Just because you have a little hula girl figurine dancing on your dashboard, doesn't make you an expert on Hawaii. Sure, grass skirts and mai tais are to be expected on your Hawaiian holiday, but there are a few more things to know before you go than how to shake your hips while sipping cocktails. The following facts should come in handy!
As Hawaii is part of the United States, Australian passport holders are eligible to holiday on the islands for up to 90 days without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. In order to travel under this program, you must apply and be granted authorisation through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization prior to your trip. Please be aware this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local US embassy or consulate.
The currency in Hawaii is the US Dollar. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the US Dollar can change constantly, so it's a good idea to monitor the rate before purchasing cash. For safe spending while overseas, consider bringing a credit card or travel money card with you. A Cash Passport is ideal for international travel as the card can hold a range of currencies, including US Dollars, and can be used wherever credit cards are accepted.
As it's an island archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, the food in Hawaii is suitably tropical and reflective of the multicultural population. As a result, Hawaiian cuisine focuses on its readily available tropical fruit, fresh seafood and ethnic influences such as Japanese, Chinese and Thai. The hallmark of the Hawaiian diet is the plate lunch - a simple dish involving two scoops of steamed rice with a side of macaroni or potato salad and a meat element that could include anything from Japanese-style chicken katsu to kalua pig (slow-roasted pork made traditionallly in an imu or underground oven) or chicken with taro. Other local favourites include sushi-type rice balls with Spam (yes, the canned spiced ham) and saimin, an Asian-style meat and noodle soup that's so popular it's even served at the McDonald's in Hawaii.
Hawaii is no stranger to a party. With holiday-goers coming from all around the world to enjoy a summer break and a good time, Hawaii has adapted well to becoming a 24-hour party zone. with superclubs and pumping dancefloors, Honolulu on the island of Oahu is the place to be with popular venues including Lotus and Zanzabar. On Maui, music still pulsates with everything from rock‘n'roll at Cheeseburger in Paradise to Leilani's on the Beach where the soundtrackplays second fiddle to the spectacular sunset view.