Hawaii Visitor Information

General

Hawaii is a state of the USA

The Hawaiian Islands consist of 8 main islands, 6 of which are populated

Hawaiian Islands were created by volcanic eruptions that have been occurring for over 70 million years due to the movements of the pacific plates thus creating the Hawaiian Islands - the most ecologically diverse islands in the world - deserts, rainforests, volcanoes and snow capped mountains.

Access to Money

The two major banks in Hawaii are the Bank of Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank and one or other can be found in even the smallest of towns. There is a vast supply of ATM's (automatic teller machines) available throughout Hawaii accepting most major cards from the major international networks such as Cirrus. Check the symbol on the back of your ATM card against the symbols on the ATM machine. Travellers cheques are recommended for convenience and security however it is possible to travel only using your credit card, just ensure that your credit limit is adequate for your travel needs.

Rates of exchange at banks and authorised money exchanges are generally more competitive than those offered at airports, hotels and retailers. Money can be easily changed before leaving home and at currency exchange counters on retail strips such as Honolulu, Lahaina and Waipahu. It is also becoming more viable to travel using credit card, as the exchange rates are extremely competitive because they are based on wholesale rates, rather than the consumer exchange rates seen at the currency exchange counters. Check your banks policies prior to departure.

Hawaii's International Airport

Honolulu International Airport

Hawaii's main international airport is Honolulu International Airport on Oahu Island, a 40 minute drive from Waikiki Beach hotels, Honolulu. This airport consists of 2 terminals - Main terminal for arrivals and departures from international routes and inter-island terminal servicing travel between other Hawaiian Islands.

There are restrictions on carrying liquids, gels and lotions. You may carry through security checkpoints only travel-sized (85g or less) toiletries that fit comfortably in one, litre-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. To check specifications check with your airline and here. Once clear of this check point you may purchase beverages and other liquids (i.e. bottled water) available from the boarding area.

Travel locks are recommended; however ensure you are using the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Recognized Baggage Locks displaying the below symbols [visit site]. In most instances baggage will be electronically scanned, however from time to time the TSA will need to inspect your luggage, TSA approved locks allow airport security staff use master keys to inspect luggage without damaging your travel locks.

Currency

Name: United States Dollar
Code: USD
Symbol: $
Check what your currency is worth in US$
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Credit Cards

Major credit cards are accepted in most retailers and restaurants. (Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Diners)

Electricity

Internet Access

Most Hawaii resorts offer wireless broadband internet access.
Alternatively there are plenty of Internet Cafés available in the main tourist areas of Hawaii.

Languages

Official: English
Secondary: Hawaiian

Self Drive

You can rent a car or motorbike in Hawaii with a foreign driver's license, under the conditions that your license is valid and written in English. Drivers will be permitted to use their foreign driver's license to a maximum of 28 days. As a rough guide small cars 5 to 10 years old (Toyota Yaris or Ford Focus) can be hired from 28 to 35 US$ per day, moreover there are discounted rates for extended rentals such as weekly, fortnightly and monthly. Petrol tends to be more expensive on Hawaii than mainland USA; however car rental prices are more competitive.

Road conditions are very good and just like the rest of the USA, Hawaii drives on the right side of the road. Oahu Island home to Honolulu has the most developed roads with several freeways and the largest amount of traffic in the pacific in comparison to the other islands of Hawaii where driving is more relaxed.

It is important that you are aware of the conditions of hire, all reputable car rental companies will have age guidelines and deposit requirements to follow. It is wise to have your car hire arrangements in place prior to departure as car hire is in high demand in Hawaii especially on the smaller islands where public transport is less prolific. Remember to follow the local road rules and customs for example horn honking is considered extremely rude unless required for safety.

Taxi's

Taxi's should charge by distance travelled not how many people in the vehicle. In general taxi fares in Hawaii are meter regulated with rates that are approved by the Hawaiian government; however there are a few shady operators in the market and thus it is wise to use the leading operators, if you are unsure check with your hotel which taxi companies they recommend.

As a guide the rate for a ride from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki Beach hotels another is generally around US$35. In most cases taxi's are more convenient than the airport shuttle buses, as the shuttle buses are required to make many stops at other hotels along the way.

Telephones

Please use 0011 + country code + area code + local number
Hawaii Country Dialling Code +1
Hawaii's Area Code - 808
Time Zones
GMT/UTC -10

Transport

Excellent bus services are run by 'TheBus' on Oahu Island serving 80 routes including the major tourist attractions in Pearl Harbour, Honolulu and Waikiki. Some routes you will be required to transfer buses at Honolulu Interchange or Ala Moana Shopping Mall Interchange. TheBus fares are approximately US$2 per ride and include one free transfer. You can also buy an Oahu Discovery Passport for approximately US$20 from ABC Stores providing four days of unlimited travel. However on the other islands in Hawaii services are much different; bus schedules and routes are limited and car hire or touring are much better options if you want to see more around the island.

Legal Drinking Age

Legal age required to consume or purchase alcohol in Hawaii is 21 years of age. Photo ID will be required for entry into bars and pubs.

Travel Advice

Click here to check the Australian Governments official travel advice relating to Hawaii.

Tipping

General US standards apply to tipping in Hawaii. On meals 15-20% of the total cost, at least $1 per bag for porters and at least $1 per night for housekeeping. On sightseeing tours it is customary however not obligatory to tip the driver and tour leader $1 per day and the tour leader $2 per day.

Entry Requirements

Australian travellers with a current Australian passport can travel in Hawaii for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. This can be done under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Time spent in Canada, Mexico, U.S.A or adjacent islands will also count towards the maximum 90 days.

All Australian travellers who plan to travel to the U.S.A must be approved by internet based ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in order to gain entry under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA application must be completed at least 72 hours before your departure date; there is a processing fee and generally a 2 day processing delay for results. If your travel is not approved by ESTA you may be asked to apply for a Visa from the US Embassy to gain entry. For information regarding compulsory pre-registration for their visa waiver program see the US Customs Travel Authorization website.

An Australian passport does not need to be an ePassport for entry under the Visa Waiver Program, but it must be machine-readable. Australian passports that do not have two lines of 44 characters at the bottom of the personal particulars page are not machine-readable. To confirm whether your passport is machine-readable, please contact the Australian Passports Information Service (APIS) on 131 232.

Weddings

With its year round warm climate, Hawaii is a popular destination for weddings. However if you are considering Hawaii for your wedding please take the time to consider the following requirements -

Valid passports

Legal age to marry is 18 years & over

Under 21 years will need to provide certified copies of birth certificates

21 Years and over will need to provide proof of age such as drivers license

Application forms are obtained at Hawaii State Department of Health.
Details of previous divorce or death of spouse will be required on wedding application before arrival in Hawaii

Application is required to be prepared and any additional paperwork attached before arrival in Hawaii

Application must be lodged in person - bride and groom present - with a marriage license agent - offices located in Honolulu

Marriage license fee approximately US$60 payable at time of application

Marriage license issued on the spot providing all the requirements are met

Marriage license is valid for 30 days from issue date, to be used only in the state of Hawaii and if not used in this period becomes null and void

This information is a guide only. Requirements are subject to change without notice. Please check with The Department of Health - State of Hawaii for more information.