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Hawaii FAQs

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What is the time difference from New Zealand?
Hawaii is at GMT-10 hours, the same as French Polynesia. New Zealand is at GMT+12 hours. So 12 noon on Monday in New Zealand is 1 pm Sunday in Hawaii. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time so add +1 hour during this period each summer.

What are the major islands of Hawaii?
Hawaii has six major islands:
Kauai: The oldest and northernmost island. Features the lush Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon.
Oahu: Home to the state capital and the majority of Hawaii's population. Features Waikiki, Pearl Harbor and the North Shore.
Maui: The second largest island features beautiful beaches, Haleakala National Park, Hana and great whale watching.
Lanai: Luxurious getaway features Hulopoe Bay and Lanai City.
Molokai: Known for its connection with Hawaiian culture. Features Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
Hawaii’s Big Island: The youngest and biggest island. Features the active Kilauea volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kona and Hilo.

What is the main airport of Hawaii?
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii's major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii's visitors. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere. There are also direct flights from the mainland to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island.

Do I need a car to get around on Hawaii?
Many visitors enjoy taking guided bus tours to conveniently explore the Islands. Shuttles, taxis and public transport are available on the majority of islands. You may also consider renting a car. Reserve your rental vehicles in advance because quantities can be limited on some islands.

Do I need my passport to get to Hawaii?
You will need a passport to get to Hawaii, unless you are a US citizen (Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States). Learn more about entry requirements here.

What should I pack on my trip to Hawaii?
It's warm in Hawaii, so pack your summer attire. You may want to bring a jacket or jumper for the evenings. Bring warmer clothes if you plan on visiting higher elevations like Haleakala National Park in Maui. Suits and ties are very rarely worn here. Bring some casual dress clothes or resort wear if you plan on experiencing Hawaii's nightlife. You can buy an aloha shirt and thongs (or slippers, as the locals call them) when you get here.

What currency does Hawaii use?
Hawaii's currency is the US dollar. Traveller’s cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines are plentiful. Don't worry if you forget something. Hawaii's retail stores and shopping centres have everything you need, including plenty of sunscreen.

When is a good time to visit Hawaii?
Any time of year is a good time to visit Hawaii. The average temperature here is between 24°-29.5° C. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 24°-31° C) while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler (20°-26° C). Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round. Whale watching season begins in late December and ends in early May. Peak whale watching months are between January and early April. November through February is big wave surf season on Hawaii’s north shores.

What language do they speak in Hawaii?
The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian, although Hawaiian is not commonly spoken. Major resort areas often have customer service representatives who speak Japanese.

What are Hawaii’s tipping rates?
US standards on tipping apply:
Restaurants: 15-20%. Check to see if “gratuity” is included for large parties.
Bar: $0.50-$1 US per drink
Housekeeping: $1 US per bed, per night
Luggage porters: $1 US per bag
Doorman: $1 US for calling a taxi
Room Service: 10-15% of the total bill
Taxi: 15% of fare

What is the US area code for Hawaii?
The area code for the state of Hawaii is (808).

How can I make international calls?
You can use phone calling cards or credit cards to make international calls. International calling cards are sold in local convenience stores.

Is there Internet access in Hawaii?
Internet access is readily available in Hawaii. Most resorts and hotels have Internet access. If your computer can be used at a voltage of 110V, it will work properly. The US uses the “RJ11” jack.

What is the electrical voltage in Hawaii?
Electricity in the US is 115/120 volts at 60 cycles (60 Hz) per second. If your device does not accept this voltage, you may need to purchase a voltage converter.