The great volcanic eruptions that burst from the sea floor to create these amazing islands left a stunning legacy with each of the islands having its own unique character and quality.
The Aloha State's appeal has long attracted travellers with many returning year after year.
If you're thinking of heading to this fabled 1500-archipelago for the first time, here's a snapshot of what expect from each island.
The gateway island, Oahu is home to the capital city of Honolulu where iconic landmarks like Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach characterise the global perception of Hawaii.
Oahu offers a fascinating mix of big cosmopolitan experiences combined with a traditional Hawaiian flavour.
The busy and clean Waikiki beachfront is lined with hotels but there's plenty of easy access points to the sand. Just behind the beach, expect to find plenty of shopping opportunities but the island's best retail experience is the imposing 340 shops of the Ala Moana Center just a few miles from Diamond Head.
Due to its towering mountains and deep canyons, only a fraction of this lush island is accessible by car but there's plenty to see on ‘The Garden Island’.
You might already be familiar with the other-worldly landscape given it has featured in countless Hollywood blockbusters including Jurassic Park. The unmistakable Na Pali Coast is the island's most famous attraction and the best way to see it is by helicopter.
Beachgoers will adore the amazing hidden coves nestled between jagged cliff tops - beautiful Hanalei Bay is perfect for kids - while hikers and other nature lovers can venture deep in the rainforests on any one of the hundreds of state park trails. The Kalalau Track is the toughest but most spectacular at 22 miles for the round-trip.
After Oahu, Maui is the most visited Hawaiian island. From luxury resorts, to laid back village life, Maui fits the bill for visitors of every type. Here, the 30 miles of beaches are never crowded and it's one of Hawaii's most popular destinations for honeymooners.
To fully appreciate Maui, hire a car and hit the Hana Highway. This incredible stretch of road - that includes 617 hairpin bends - takes in amazing scenery including waterfalls, multi-coloured sand beaches, passes access trails to rainforest and garden walks.
Also make sure to catch sunrise or sunset at Haleakala, the island's dormant volcano.
Just a nine-mile hop from Maui, the tiny island paradise of Lanai attracts adventure seekers, families and couples looking to hike or bike on the thousands of hectares of natural wilderness.
Take in the views from Munro Trail, which leads to the island’s highest point at Lanaihale. To cover more ground, 4WD tours allow deep penetration into pristine rainforest country. Golf, diving, whale watching and fishing tours are popular pastimes at Lanai.
Hawaii (The ‘Big Island’)
Hawaii’s largest island gets bigger every year due to the molten lava spilling into the Pacific and cooling to extend its land mass. It's so comparatively large, all the other Hawaiian islands would fit inside its borders twice.
This land of fire and ice boasts 11 of the world's 13 climate zones. It's hard to believe but there's snow-capped mountains on the Big Island and in a single day you can see it along with lava flows, lush, ancient jungles, beautiful beaches and open grasslands.
At the Volcanoes National Park, you'll see steam vents and have the chance to explore a lava tube and walk the rim of a crater.
Hawaiian culture is preciously preserved on Molokai, an island that enjoys the highest concentration of indigenous Hawaiians. Don’t expect tall buildings, traffic lights or sprawling resorts here; this is an untouched island where fun comes in the form of exploration and discovery.
Hike along the world’s highest sea cliffs, discover the colourful underwater reefs or simply leave the world behind as you get back to nature.
How to get there: Hawaiian Airlines flies from Brisbane and Sydney. Jetstar flies from Sydney and Melbourne. Qantas flies from Sydney.
Published under license from Well Travelled