding manual wheelchairs, electric/battery-powered wheelchairs and electric-powered carts. Typically, 48 hours’ notice is required, and allow an extra hour for check-in for electric/battery-powered chairs. Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals of Hawai‘i provides affordable wheelchair accessible van rentals throughout the state. It partners with various medical equipment providers to offer scooter, wheelchair and medical equipment rentals. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health also has a comprehensive list of transportation options, equipment rentals, service animals and more. All-terrain wheelchairs are also available at select beaches.
For more information visit: gohawaii.com/trip-planning/accessibility
Currency in Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i’s currency is the US dollar. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and ATM machines are plentiful. Don’t worry if you forget something — Hawai‘i’s retail stores and shopping centres have everything you need.
Tipping in Hawai‘i
US standards on tipping apply. Here is a guide.
Restaurants: 15-20 per cent (check to see if gratuity is included for large parties)
Bar: US$2 per drink
Housekeeping: US$2 per bed, per night
Luggage porters: US$2 per bag
Room Service: 10-15 per cent of the total bill
Taxi: 15 per cent of fare
Tour Guides/Drivers: US$5+ for half-day tours/US$10+ for full-day tours
The area code for the state of Hawai‘i is (808).
You can use phone calling cards to make international calls. International calling cards are sold in convenience store