Scroll to Continue
Adult males range from 40 to 52 feet and can weigh up to 45 tons. Despite their size, humpback whales are graceful acrobats. Keep your eye on the ocean and you might see one breach, propelling up to 40 percent of its body out of the water and landing on its side with a spectacular splash.
Whales have great cultural significance for Native Hawaiians. They play a large role in Hawaiian legend—including one creation story—and appear in ancient petroglyphs on several islands. The return of the kohola (humpback whale) is considered more of a homecoming than a visit. Humpback whales are born in Hawaiian waters, making them kamaaina (native born). Some Native Hawaiians also believe the whales are aumakua (family guardians), so these gentle giants are treated with great respect.
Cultural Significance of Whales in Hawaii
Although humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian Islands, the shallow Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world.
What's the Best Way to See Whales?
You may also spot kohola from the southern shores of Oahu, especially at Makapuu Lighthouse and along the seaside overlooks near Leahi (Diamond Head).
Kauai offers a range of whale-viewing opportunities, including Poipu Beach on the South Shore, Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore and Kapaa Overlook on the island’s Coconut Coast.
On the island of Hawaii, whales are often seen along the shores of the Kohala Coast, as well as Hilo Bay on the east side of the island. The Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site is another great viewing spot, with its sweeping, elevated views near Kawaihae Harbor. In fact, Puukohola literally means “hill of the whale” in Hawaiian.
Boat tours may be your best option for viewing whales up close. Hawaii has dozens of tour operators, including a few that lead kayak excursions—a thrilling way to experience these majestic mammals.
In respect for the kohola and the safety of sightseers, all watercraft must stay a minimum of 100 yards from the whales, but you'll be surprised how close you feel when a 45-ton behemoth lunges out of the sea. If a boat tour is not for you, the whales’ impressive acrobatic displays are often visible from miles away. If you're on land, keep a pair of binoculars handy because you never know when you'll see a humpback’s spout (which can be 10–20 feet tall).
Looking for the best tour and transportation company in Hawaii? A locally owned and operated business since 1941 committed to the highest level of service with a genuine Aloha spirit? Look no further than Roberts Hawaii.
The Lana'i Culture & Heritage Center, a community museum, seeks to inspire people to be informed, thoughtful and active stewards of their heritage.
Polynesian Adventure Tours provides the best tour and transportation services in the Hawaiian Islands, offering visitors truly unique and memorable experiences. We offer land, one day flyaway tours and more. Our charter department specializes in custom tours and services.
Enjoy exclusively designed and Made in Hawaii products today! The Hawaiian Box is a seasonal subscription box sourcing designed or made in Hawaii products by local vendors. Orders can be made once or on a continual basis.
At Hawaii Car Rentals we pass our Corporate Discount Rates, Specials and Waivers on to you. Rent from major national brand car rental companies and get our pre-negotiated discount rates. No Pre-Payment, No Cancellation Fees, No Booking Fees. Free Driver(s), Reduced Young Driver Surcharge.
Mokulele Airlines has the newest fleet of aircrafts in the state and operates over 120 daily flights from 9 airports, Honolulu & Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) airports on O‘ahu, Kapalua, Kahului & Hana airports on Maui, Kona & Waimea airport on the Big Island, Ho‘olehua & Kalaupapa airports on Mokoka‘i.
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 10 years (2004-2013) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i
With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States.
In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 57,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years.
Enterprise Rent a Car provides a wide selection of quality vehicles for your leisure or business car rental needs from economy and compact car models, to convertibles, Jeeps, SUV's and minivans as well as specialty Cars and trucks.