(Last updated on: 02/12/2022)
The best national parks in Hawaii. So, what lays beyond the tropical sands and seas of picturesque Hawaii? Keep reading to find the most stunning national parks, whether it be for their history, beauty or heritage!
- What is a national park?
- Why visit the national parks in Hawaii?
- How many national parks in Hawaii are there?
- The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Hawaii
- Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Hawaii
- The best national parks in Hawaii
- Hawai’i Volcanoes
- Puʻukoholā Heiau
- Pearl Harbour
- The 4 Best National Parks In Hawaii- further reading.
What is a national park?
What is a national park? A national park is a site of beauty, as well as being of historic and cultural significance. They usually boast stunning landscapes and have unique features that set them apart from the ordinary. A national park aims to preserve its grounds and benefit from them as well as caring for the natural environment. The ‘National park service‘ manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.
Why visit the national parks in Hawaii?
Why visit the national parks in Hawaii? The national parks in Hawaii are renowned for their unique beauty. Stepping into the national parks, you are instantly met with native culture, beautiful views, history and harmony. Whether you are visiting Hawaii with kids, travelling solo or as a group, the national parks in Hawaii are worth a visit.
How many national parks in Hawaii are there?
There are 8 national parks in Hawaii according to the National Park service. These popular national parks gain 1,600,000 visitors a year, which is a huge contribution to the number of annual visitors Hawaii gains, which is roughly 9.3 million. The visitors to the national parks in Hawaii play a significant role in supplying for the local economy, with $14.6 billion of direct spend straight to the national parks.
The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Hawaii
Having a convenient accommodation can make a world of difference, but where do we start within the national parks in Hawaii? Here I have found the best quality accommodations to match the national parks in Hawaii, so wherever you are visiting there is an excellent accommodation just around the corner…
Kula 4200 is an excellent accommodation, just a 5 minute drive from Haleakala national park. The accommodation boasts amazing facilities featuring a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and free Wi-Fi across the site. The accommodation boasts terrace views out to the sea and mountains of the surrounding area. Immerse yourself in the natural scene and enjoy the convenience of this little getaway. Click here to find out more.
Volcano Cottage is a beautiful accommodation, just a half an hours drive from Hawai’i national park. This charming little cottage has a beautiful aesthetic with modern furnishings and a stunning garden view. There is free WI-FI provided on site, as well as plenty of restaurants in the surrounding area which allows plenty of selection. Click here to find out more.
Waiulaula Villa 322 is a stunning accommodation just a 20 minute drive from Puʻukoholā Heiau national park. This dreamy villa has an outdoor pool and spa for summer nights and a beach view to gaze at through the windows. There is a gym located inside the villa and guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi and BBQ facilities. Click here to find out more.
Airport Honolulu Hotel is just a 20 minute drive from Pearl harbour national memorial. This accommodation is situated in a great location just a mile from Honolulu airport for great travel connections. The beautiful interior boasts warmly furnished rooms for a cosy vibe, a gym and free WI-FI on site. What’s more is there’s an outdoor pool and terrace for relaxing and enjoying Hawaii’s beautiful climate. Click here to find out more.
Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Hawaii
So what is the essential packing list for the national parks in Hawaii? Here is a list of all the essentials to pack for your holiday, so there’s no need to worry about a packing crisis.
For the days out in the beautiful beaches that Hawaii boasts, a beach bag is super convenient for carrying all the essentials. I recommend the YOOFAN beach bag for its large capacity and waterproof material.
A water bottle is an essential for a hiking day trip in Hawaii! Gear up with your JIMARCO litre water bottle and you’re good to go for a full day of hydration.
With Hawaii’s tropical climate expect humidity and heat! It is essential to pack sun cream for staying protected at all times whilst in the beautiful outdoors. I recommend the Sekoa sun lotion because it’s an SPF 50 and water resistant too, so no burns, no pain and damage free skin!
A backpack is essential for visiting the national parks. It carries all of the other essentials that you’re going to need for the visit, so it’s important to invest in comfort. The Ultralight casual backpack is perfect for easy storage as well as wear, with long straps to increase comfort and waterproof material, it’s perfect for every condition whilst exploring.
Foldable Selfie stick
Along your trip you will be wanting to capture the moment with the backdrop of Hawaii behind smiling faces. A selfie stick is great for getting multiple people in the photo, and perfect for the best angles that snap the scenery. I recommend the Selfieshow because not only is it easy to pack, but it’s also a 4 in 1 which includes a selfie stick, tripod, phone stand and phone connection.
The best national parks in Hawaii
So what are the best national parks in Hawaii? Here are the most eye catching, culturally rich, and historic national parks in Hawaii.
Haleakala is one of the best national parks in Hawaii for its culture and breath-taking views. The parks sacred landscape is full of endangered species of animals that are unique to Haleakala, which is a big part of what makes this national park special.
You will find an array of animal and plant life in Haleakala including the Silversword plant, which are incredibly rare and only found in Hawaii’s grounds! There are many endangered species of animal that inhabit Haleakala
One of the most popular things to do at Haleakala is watching the sunrise, which occurs anywhere from 3am- 7am and is a truly magical experience. To do this you will need a reservation, so don’t forget to book in advance.
The Kipahulu district is an amazing place for hiking, which is rich in culture and heritage. The land is inhabited by the natives of the district
Hawai’i Volcanoes are a sight of natural wonder, making them one of the best national parks in Hawaii, known for having the ‘most fascinating biological landscapes in the world‘. The natural wildlife is compromised of many unique species that only live in Hawaii, featuring the Kamehameha Butterfly and Wolf spiders and many species of turtle.
There are a huge number of trails to experience when visiting the Hawaii volcanoes. One of the most fascinating of these trails is the Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) where you get to walk through a 500 year old lava tube, where lava once flowed at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit! If you prefer a longer hike there are plenty more options to discover.
Puʻukoholā Heiau is bursting with beauty and historical significance. This park is where the temple of Kamehameha the Great lies, sitting above the Pacific ocean landscape seen in the distance. Kamehameha is the most renowned king of Hawaii, and the national park serves as a ground to appreciate his homeland, and encouraging you to walk in his footsteps.
One of the most memorable things to do at Puʻukoholā to watch the sharks, whales and dolphins on the coast. Black tipped reef sharks are a common sight to catch on the shorelines, and you may be able to look out for a humpback whale too. The diverse sea life is truly amazing. Some other animals to look out for are the birds, with their incredible songs coming alive in the early morning and late afternoon, so keep an ear and an eye out!
Hiking is a great way to explore Puʻukoholā, and luckily their are some great routes to follow for the best scenery. One of the best routes to explore is from the national park to Mau’umae beach which takes about 3/4 of a mile. The private beach of Mau’umae is tranquil and beautiful, making it a great place to end the trail.
Pearl Harbour national memorial is a symbol of the significant history of the attack on Pearl Harbour, on December 7th 1941. You will find all about the tragic day through exhibitions, programmes and theatre, with plenty to do, experience and learn.
To discover a bit more about the history of the site, there is a 23 minute long documentary for viewing at the national parks theatre, which is part of the USS Arizona memorial programme. The bookstore houses over 120 books relating to the pacific war effort, which can be purchased to take home and read for further education, as well as something to remember your visit by.
Explore the two exhibit galleries displaying memorabilia, photos and artefacts from the battle. After this, you can find the interpretive exhibits on the wayside which put the day into the perspective. Not only is it a look into history, but it is made all the more real by being outside with the view of where the battle took place.
The 4 Best National Parks In Hawaii- further reading.
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